In 1997, Canada and South Africa signed an Audiovisual Co-production Treaty which would pave the way for collaboration between Canadian and South African film and television productions. This was the first ever co-production treaty signed by South Africa and remained the only one until 2003. To celebrate this important milestone, Canada will be a country of focus at the Durban FilmMart (DFM) and at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).
“We are immensely proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Canada and South African audio visual treaty. The incredible projects that have been produced under the treaty like Molo Fish, the first project produced, will forever be engraved in the memories of many South Africans. The celebrations of the treaty commenced at HotDocs, it is exciting to now host the celebration at SA’s premier film festival DIFF. We look forward to future projects between the two countries.” said Zama Mkosi, CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation.
As part of the commemoration of the 20th anniversary, a delegation from Canada will be at DFM and will participate in various sessions of the program. The delegation includes:
- Valerie Creighton, CEO of Canada Media Fund which provides funding for Canadian co-production projects
- Heidi Tao Yang, Fund Manager for the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund which provides funding to African documentary filmmakers
- Nicole Brooks and Lisa Wickham from Caribbean Tales who will run CineFAM – Africa, which is a two-day programme with the objective to support the development of original serialised television content created by women from Africa and the African Diaspora
- Alfons Adetuyi, Producer from Inner City Films
- Daniel Iron and Lance Samuels, Producers from Blue Ice Pictures
- Damon D’Oliveira, Producer from Conquering Lion Pictures
- Mila Aung-Thwin, Executive Producer of EyeSteeleFilm
- Richard Boddington, independent producer who’s film Phoenix Wilder will world premiere at DIFF
As part of the commemoration of the 20 years of the co-production treaty, a selection of four co-produced films will be screened at DIFF. These include A Million Colours, Inescapable, Jonestone: Paradise Lost, and Phoenix Wilder (World Premiere). From 1997 to 2015, a total of 23 official projects have been produced under the treaty including television series such as Jozi-H and Charlie Jade, and feature films such as The Bang Bang Club.
“It is a great pleasure for us to commemorate 20 years of co-production with South Africa at DIFF, and in the presence of a Canadian delegation with significant co-production experience. We look forward to continuing the celebration at the Toronto International Film Festival in September with our South African colleagues’, said Sandra McCardell, High Commissioner of Canada in South Africa.
Canada has signed co-production treaties with 54 countries and South Africa is an important partner being among the top 10 countries for official film and television co-productions with Canada. Canada sees the film industry as an important job creator, and contributor to its economic growth, generating close to C$5 billion (approx. R50 billion) in revenue annually.