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Tuesday 11 June 2024, Johannesburg. The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, lead a delegation of forty South African filmmakers in an unprecedented creative and cultural celebration of South Africa's 30-year democracy milestone.

In a historic moment for South African film, the NFVF, in collaboration with its key strategic partners the Industrial Development Corporation, Brand South Africa, Wesgro, the KZN Film Commission, the Durban Film Office and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, lead a diverse cohort of practitioners who got the opportunity to network, engage and pitch their projects at the festival's key programmes.

Spearheaded by the Chairperson of the NFVF Council, Ms Tholoana Ncheke-Mahlaela, who boasts public and private sector legal and policy framework experience in the creative sector, the delegation consisted of 40 producers, supported by 16 delegates from the various partners. The Cannes Film Festival is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres. Outside of the meetings engaged on, during this year's edition the South African delegation participated in events and platforms held at the South African hub, country specific pavilions and the business film market, also known as the March du Film (March ).

It was an esteemed privilege to champion the South African delegation at the 77th International Film Festival where our strategic intention behind positioning South Africa as a production destination of choice was met in a manner which not only exceeded expectations, but also affirmed what we know to be true about or dynamic and incredible industry made so by its remarkable filmmakers. As we exit the local democratic elections and gear up to commemorate the June 16 Soweto Uprising which was one of the catalysts for South Africa's dawn of democracy, it was an honour to witness South Africa's finest storytellers representing the incredible strides our industry has made during the past 30 years of democracy, a decade of which was marked by the stewardship of Ambassador Nkosinathi Mthethwa, during his service as the Minister of Sport, Arts & Culture , says Ncheke-Mahlaela who delivered a keynote address at the Inauguration of the Bharat Pavilion, hosted by the Government of India.

The South African hub comprised of a multi-functional stand, a striking feature at the March , which was positioned optimally in clear view of BRICS country partners India and Brazil, with whom co-production engagements took place. For the first time, the NFVF hosted a one-on-one conversation between globally renowned South African Director, Mandlakayise Dube and South African Film & Television Award (SAFTA) winner, Bonko Khoza who discussed the experience of filming Netflix's Heart of the Hunter.

South Africa's presence was cemented at programmes which took place at the Producers Network, the Bistrot de L rins and Cannes Docs, the documentary hub. Facilitated by the NFVF, the team was led by the Acting Chief Executive Officer, Ms Thobela Mayinje, whose decade-long tenure at the NFVF comes with a strong background in human capital development in the creative sector.

The South African itinerary this year was intentionally robust to ensure that filmmakers and stand partners alike experienced the festival exceptionally well and to showcase how brilliantly the story we have to tell as South Africa, can come to life. Our presence at Cannes this year represents incredible growth in comparison to recent years, where continued development through the leveraging of more strategic platforms at Cannes is more possible now. I'm incredibly proud of the NFVF team that worked tirelessly for months to get partners on board and facilitate the presence of such a strong pool of practitioners and a captivating stand hub. We showed the world what it means to #LoveSAFilm and I could not be prouder and excited for the film practitioners who lived this experience through and through , says Mayinje.

On the co-production front, South Africa's jam-packed itinerary included a cocktail hosted by the Netherlands Film Fund (NFF) where the significant moment of the renewal of the NFF and NFVF Thuthuka Co-Development Initiative took place. Attended by the Netherlands Minister of Arts & Culture, Ms Fleur Gr per-van Koolwijk, this signing marked the extension of the agreement for another two years, as indicated by Mayinje during her opening remarks. Furthermore, a Brazil and South Africa meet-and-greet mixer for producers held in partnership with Brazilian counterparts Spcine, laid a foundation for the panel discussion which took place, which unpacked the experience of South African and Brazilian producers working on afro-diasporic projects and announced the Spcine and NFVF Development Fund Call which opens later this year.

Proud moments included the South African series by Gambit Films, Blood & Water, winning the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion award at the Global Production Awards, the screening of Spier Films' short film Spiral and the presence of South Africa's Encounters Film Festival at Cannes Docs as an official partner. Festival Director Ms Mandisa Zitha delivered a keynote address focused on 30 Years of Documentary filmmaking and threw forward to the up-coming Encounters Film Festival taking place in Cape Town and Johannesburg at the end of this month.

South Africa signed-off its presence through an intimate networking cocktail inaugurally held at the Bistrot de L rins where Ambassador Mthethwa's poignant address encouraged the South African delegation to keep making globally relevant films that keep the South African nation brand resilient.


For media requests, contact:

Lerato Mokopanele

Marketing and Communications Manager

National Film and Vide
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