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Local film festival launched

Lerato Matheka

MASERU — Lesotho’s film industry can blossom and reach greater heights if film makers work together, a local film-maker has said.

Jeremiah Mosese made the remarks at the launch of the three-day Lesotho Film Festival that began on Friday.

Mosese urged local film-makers to form a network to help develop the industry.

“We should use this platform to exchange notes and form a strong network to develop the industry because we are on the right track,” Mosese said.

“We have a lot of talent and we are now at a stage where we are confident with our work.

“Our films are now properly done and can be differentiated from wedding videos,” he said.

Mosese has produced the documentary film Likhapha tsa Mali as well as Good Night My White Pride, a film that tackles the question of race. He has also produced several music videos.

He recently visited Germany to showcase Good Night My White Pride and network with other film-makers from across the world.

“Last year was a good year in film and this year is very promising because film-makers are busy producing. We are also here to witness the launch of a local film festival.”

Mosese however said Lesotho still had problems attracting investors into the film industry.

“We still have a long way to go in attracting investors despite the achievement of good quality production standards,” he said.

Another film producer, Bofihla ‘Neko, said their biggest enemy was piracy.

“We get people reproducing our products and enriching themselves at our expense,” ‘Neko said.

There was also need for local film-makers to appreciate local actors.

“We should groom our own Denzel Washington and turn the industry into a career for our talented actors and actresses,” he said.

The film festival was organised by Sesotho Media and Development (SM&D), a non-profit making organisation active in the non-commercial exhibition of educational videos.

It also screens films through sessions facilitated by Mobile Cinema Unit at its Resource Centre in Maseru West.

A project co-ordinator with SM&D, ‘Malibuseng Matsoso, said without the audience and film-makers the festival wouldn’t have taken place.

“I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for taking time out and attending the opening of the festival,” Matsoso said.

SM&D’s mandate is to ensure that films reach communities.

“Film-makers should produce films for the communities not for the shelves,” she said.

Limpho Motsamai, a board member with SM&D, said the organisation had managed to roll out films into the country’s remotest districts.

“It is a challenge to launch a film festival in the morning when people have a culture of going out for movies in the afternoon, but we thank those who made time out.

“Sesotho Media took it upon themselves to roll out films to the remote areas of the country and we have seen talent that could blossom if developed.

“With the Limkokwing University grooming film-makers, Lesotho should strive to have its own ‘Lesothowood’ that will stand out at international level,” Motsamai said.

Scores of students from Limkokwing University of Creative and Technology, local film-makers and representatives from local NGOs attended the opening show.

The festival, which was set to screen 17 local and international films, wraps up with the showing of Soul Power tonight at 18.30pm.

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