South African film director Mandlakayise Dube, who directed Kalushi: The story of Solomon Mahlangu, says South Africans are not supporting locally made films and marketing and distribution are challenges in the SA film industry.

Dube was speaking during a business breakfast on Tuesday organized by the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, aimed at encouraging businesses and stakeholders to support the province’s struggling film industry through investment.

He appealed to government to look at audience development through education programmes for local films to gain viewership.

Dube says, “We still don’t own a big part of that value chain as black filmmakers. I think there needs to be a big transformation that needs to take place. We own the concept of wanting to make a film but when it comes to the issue of a film being implemented to be distributed at cinemas, we are not a part of that. Its big companies that do have the exhibition spaces and they are owned by pretty much two or three companies.”

“The other challenge we have is that we don’t have a big audience development and audience education programme. Our government needs to do everything that it can to be able to get the audience development from an early age,” added Dube.

Meanwhile, filmmakers Niresh Singh and Eubulus Timothy say product placement or the inclusion of branded product in a film is a great way to get funding for local films.

Singh says, product placement is a very important funding avenue for film makers. Primarily because you’re able to integrate marketing campaigns of specific brands and those brands will contribute to your budget and decrease your risk from a budget’s perspective.”

“The most important thing when you wanna do product placement or brand in decoration in a movie. You have to make sure that the story line lends itself to the brand or to the integration that you wanna do,” adds Timothy.