The Struggle for a South African Film Audience

  • Martin P. Botha


IN THIS ARTICLE, the author aims to discuss the historical process which led to the fragmented nature of film audiences in South Africa presently. He examines the current status of film audiences and stresses the importance of audience development as an important option for the commercial growth of South African film industry. 1. Background and ContextThe years 1959 to 1980 had been characterised by an artistic revival in filmmaking throughout the world, ranging from exciting political films in Africa and Latin America to examples of great art cinema in Europe and Asia. National cinemas(1) emerged in Australia, West Germany, Iceland and New Zealand. In 1977 Iceland, for example, was nearly invisible on the map of world cinema. Few films were made there, but since the establishment of a national film commission similar to our NFVF (National Film and Video Foundation) an independent cinema emerged. Following the establishment of...