The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission has appealed to big business to support the province’s struggling film industry. The commission met captains of industry and film makers in Durban on Tuesday.

38-year-old Boni Sithebe is an emerging film director from KwaMashu township with numerous awards in the bag.

However, she is struggling to market her craft and attract bigger audiences. Sithebe is currently working on her latest movie titled “Umemulo”. The movie is about traditional issues facing rural communities.

Sithebe says without financial support they will not be able to tell the African story.

“When I started we really didn’t have many opportunities at that time and there were lot of challenges obviously being a black female film maker but obviously the main challenge would be access to funding and again being a minority,” she said.

Currently the film industry in South Africa contributes R5.4 billion to the GDP and creates 21 626 jobs. However, KwaZulu-Natal is not attracting as many film makers as it should.

“In KwaZulu-Natal, we’ve supported the industry over the last 3-4 years through the KZN film

Commission and we really see this opportunities for film makers to come on board and for businesses to come and support the film makers, and we’re saying business should come on board,” CEO of KZN Film Commission, Carol Coetzee.

Things could change, the first film studio in the province and the biggest in Africa is to be built in Durban.

The studio is subsidised by the Ethekwini Municipality as its contribution in growing the film industry.