Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
"Your Legacy Is More Than a Name" - Watch Michael B. Jordan in First Trailer for 'Creed' "Your Legacy Is More Than a Name" - Watch Michael B. Jordan in First Trailer for 'Creed' 'Extant' Returns to CBS 7/1. Get Caught Up w/ This 1-Minute Recap + Read What Critics Are Saying 'Extant' Returns to CBS 7/1. Get Caught Up w/ This 1-Minute Recap + Read What Critics Are Saying Today, 26 Years Ago, 'Do The Right Thing' Opened in Theaters. Watch the Cast & Crew Reunite Today, 26 Years Ago, 'Do The Right Thing' Opened in Theaters. Watch the Cast & Crew Reunite Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman & Julia Roberts Seek Justice in First Trailer for 'Secret in Their Eyes' Remake Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman & Julia Roberts Seek Justice in First Trailer for 'Secret in Their Eyes' Remake Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director Issa Rae's HBO-Bound 'Awkward Black Girl'-esque Comedy Gets a Director Watch Trailer for Fascinating New Documentary About Black Men and Chess - ‘Sideline’ Watch Trailer for Fascinating New Documentary About Black Men and Chess - ‘Sideline’ The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' The Irresponsibility of 'What Happened, Miss Simone?' Full List of BET AWARDS Winners (Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard Take Actor Nods) Full List of BET AWARDS Winners (Taraji P. Henson & Terrence Howard Take Actor Nods) Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Zadie Smith Will Make Her Feature Screenwriting Debut, Teaming up w/ Claire Denis for Sci-Fi Project Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Review: Arriving on Netflix TODAY, Definitive Nina Simone Documentary, 'What Happened, Miss Simone' Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film Haiti and the Dominican Republic - A Conflict Captured on Film A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' A Muscle-Bound Michael B. Jordan Hitting a Speed Bag w/ Stallone's Encouragement in Pic from 'Creed' Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' 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