7 July 2018

Lesotho: LFF Gives Producers Freedom

ORGANISERS of this year's Lesotho Film Festival (LFF) have said that they will not impose a theme for the festival to enhance creativity among filmmakers.

The LFF is an annual Sesotho Media & Development event that seeks to build appreciation for quality films produced by local practitioners through screening, awards and pairing them with those from outside the country.

Since its dawn in 201, each edition has been held under a specific theme where film practitioners would submit their material in line with the set theme.

"The entries for #LFF2018 opened in April, where this year we do not have a specific theme to give filmmakers an opportunity to explore different topics without being dictated how to tell their stories," Senate Pitso, the festival's coordinator.

"The entries will close in August 2018. We welcome any genre of film and there is no charge for submission. Filmmakers are invited to submit their short, documentary or feature films to screen in the festival from 1 to 3 November 2018."

She however, said there has been a poor take from local producers as they have only received submissions from international producers.

"So far, we have only received four submissions from the international filmmakers, who submitted their online. Local filmmakers have not yet submitted since the festival deadline is in August.

"We are yet to review them after the deadline to determine whether they qualify to be screened or not," Pitso said.

Even if entry is free of charge and that the festival is aimed at giving local film practitioners the mileage and exposure. Pitso emphasised that quality was crucial in the selection process.

She said it has been through the strict rules and workshops that they have seen improvement.

"Since we have held the festival from 2012, we use different attributes to select films to be screened for the festival. We select films based on good picture quality, sound quality and content.

"For the past edition, we conducted master classes for local film producers to capacitate them in the production of quality films and the quality has improved. Local producers who have submitted their films internationally have indicated that their films have been successfully selected to be screened in those festivals.

"Local film producers are on the right track as you have noticed more films are being produced that they are now eager to produce more films unlike previously," Pitso said.

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