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FILM COALITION (article first published : 2006-08-22)

For the first time, the South African film and television industry has come together as a unified front. In a strategic planning session held in July in Johannesburg, organisations representing most sectors of the industry got together to discuss the state of the industry and to form a coalition to actively engage government and broadcasters.

Since South Africa’s new democracy was ushered in, film and television have become a multi-billion rand industry, driving employment and economic activity. With this coming of age, has also arrived the challenges the industry has to face in order to achieve unity and common goals.

To this end the IPO (Independent Producers Organisation), SASFED (the South African Screen Federation) and the newly formed Producers Alliance (TPA) have formed a coalition to facilitate unity and to galvanise the industry so that it can communicate with the state and big business with a single voice, and tackle the various crises besieging the industry.

Responding to the level of confidence in the industry as indicated by the inclusion of film and television in the government's accelerated growth programme (ASGISA) and the ever-growing demands of broadcasters, the coalition is calling for high level meetings with various ministries, funding agencies and broadcast executives, seeking sustained dialogue and engagement in order to assert their position on a wide range of critical issues concerning the sustainability and growth of the film and TV industry.

The formation of the coalition arose out of a growing concern that bureaucrats and politicians - instead of the industry itself - have dictated the strategic direction and growth of the industry, and that the time has come for the industry to make its voice heard and presence felt.

Key to the agenda is the growing concern around the ongoing crisis at the SABC regarding commissioning, licensing, contracting, payments, the lack of rights for content the creators and censorship. The crisis has a direct impact on the stability, sustainability and growth of a viable film and television industry. Representative committees from the various organisations are being formed to interface not only with the broadcasters, but with other leading government agencies including the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the DTI, DAC, DOC, ICASA and the Lottery.

The coalition includes the two main Producer bodies – the IPO and the TPA - and SASFED, which member organisations comprise Animation SA, Association of South African Crew Agents (ASACA), Black Filmmakers Network (BFN), Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA), Motion Pictures Trainers Association (MPTA), National Association of Casting Agencies (NACA, including NAMA and OSCA), Personal Manager's Association (PMA), Southern African Communications for Development (SACOD), South African Guild of Editors (SAGE), South African Script Writers Union (SASWA), The Producer's Alliance (TPA) and Women of the Sun (WOS).




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