Local film industry now has a market- Bokang Ditlhokwa
Funding is still an issue
Member of Botswana Film Association Bokang Ditlhokwa says the local film industry has grown and has a viable market.
Speaking to Time Out recently, Ditlhokwa said the notion that there was no market for Botswana’s film industry was false. “We are now a part of a global village and by virtue, this means we can also tap into the global market and start showing our productions to the rest of the world,” he said.
The marked growth of the local film industry should be celebrated, according to Ditlhokwa, because unlike in the past when it was at a standstill, developments like the local film school and support by Botswana Television are encouraging. “Even BTV is now encouraging and growing the industry although it is not enough. In the past commissioning and licensing at Botswana Television was done privately but now there is a proper consultation process. The number of films has increased and even the numbers of films submitted for tender calls has grown to about 73 and that shows growth,” he said
Ditlhokwa however admitted that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, especially considering the budget required to produce films. The kind of money required to produce works of quality is scarce to find and even worse is that we are operating in a market that is not regulated so only when that changes can we possibly reach our ultimate peak,” he added.
To alleviate the poor resourcing of the local film industry, Ditlhokwa advocated for funding initiatives like grants which he said could go a long way in helping up and coming film makers.
“A camera can cost up P150,000 alone and not a lot of people have that kind of money. Funding is one of the biggest issues in the film industry. In other countries small grants exist for upcoming film producers and film graduates to produce even 3minute films and helps the industry grow. My only hope is that we reach a point where funding is easily accessible and that our industry is regulated,” he said.