JOHANNESBURG — The annual Sithengi Southern African Film and Television Market has been developing over the past seven years to become the major international market in Africa, but has often been criticized for not involving up-and-coming young black filmmakers enough.
Now the Cape Film Commission has stepped in to offer filmmakers from “historically disadvantaged backgrounds,” a politically correct way to refer to people previously disadvantaged under apartheid, i.e. non-whites, a discount for Sithengi membership.
The commission said it recognizes Sithengi as “a unique platform for our filmmakers and producers, as it allows them the chance to buy, sell and promote their products on an international scale, but in an African context.”
It had therefore arranged to sponsor 100 filmmakers from historically disadvantaged backgrounds to receive a 50% discount on membership of Sithengi for the following year.
The membership will offer a range of benefits to the successful applicants — even after the market — including access to the Sithengi international contacts database and marketing of projects to broadcasters, buyers, co-producers and financiers in Africa and internationally.
The eighth edition of Sithengi will be held from November 13-16 in Cape Town, with more than 1 600 delegates and broadcasters from 42 countries — including producers, directors, TV channel bosses, distribution agencies — expected at this year’s market.