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PARLIAMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL (article first published : 2005-06-13)

In a historic move, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) in partnership with the Parliamentary Millennium Project (PMP) will host a film festival in Parliament from June 13 to 17, 2005. The main aim of this festival is to showcase South Africa¹s most acclaimed films to the Parliamentary community as a means of raising the awareness and appreciation of film and celebrating the growing success of local filmmakers abroad. This will be the first time in parliament that there are screenings of South African film in different venues of parliament during a week-long programme.

“This film festival is one of many activities we planned, to facilitate new conversations amongst our people on those aspects of our living heritage that will be crucial for our pursuit of building a united and prosperous nation”, said Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly.

The festival will be officially opened by the deputy Minister of Arts and Culture at the Imbizo Centre (Parliament) on June 13 and Drum (by Zola Maseko) will be screened as the opening film. About 150 guests have been invited including the president of South Africa, H.E. Thabo Mbeki, representatives from the presidency, Cabinet members, parliamentary staff and South Africa¹s prominent businessmen and women are expected to attend the launch of the event.

The films that will be featured during the festival include: Zulu Love Letter (by Ramadan Suleman), Max and Mona (by Teddy Mattera), Story of an African Farm (by David Lister), Hotel Rwanda (by Terry George), Born into Struggle (by Rehad Desai), A South African Love Story (by Toni Strasburg), The Legacy of a Legend (by Buntu Williams), U-Carmen eKhaylitsha (by Mark Dornford-May), Forgiveness (by Ian Gabriel), The Flyer (by Revel Fox) and In My Country (by John Boorman).

“We find it fitting that after so much hard work and dedication, we can finally bring these films to the parliamentarians who once made a concession to prioritise film through the establishment of the NFVF as a means to develop and grow the film Industry.

“Many of the films that will be shown during the festival would not have seen the light of day, had it not been for state funding that was dispersed through the NFVF and the IDC. This is an appreciative gesture to all politicians who have supported the development of film in South Africa,” said Eddie Mbalo, the CEO of the NFVF.

Zola Maseko (Drum), Teddy Mattera (Max and Mona) and Mark Dornford-May (U-Carmen eKhayelitsha) are some of the filmmakers who are expected to attend the event.




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