chapter  9
22 Pages

Screening nation: new South African cinema/s beyond apartheid

By the 1990s, with a post apartheid dispensation in sight, questions of a national cinema were firmly on the political agenda. After the first democratic elections in 1994 new national policy was put in place to make tangible an inclusive national cinema. The government made its intentions to support the development of cinema clear, when the (then) Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, now Department of Arts and Culture, made 10,000,000 rands available for filmmakers on application in the first year after the elections. Following broad-based consultations, the National Film and Video Foundation (1997) was promulgated, and the NFVF was subsequently established. An overview of policy developments in the ten years following reveals a multi-pronged set of approaches, initiatives, interventions and strategies created by government, partly in conjunction with the private sector, that facilitates South Africa’s three-way profile, internationally, continentally and locally. These developments have been closely tied to national economic policies as well as to political and cultural imperatives. In the first ten years of democracy, the terrain for building national cinema policies has been extremely fertile. More than 100 years since the invention of cinema, South Africa has been in the unique position of being able to imbricate nation and cinema afresh.