The annual Southern Africa International Film and Television Market (Sithengi) is reaching out to the rest of the continent.
Sithengi is translating its website (sithengi.co.za) and editorial material into French and Portuguese, introducing audio-visual competitions, and setting up partnerships with African festivals like the Pan African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso, Zanzibar International Film Festival in Tanzania, and the Zimbabwe International Film Festival in Zimbabwe.
Sithengi CEO Mike Auret, said Sithengi would be showcasing winning items at FESPACO in Cape Town during the November event this year.
"We plan to overcome the linguistic barrier through translation into French and Portuguese in order to help develop African filmmaking within the New Partnership for Africa's Development, NEPAD, initiative," Auret said in an interview in Ouagadougou.
"We are also going to move away from the perception of Sithengi as a white market by balancing the festival and market aspects. At the moment Sithengi appears to have more TV broadcasters than filmmakers while FESPACO has more filmmakers than television broadcasters."
Saying the Sithengi vision is to grow into the biggest film and television festival in Africa, Auret admitted the aim is for "Sithengi to be leader in Anglophone Africa" with its emphasis being South Africa, southern Africa, and then Africa.
In addition to looking for sponsorship for competitions and juries, Auret said Sithengi was setting up the parameters for facilitating co-productions with international filmmakers.