South Africa, Euros huddle for co-prod’n

Summit to begin after 2 yrs in making

JOHANNESBURG — A bid to kick-start cooperation between the film and tele-vision industries of European Union countries and South Africa will be made at a ground-breaking summit here Nov. 9-10.

The summit, two years in the making, was given impetus when South Africa and the EU finally concluded a historic $17 billion free trade deal late last year.

“The main aim of the meeting is to begin to create a framework to address co-productions and co-financing between the European Union and South Africa,” Themba Wakashe, director of the South African government’s Dept. of Arts & Cul-ture, told Daily Variety.

EU cultural spokeswoman in South Africa Emmanuelle Gille said that from the Euro perspective, one aim is “to identify why so many cooperation agreements with EU member states have not gone through yet.”

Agreements hanging

Though the South African government has been involved in lengthy discussions on co-production agreements with a number of European countries, including France and Ireland, none has yet been concluded.

Alexandre Sorrentino, cultural attache of the French Institute of South Africa, said the main reason for the delay in concluding a co-production deal was that a situation of “inequality” had existed until now.

“There needs to be mutual funding,” Sorrentino said.

The Euro contingent will comprise 35 people, many of them heads of film com-missions of EU member states.

Some 65 South Africans are expected, many of them stakeholders in South Africa’s film and TV industries, but also officials from the departments of trade and industry, arts and culture, finance and home affairs.

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