Forum > nature/wildlife films > Film making in Africa

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 05, 2007

 

Here is a quote from a prominent African film authority, which is applicable to a large extent to the situation here in India as well.

"As an industry, wildlife and natural history filmmaking touches uniquely on three socio-economic issues which are crucial to the future of the African continent:

Firstly, in the wake of globalisation, if our rich natural resources are properly managed and developed, then independent and sustainable development in African countries will continue. It is crucial in the pursuit of African renewal and the new partnership for Africas development that such resources need to be exploited to the advantage of African people.

Second is the crucial issue of conservation and environmental protection - an issue which is not unique to Africa and requires international cooperation and resources to develop effective strategies in combating threats to our environment. Showcasing these issues on television internationally is an effective way to raise awareness and support for these causes.

The third issue is the development of the African film industry so that wildlife and natural history filmmaking is representative of all Africans. To achieve this, it is imperative to implement training programmes which will foster the development of black filmmakers and to change the current status of the industry. Put simply, the challenge is how do we make indigenous Africans not only the observed but the observers and the participants in telling the story about this continent.

We need to be conscious of this fact: if we are to ensure the survival of our environment and the prosperity of this industry, filmmaking must become representative and diverse. Africans are presently the trackers, the translators and the lodge servants in this industry, perhaps sometimes the odd ranger or national park representative... but rarely the arbiter of the story.


We are following through at pledges made at last year’s Wild Talk Africa conference to spend $1 million on developing the industry here and commissioning up-and-coming natural history filmmakers. From now on, through the NHU AFRICA, e.tv will produce 40 hours of programming a year, ranging from lower-budget/higher-quality series to blue chip documentaries.

So far we have commissioned films on frogs in Madagascar, a lake in Venda, desert elephants in Namibia, climate change in Africa, ground squirrels in the Kalahari, a southern African travel series, a wildlife rehab series in Johannesburg, a good news conservation series, and of course where would the NHU AFRICA be without films on cheetahs, sharks, wild dogs and crocodiles! Our aim is to work with international broadcasters on some of these productions and we are currently co-producing HD films with NHK, and Five in the UK and are in discussion with National Geographic over a few more".

-Marcel Golding
CEO
e.tv
Source: WildFilmNews July 2007

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