Telling African stories through film has been monopolised and abused by first world countries for decades now, resulting in most of these films being criticised for not showing a true reflection about life in the continent. Over time we have been witnessing a slow but significant change in the African film industry, as more African film makers are starting to make their mark and showcasing local stories worldwide.
Mdantsane based film maker Sibulele Roji, a Television graduate from the acclaimed Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking, has adopted this medium for putting local stories out there. Armed with the know-how, his company Mdantsane Film Production, does a wide range of film related productions on a professional level.
“Mdantsane Film Production is a South African in-house company that produces and co-produces documentaries, promotional videos, magazine inserts, feature films for national and international markets. We are actively engaged in supporting and growing the continent’s film industry by working with producers and film makers while at the same time adhering to the company’s mandate, that demands a high production value and a compelling original content,” he said.
He stressed the importance of telling local stories so that international audiences can better understand what Africa is all about, and strongly advised the importance of forming partnerships with African film makers who are capable of producing internationally recognised quality.
“We want to tell Africa stories from an African perspective which will allow the rest of world to see its people, culture and history as they have never seen before. To achieve our objective we are establishing strong relationships with producers from other African countries, and building a strong client base with international broadcasters.
Roji said that his company prides itself for having produced many local films and gives credit to the availability of social media as it has enabled them to put their movies out to the public.
“We have created stories like Sisipho ( My handbags are made of a carpet ) and Cigar wheels, a documentary that had 20 000 veiws on facebook in one week. We make use of social media a lot and at the moment we are busy shooting documentaries for our youtube channel.
Countries like Nigeria have become trailblasers in the African film industry where more stories by Nigerians and for Nigerians have given birth to a multimillion-rand industry in that country. This has encouraged local films makers in other countries like South Africa to produce big screen movies that are winning international awards recently.