South Africa, through the Department of Arts and Culture donated a sum of R1 million at the Western Sahara International Film Festival (Fisahara).
The desert film festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary is currently taking place in the most remote refugee camp of Dhakla 200 km away form the Algerian province of Tindouf from 08 to the 13th of October 2013.
Presenting the R1 million cheque to the Western Sahara's Minister of Culture, H.E. Jadiya Hamdi, Professor Keorapetse Kgositsile said that "the amount is donated as part of South Africa's solidarity with the Saharawi people in the development of their culture and the arts." He further encouraged the Saharawi people to continue their hard journey towards freedom and democracy and reassured them of the unwavering solidarity of the people of South Africa.
Professor Kgositsile is the special advisor to the Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile. He is representing the Minister at the Fisahara International film festival. Other delegates from South Africa include representation from the Department of Arts and Culture, SA Embassy in Algeria, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and young female filmmakers.
During the festival, South Africa, through Professor Kgositsile and the NFVF will conduct a workshop on how the medium of film and cinema was used during the struggle for national liberation as an effective tool to beam images of the resistance against oppression across the world. Two films from South Africa, Sobukwe, A great soul; and Mayibuye I Western Sahara produced by Milly Moabi after attending the festival 3 years ago will be screened.
Addressing the delegates, H. E Minister Jadiya Hamdi said "the Western Sahara International Film Festival is taking place at the same time when the Saharawi people are commemorating the Fortieth Anniversary of the Polisario Front Foundation as well as the beginning of the legitimate armed struggle for their aid to self-determination and national independence."