What elements make a film successful

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Jann-Turner (scond-from-left) on location for Getting the Lowdown on low budget articl
Following the success of feel-good comedy White Wedding, writer/director Jann Turner spoke to a Friends of FEPACI Forum in Newtown recently about the vital elements that have contributed to its successful exposure in South Africa.

She said marketing and distribution are two essentials that could stand between a film's success and its failure. But while they are a very important part of a film's success, raising finances is foremost. Sound financial backing is vital to create enough hype around a film's message.

Turner commented that when a filmmaker secures a distributor, then it should follow that �they get their marketing right.� In her and her company, Stepping Stone�s experience, distributors are the main reason why a film will make a profit, through means like DVDs. 

She added it was also important for a film to have a clear audience focus, although with White Wedding this was not the case as its lack of a clear target audience posed quite a challenge for the distributor, Ster Kinekor. Turner said that the film�s mixed target audiences that include �young Afrikaans and middle age audiences� as well as �large black young audiences� gave the distributor a challenge as �they did not know where to pitch it due to this mix.�

The Friends of FEPACI South Africa Forum is a monthly gathering that brings together artists and business personalities to discuss issues affecting the industry. The event is sponsored by the GFC and supported by the Department of Arts and Culture.

Commenting on the proceedings, Nthabeleng Phora of the GFC, said the Commission was pleased such a forum taking place 

every month. "The outcomes are in line with GFC's plans to showcase art through film. We would love to see the Friends of FEPACI Forum being hosted in a stadium, due to the high number of attendees!"

During the afternoon, FEPACI Secretary General Seipati Bulane-Hopa acknowledged the presence of Rapulana Seiphemo, Jann Turner and Nthabeleng Phora while also commenting that it would have been excellent if the Department of Arts and Culture and the SABC were present to witness the informative proceedings.

"I am very glad to have you all here with us today. This is not a hobby but an intervention that we take seriously as filmmakers. We have, through this forum, become a collective as we should be."