From a film commissioner perspective, there are a lot of reasons – aside from the fact that it’s incredibly fulfilling – why you should also be looking at ways to help your local filmmakers become self-sufficient. A huge part of my career, from Sithengi through to the Eastern Cape Development Corporation, has been trying to assist (predominantly) African filmmakers to move their work to the next level.
Now, ask a filmmaker what they need, and they’ll likely tell you “funding”. But since a) you work for a government agency and b) you’re not Steven Spielberg, I’m guessing you also don’t particularly have the skills or experience to guide or instruct filmmakers in the kinds of products they should be creating. And simply throwing cash at people isn’t helpful; if governments were able to create viable film sectors out of their own resources alone, every aspiring country would have one. What’s more, there’s a whole lot more to being a self-sustaining filmmaker that just being able to work nicely on set. Just check out these Producer Competencies designed by the Canadians, and you’ll see a very small part of a filmmaker’s skill is actually filming: Canadian Cultural HR Council Producer Competencies
So: my take has always been that there are film industry professionals the world over whose job it is to find, fund, distribute and sell filmmakers of quality, wherever they find them. Moreover, the film industry is actually one big networking event, and the sooner young filmmakers begin reach out of their comfort zones the better. Thus I try to find the platforms, links, ideas and opportunities most related to Africa, that the best amongst them will grasp and run with. I collate this education, commissioning briefs, festival call-for-entries, and funding opportunities available to African Filmmakers in a Facebook group, which hopefully reiterates that filmmakers are not isolated and they are not alone.
Please follow the link here and join / use / share the resources as you see fit: RESOURCES FOR AFRICAN FILMMAKERS