On the 23rd of June, the SABC / Ekurhuleni International Film Festival (EIFF) was officially launched at the O.R. Tambo Recreational Centre in the vibrant township of Wattville.
The purpose of EIFF is to empower local and international filmmakers by providing them with vital filmmaking skills, creating networking opportunities with local and international broadcasters and promoting local businesses through the film industry and mainstream economic development across a variety of sectors in the economy.
As one of EIFF’s official partners, the Writers’ Guild of South Africa (WGSA) had a strong presence at the festival. On the first day, two of the guild’s representatives, Thea Aboud and Sihle Hlophe gave a workshop about copyright, IPO and the art of scriptwriting. The workshop was well received by all in attendance, especially emerging writers hoping to break into the industry. Many of the attendees expressed a desire to attend more WGSA workshops in future. A few other WGSA members attended the festival on the remaining two days and used the opportunity to promote the WGSA and its work. The WGSA is excited about its newly formed relationship with the EIFF and hopes to use this partnership as a means to expand its footprint in the Ekurhuleni district and protect, empower and develop performance writers in the district.
The EIFF was established by Make It Happen Productions, Nghalamona Entertainment and Rhythm Cycle Projects in partnership with the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.
The festival ended on a high note with an awards ceremony where filmmakers from around the world were recognized for their talent and hard work.
The WGSA looks forward to working in partnership with the EIFF in the foreseeable future and encourages writers to submit their produced work for the festival’s second edition in 2017. WGSA is currently planning the World Conference of Screenwriters in Johannesburg in 2018 and intends to establish a collaboration with the EIFF for this event.