MOTION Pictures Association of Lesotho (MPALE) has encouraged local filmmakers to aim for the international market when they produce their content.
MPALE recently toured Leribe where they held a filmmakers’ workshop with local practitioners.
Patronella Diedricks, challenged the Leribe based, Linyamatsana Film Producers, to take advantage of the country’s beautiful landscape and tell stories that sell globally.
Diedricks said it was important for filmmakers to document local content for broader market as has been done by Nigeria’s Nollywood or and America’s Hollywood.
“Focus on the international market because Lesotho is too small a country to sustain a film industry,” Diedricks said.
She advised script writers to be conscious of the content that is shown to the world saying that it is their responsibility to tell their stories in the light that will encourage tourism and benefit the country in a long run.
“How our country is perceived by the world is up to the script writers so they are expected to be more responsible when telling their stories.
“A writer is entrusted with the responsibility to tell a good story and to protect the vulnerable, mostly women and children.”
She said for quality productions, local film makers should let go of the zero-budget idea and start investing in their projects.
“Get past the zero-budget shooting and invest in your work if you want it to be professional because low budget films kill the industry.”
“One also has to understand their role in the production as this is all about team work. You cannot be a camera man and director at once.
“It is not about a person but the crew, that is why after every film there is a list of acknowledgments for everyone involved,” she said.
She said it is important for local creatives to always pay their actors and ensure that they have all the necessary equipment and facilities. She said the actors also have to be wary when they sign contracts so that they avoid being forced into roles that they are not comfortable with.
“As the talent, you need to know what is expected of you to avoid fighting with your directors.”
Diedricks also encouraged the producers to invest in professional make-up kits their sets to ensure that their products are professional.
“Make-up is essential for the camera. It makes the pictures look professional,” she said.
MPALE president, Mpho Letima, said the success of the film industry was key in the commercialisation of the creative arts for the benefit of the country’s sectors like tourism.
Linyamatsana representative, Realeboha ‘Nyamatsana’ Mokhabi, said the workshop inspired the group to work harder and professionalise their work.
“The workshop revived our spirit as a group. We were moved to have MPALE bring their gear to the workshop and dedicating their day to us.
“I am encouraged to continue with my work and inspire more people,” Nyamatsana said.