Uganda and South Africa Film Sectors Benefit from Peer Exchange

Uganda and South Africa shared experiences on strategies and measures for the development of the film sector, as part of a peer-to-peer exchange component of an EU/UNESCO-funded initiative. The online peer-to-peer exchange, which was held from 23 to 27 February 2021 for professionals and public officials in the film sector, aimed to facilitate a discussion where participants would gain first-hand knowledge and experience from peers on the development of regulatory frameworks for the culture and creative industries, with a focus on measures to support the film industry. The initiative is part of the EU/UNESCO funded project on “Support for New Regulatory Frameworks to Strengthen the Cultural and Creative Industries and Promote South to South Cooperation” in Uganda, in the context of UNESCO’s 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Led by Uganda’s Ministry for Gender, Labour and Social Development, the first three days of the discussions were dedicated to an internal review on the state of the film industry in Uganda, while the latter period entailed robust exchanges with South Africa counterparts, who were selected due to their exemplary policies and effective structures in the film sector.

While expressing her appreciation to the Uganda team, the convenor of the South Africa group and Senior Manager at the Department of Sport Arts and Culture, South Africa Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture, Ms. Lindi Ndebele-Koka, said, “We were pleased to have the opportunity to advance and strengthen our relations within the Continent. The peer-to-peer engagement with Uganda counts as a practical way to create an enabling environment for our practitioners to thrive.” Through this engagement, she hoped that the film stakeholders would be inspired to establish co-production projects in the future, which would necessitate a South Africa/Uganda Audiovisual Co-production Treaty.

The South Africa and Uganda film stakeholders discussed various pertinent topics that affect the film sector, including incentives and tax regimes; education and training; distribution and exhibition; protection of film copyright, and film practice, production, and quality. The UNESCO International Expert for this project, Ms. Jeon Yoonhyung, also delivered a detailed presentation on the formation, characteristics and responsibilities of the Korean Film Council, which has been in existence for more than 45 years. The group discussed key points on how the council raises revenue, and supports education in film, production, and local and international film distribution. These insights will assist Uganda in the establishment of the proposed Uganda National Film Fund.