Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: owner-african-cinema-conference@XC.Org (
About: Financing of Mapantsula?

Mon, 10 Feb 97 12:11:00 PST

Originally from: <owner-african-cinema-conference@XC.Org>
Originally dated: Mon, 10 Feb 97 12:11:00 PST

Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 17:28:20 -0600
From: (Haseenah Ebrahim)
Subject: Re: FW: Query: Financing of Mapantsula?

There is some information in a book on Mapantsula entitled "Mapantsula:
Screenplay and Interview", published by the Congress of South African
Writers. Here's some relevant excerpts saying basically that it was
financed by private S. African investors.

SCHMITZ: The investors, I think, did not really know what the story was
about. They were keeping a check on the finances, and everything was going
according to plan. I do not really know if they read the scripts. We had an
Australian producer, David Hannay, and we had a South African, Pierre

He goes on to explain they had little luck raising money internationally,
esp. in the UK.

SCHMITZ: We had no luck and so we tried to get the money locally. this was
at the same time as this tax-based financing was happening. It took two
years to raise it, which is not bad comparatively speaking. One year
running around Cannes and Europe, which is where we met David Hannay. And
another year here trying to raise it through the tax system...This
co-production thing is a bit odd. Yes there was an Australian producer, a
British company involved, but it was entirely South African investors. All
the development money was British. It really happened because of the South
African money. It is less of an international production than it seems.

I hope this sheds some light.

Haseenah Ebrahim
RTVF Dept.
Northwestern Univ.
Evanston, IL
Tel.: (847) 491-6492

California Newsreel distributes "Mapantsula" in the States.
They have a selection of background materials they will make
available to you by request. Part of those materials talks
about the financing. Rob Nixon also has an interesting
discussion of the film in his book HOMELANDS, HARLEM AND

I've lent my copy to a student, but Schmitz and
Mogotlane's book *Mapantsula* (published by COSAW, I
believe), with the script and a long interview, should have
information about the film's financing.

Tony O'Brien
Queens College, CUNY

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