SA filmmakers to attend Toronto Film Festival

The South African film industry is growing and 20 South African filmmakers are set to attend the 40th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada next month, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said on Tuesday.

The delegation, led by dti Minister Mzwandile Masina, would be showcasing the country's growing film-making talent at the 11-day Toronto International Film Festival, one of the world's most prestigious and internationally-acclaimed film festivals and one which is attended by leading lights in the industry as well as movie aficionados.

The trip, Masina said, would give the country's emerging filmmakers much needed exposure to the international film and production market, and was part of the dti's strategy to "create access to local film and video products and promote an increase in the volume of film production in South Africa".

He added that "South Africa's growing reputation as a desired filming destination will thus bring with it many advantages of becoming a global filming hotspot. Through promoting South Africa as an international destination to attract further international productions and in encouraging the generation of local content production, the country will continue to enjoy the benefits of the vibrant and growing film industry".

According to Masina, the country's film and television sector, which has been identified as one of the priority sectors within the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) due to its ability to attract investments and generate jobs, contributed R3.5 billion to the economy and created over 25,000 jobs during 2014.

Masina said: "The purpose of the trip is to showcase the expertise of the emerging South African filmmakers and potentially sell their projects to various buyers. The trip is also aimed at promoting South Africa's attractiveness as a film destination of international standard to filmmakers who will descend on the critically acclaimed festival from different parts of the world."

The Toronto International Film Festival is taking place from September 10-20, 2015.


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