KZN film commission: kingdom is your stage, MEC tells movie-makers

2012-07-24 00:00

IT’S “lights, camera, action” for the KwaZulu-Natal film industry.

That was the word from the MEC of Economic Development and Tourism, Michael Mabuyakhulu, speaking at the launch of the KZN Film Commission at the Durban FilmMart yesterday.

The launch saw the unveiling of a bust of the late Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela.

The KZN Film Commission will promote KwaZulu-Natal as a destination for local and international film-makers.

“Our kingdom is your stage,” Mabuyakhulu said. “Come and explore what Kwazulu-Natal has to offer.

“We are looking to boost tourism and employment with a world-class film and video industry in the province,” he said.

“We will maximise the employment intensiveness of this sector. This industry is growing … it’s an industry of the future.”

A promotional film shown at the launch showcased the attractions of KwaZulu-Natal for film makers and featured interviews with producer Anant Singh and director Madoda Ncayiyana, and included Witness journalist Stephen Coan speaking about the history of film-making in the province.

At the unveiling of the bust of Sabela, who died in 1994, he posthumously received the KZN Film Commission’s inaugural award.

Accepting the award, Sabela’s daughter, Dudu Mdluli, said her father “made actors out of people who didn’t know they were actors …

“So many people are acting today because of him.”

Sabela made 34 films and became the first black South African feature film director with uDeliwe (1975).

He appeared in several international feature films, including Diamonds are Dangerous (1961), Death Drums Along the River (1963), Zulu (1964) and its sequel Zulu Dawn (1979), in which he played the central role of King Cetshwayo kaMpande.

His other credits included Gold (1974), e’Lollipop (1976) Shout at the Devil (1976) and Mapantsula (1988). He also played Dingiswayo in the television series Shaka Zulu.

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