[LISTEN] 'Zuma's administration put the creative sector in the economic cluster'

Rapid Lion Festival Director Eric Miyeni says South Africa's booming film industry can be attributed to the economic investments made over the years and under former President Jacob Zuma's administration.

Miyeni joined Africa Melane on The Eusebius McKaiser Show to share details on the upcoming South African International Film Festival and the industry.

Speaking about some issues that have impacted the booming creative industry, Miyeni says the country has embraced the industry as an economic commodity.

Zuma's administration literally put the creative sector in the economic cluster. That is a seismic change in terms of economic impact because it means you are treating the creative industries the way you treat mining, banking , the financial services... and since that has happened there has been quite an explosion of films made and good ones too.

Eric Miyeni, Director - Rapid Lion Festival

DTI has moved in even more strongly. The country is treating these industries as an economic commodity that needs to be invested in and promoted.

Eric Miyeni, Director - Rapid Lion Festival

Explaining what inspired the establishment of Rapid Lion, Miyeni says one of the key elements of making local film consumers buy into a production is the the platforms established to promote the work of creators.

He says Rapid Lion has established itself as a marketing film festival for local cinema.

He says the biggest problem with South African film making and filmmakers is the lack of exhibition outlet for locals to view these films.

It's time for the government to maybe take the funding in the black industrialist programme and fund a black company that has a good, solid plan to have an exhibition chain that won't interfere with Ster Kinekor or Nu Metro but will be concentrating on local cinema.

Eric Miyeni, Director - Rapid Lion Festival

Once we get that right, we are able to open exhibition outlets to local people at prices they can afford, then we get to be known locally.

Eric Miyeni, Director - Rapid Lion Festival

Attempting to sell local films to America, Europe is not a solution, he says.

The South African International Film Festival kicks off from 1 to 10 March at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

Miyeni shares some of what you can expect.

We are opening with a beautiful, thought-provoking film directed by Maynard Kraak. It's called The Last Victims. It tracks the unlikely friendship of an ex-undercover operative under the Nats versus a man who was suspected of being an informer but wasn't.

Eric Miyeni, Director - Rapid Lion Festival

Click on the link below to hear more about the industry and on the upcoming festival...


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