Speech by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, at the opening of the Cape Winelands Festival
16 Mar 2011
The Director of the Cape Winelands Film Festival, Leon Van der Merwe
MECs here present
Representatives of local government
Chief Zwelivelile Mandela
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Mr. Albie Sachs, veteran of our liberation struggle
Fellow partners and sponsors in this project
Our Film Practitioners
Ladies and gentlemen
Please receive our fraternal greetings, and thank you for inviting us to the opening of the Cape Winelands Film Festival.
We take this opportunity to congratulate the organisers of this festival, which is now in its forth edition.
We trust that this festival will grow in leaps and bounds and that it will develop a significant global reach.
As the Department of Arts and Culture we identify with the theme of this year”s festival; “Reconciliation and Acceptance of the other.”
We believe this theme together with the programme of the festival will strengthen ongoing efforts to promote reconciliation, nation-building and social cohesion.
It is through such initiatives that we will continue to build a South African nation that is truly united, democratic, non-racial, non sexist and prosperous. This is a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it; black and white.
We note with appreciation that this festival is opening with the screening of the film titled: Reconciliation: Mandela's miracle.
This is an appropriate title that recognises an international icon and one of the founding fathers of our democratic nation, former President Nelson Mandela.
We have no doubt that this opening film will set the stage for what will become a film festival that will once more spread the message that; what unites far outweighs that which divides us.
Programme Director, the equitable growth and development of the local film industry is at the core of the work we are doing; to reposition the cultural and creative industries as one of the drivers of economic growth and job creation.
Furthermore, the film medium is one that bestows upon us the freedom to dream, to explore controversial subjects and to tell our unique stories that have sustained us as a nation.
It is in recognition of these realities that; we will continue to create facilities and platforms for South Africans to capture the essence of who we are, through film.
We will also continue to create platforms for our film practitioners to collaborate and work together, learn from each other and exchange ideas as they together develop the industry and build for themselves sustainable livelihoods.
We are delighted that the Cape Winelands Film Festival is one such platform.
This festival is a platform through which South African Film and film in general can be developed and promoted domestically and internationally.
It is a platform that will strengthen efforts to build a South African film industry that mirrors the ideals of our nation and an industry that produces films that are global, yet distinctly South African.
In this regard, we are encouraged that a number of South African films continue to receive international acclaim. These include Tsotsi, U-Carmen e-Khayelitsha and Skin.
This to us suggests that our local film industry has the potential to produce products that rank among the best in the world.
As government we will therefore continue to harness this potential by investing significantly in film making and production.
We take this opportunity to urge the private sector and the film fraternity in general to partner with us and our institutions such as the National Film and Video Foundation.
This partnership must lead to expanded participation in the film industry and create more jobs and more economic opportunities across our society.
Once more congratulations to the organisers of this festival. We wish you success in all your endeavours.
Source: Department of Arts and Culture
Issued by: Department of Arts and Culture
16 Mar 2011
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