New hub to set stage for Eastern Cape filmmakers

Multipurpose centre has 50-seater cinema and editing facilities

BENCHMARK: Revealing the plaque for the film hub last Thursday are, from left, NFVF chair Phil Molefe, Cortex Hub chair Dr Andile Ngcaba, ECDC CEO Ndzondelelo Dlulane and DAC minister Nathi Mthethwa Picture: AMANDA NANO

In a first for SA, the Eastern Cape Film Hub was launched to much fanfare in East London last Thursday by arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa.

National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) chairperson Phil Molefe said the national arts and culture ministry had commissioned the NFVF to bring the film sector closer to the people.

“It’s an important asset for the province with its beauty and untapped resources. “This is a multipurpose centre and a home for film and the creative arts.

“It boasts a 50-seater cinema and editing facilities which will be open to Eastern Cape filmmakers,” Molefe said.

Isidingo: The Need actress and East London resident Soso Rungqu said the province faced the challenge of many of its creative talents leaving to find jobs elsewhere.

“It’s great that Eastern Cape people are finally recognised.

“This kind of thing has never been done, and it feels authentic and I want to be a part of it,” Rungqu said.

In addition to the hub’s launch, the fifth annual Eastern Cape Film Festival will run from March 12 to 15, allowing emerging and established fillmmakers to showcase their
work.

Festival founder Nceba Mqolomba said the hub’s establishment in the Eastern Cape was long overdue.

“It means a lot for it to be in the Eastern Cape. We haven’t had resources and with this, the
quality of work will be raised.

“This excites me for what we will see in the festival in 2021,” Mqolomba said.

The hub promises to be at the technical forefront with a 5G network and Cortex Hub’s Dr Andile Ngcaba in the chairperson seat.

DAC minister Nathi Mthethwa said the province was a victim of historical circumstance and such a venture formed part of correcting this.

“This will be an avenue for production and post-production for filmmakers, an artistic expression tool that will create an immediate impact.

“The artists will have the freedom to dream and women who have been historically excluded in the value chain are encouraged to be part of the space,” Mthethwa said.

Mthethwa later revealed that the hub would be renamed the Nomhle Nkonyeni Film Hub.

Border Kei Chamber of Business chairperson Les Holbrook said the venture was encouraging and would hopefully see the local industry flourish.

“The public-private partnerships are a plus although we’d need to look closely at the issue of sustainability and get more big corporations involved.

“The dynamic film industry is getting on the bus with films such as Knuckle City and Kaalgat Karel shot locally,” Holbrook said.

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