Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
It's Official: Chadwick Boseman Will Be Black Panther + Marvel Sets Release Date for Movie It's Official: Chadwick Boseman Will Be Black Panther + Marvel Sets Release Date for Movie Premiering Tonight: Original Movie 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to 2002 Film). Will You Be Watching? Premiering Tonight: Original Movie 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to 2002 Film). Will You Be Watching? Interview: Nate Parker Talks "Beyond The Lights," Nat Turner Biopic, and Integrity in Hollywood Interview: Nate Parker Talks "Beyond The Lights," Nat Turner Biopic, and Integrity in Hollywood Kevin Hart’s Forgotten Sit-Com ‘The Big House’ Coming to DVD Kevin Hart’s Forgotten Sit-Com ‘The Big House’ Coming to DVD Watch Trailer for Spike Lee-Directed Documentary on Phil Jackson's Triangle Offense (Debuts Tonight) Watch Trailer for Spike Lee-Directed Documentary on Phil Jackson's Triangle Offense (Debuts Tonight) First Look at Common and Tessa Thompson as Civil Rights Activists in 'Selma' First Look at Common and Tessa Thompson as Civil Rights Activists in 'Selma' Exclusive: Award-Winning Playwright Katori Hall to Make Feature Film Directorial Debut w/ 'Hurt Village' Adaptation Exclusive: Award-Winning Playwright Katori Hall to Make Feature Film Directorial Debut w/ 'Hurt Village' Adaptation Interview: Gugu Mbatha-Raw Tells S&A About Becoming a Pop Star in 'Beyond The Lights' Interview: Gugu Mbatha-Raw Tells S&A About Becoming a Pop Star in 'Beyond The Lights' This Sunday, Oct 26, the Cast of 'A Different World' Reunites in Sit-Down w/ Oprah (Watch Clips) This Sunday, Oct 26, the Cast of 'A Different World' Reunites in Sit-Down w/ Oprah (Watch Clips) Does the 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer Tease a Black Panther Introduction? Does the 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' Trailer Tease a Black Panther Introduction? Watch New "Supertrailer" for 'Drumline: A New Beat' Watch New "Supertrailer" for 'Drumline: A New Beat' Watch Now: Baseball Phenom Mo'ne Davis Inspires in Spike Lee Doc 'I Throw Like A Girl' Watch Now: Baseball Phenom Mo'ne Davis Inspires in Spike Lee Doc 'I Throw Like A Girl' Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Lifetime Releases First FULL Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

South Africa: Local Movies Need More Black Audiences For Industry To Continue Growing

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 14, 2012 at 1:23PM

Continuing to highlight similarities in *struggles* across the Diaspora; in essence, those predominantly Black American/Hollywood-centered matters we discuss/debate often here on S&A, are also sources of concern in other parts of the Diaspora.
1
SA

Continuing to highlight similarities in *struggles* across the Diaspora; in essence, those predominantly Black American/Hollywood-centered matters we discuss/debate often here on S&A, are also sources of concern in other parts of the Diaspora.

Reading THIS piece on Variety's website this morning, titled, Lack of black auds hurts S. Africa.

Before even reading the full article, I thought, hmm, where have I heard something somewhat similar to THAT before?

A snip from the piece:

Nearly two decades after the end of apartheid, the South African film industry is still grappling with its legacy as it struggles to bring more black audiences into movie theaters. The cinematic landscape in South Africa largely reflects the geography of apartheid, with most movie theaters located in shopping malls in predominantly white, affluent suburbs. The country's 40 million-strong black population remains largely underserved by plexes, and many industry insiders fear that the South African biz, which has been growing rapidly in recent years, will stagnate if it fails to reach a wider audience.

We've heard this before... so nothing to see here; in 2010, a new initiative was introduced to combat this problem - specifically, the National Film and Video Foundation is implementing its plan to bring more digital cinemas into black townships across the country, by building from scratch or rehabilitating one cinema in each of the country's nine provinces.

The government-funded project will cost R30 million (about $3.8 million) over the next three years.

There was this quote from a related Cineurope piece which I wasn't quite sure how to interpret: "The black audience... has not invested in film and watching film as much as maybe the white audience has."

I can only assume that it means black audiences in South Africa, the majority, don't care as much about cinema as white audiences... something which I find hard to believe. And if it were the case, I'm left to wonder if it's apathy brought about by a similar matter of a lack of representation of themselves (lack of variety) in South African cinema (even though they are in the majority), as well as control of those images; or is it strictly an economic problem.

Another similarity I noted in the writeup is a problem of proximity to theaters for the majority of black audiences, stating that there aren't many theaters in predominantly black areas, where black audiences can readily go see South African movies, in this post-Apartheid country that's still very much wrestling with issues of class, race and inequality, as distribution of income in South Africa some 17 years after the transition to democracy, may not be all that better than it was while the country was under apartheid.

But it got me thinking about excuses for why Hollywood isn't exactly pouring money into *black films,* one of those being (primarily) their monolithic view of black American audiences specifically; assumptions that black audiences won't support certain kinds of black films (*highbrow,* *challenging,* for lack of better terms), but will flock to others.

It also speaks to the plight of black independent cinema's struggles to reach black audiences beyond major markets like New York and Los Angeles - although with AMC's new indie initiative, we've seen that start to change a bit in the last 12 months.

The NFVF initiative, as the Variety piece notes, is just a start, with much more than that necessary to shift trends - specifically, a boost in locally-produced films given the opportunity to screen in these new theaters that are being built, over Hollywood movies which still dominate.

According to the NFVF, in the first 2 quarters of 2011, locally-made films accounted for less than 4% of total box office. And in all of 2010, they accounted for around 11% of total box office.

I'm sure our friends over at Africa Is A Country have an opinion of this, and I'd love to hear it!


Shadow & ActNewsletter