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About us

Mission statement: To profitably deliver African content that resonates with Africans, therefore providing growth opportunities to local film makers

The first decade of the new millennium was an exciting period in the South African film industry. Movies like Promised Land, Drum, Forgiveness, Yesterday, The Flyer, In My Country and the Oscar winner Tsotsi signalled the development of a vibrant, diverse cinema in the early 2000s. That was followed by hits like White Wedding, Izulu Lami and Bakgat, and the wonderfully imaginative global winner District 9. It became clear that there was a growing need for a film distributor that could tap this new potential.

In 2009, Helen Kuun left the corporate world and started Indigenous Film Distribution, a company that does just that by focusing on South African and African content and helping the continent’s filmmakers to get their movies watched on a variety of platforms, including cinemas, DVD and television.

Since then, the business employs a handful of people who are highly experienced in the acquisition, distribution and marketing of films. They are dedicated to the promotion and growth of the industry, which we aim to achieve by developing an approach to distribution that is uniquely tailored to the South African environment.

This is how it works: Film producers oversee the process of filmmaking from development to completion. They bring us their films and if we agree to represent the films, we secure the best distribution possible for the films. We help filmmakers to determine how many copies of the film should be made for exhibition in cinemas, and we create a custom-built marketing and publicity strategy to ensure the film reaches its target audience. We work directly with movie theatres bookings people, like Ster-Kinekor and Nu Metro, as well as independent cinema owners in the SADAC countries.  We negotiate the best deal for the filmmakers, taking into account the subject matter of the film, the overall quality of the product and its intended audience.

The range of films on our slate speaks volumes about the passion we have invested in our work and the insights and creativity that drive the release strategy of every film we distribute. 2010, for example, saw the release of blockbusters like Schuks Tshabalala’s Guide to South Africa, Jakhalsdans and the phenomenal success Liefling die Movie as well as some niche market titles like Eternity, The Unforgiving and Long Street. 2011 so far includes Night Drive, Paradise Stop and Visa Vie. Later this year more exciting titles including How To Steal 2 Million, Viva Riva, Otelo Burning, Platteland, State of Violence and Saak van Geloof.

Simply put, we want more South Africans watching more South African movies. And it’s a goal that’s firmly within our sights. To do this we secure DVD distribution through partnerships suited to the various titles after cinema release and then we sell the films to the TV broadcasters in the territory at the very least to deliver the titles to numerous audience segments in the territory.

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