The South African filmmakers who are from the United States of America are optimistic that their mission is to achieve positive results in the near future.
The group, whose trip was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry ( the dti ), participated in the American Film Market and attended a series of meetings on the sidelines of the market.
The meetings with Hollywood companies including HBO, CBS, Fox, Sony, Disney and Paramount Pictures, the most important part of the Outward Film and Television Investment Mission which was led by the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Bulelani Magwanishe.
“As a group of emerging filmmakers we are delighted that government has provided us with a golden opportunity to meet with such high-ranking executives of companies that many filmmakers all over the world aspire to work with. That we were able to interact with these Hollywood companies did not only inspire us, but it also gave us hope that we will be able to collaborate with them in future. We were able to introduce ourselves and market our companies, exchanged business cards and briefly shared ideas,” says Johannesburg-based filmmaker, Mr Wandile Molebatsi.
Cape Town film producer, Mr Bradley Joshua says meeting with the Hollywood executives was the highlight of the visit as he is expecting the meetings to transform into long-lasting working relationships between the SA filmmakers and Hollywood companies.
“In relation to our company, the mission was a success in that I managed to meet with representatives of a big international streaming service providing company which showed interest in one of our productions. Although the deal will probably take few more weeks to close, it is really looking positive. It is a very good deal which will put us on the international map,” said Joshua.
Joshua was the toast of the town as the USA premiere of his movie, Nommer 37, coincided with the mission. Free State filmmaker, Mr Frank Mohapi, who owns production studios based in Johannesburg, is impressed with the opportunity that the mission provided him with to market his studios to the American companies with the hope of seeing them making their way to his studios in future.
“I also held discussions with the family that owns The Bat franchise and they expressed interest in our projects that they can collaborate with us on in South Africa. I also met with senior officials of the American Black Producers Guild that we exchanged ideas with on future partnerships,” added Mohapi.
For another Johannesburg filmmaker, Mr Pheello Mochele, the workshops and conferences that he attended at the American Film Market broadened his understanding of the international film and television industry.