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SA filmmakers 'lack confidence'

2012-04-03 07:27
jonathan liebesman
Cape Town - South African director Jonathan Liebesman believes his fellow SA filmmakers lack the confidence to make it big internationally.

Liebesman, whose latest blockbuster film Wrath of the Titans opened at cinemas worldwide this weekend, spoke exclusively to Channel24 from London where he attended the film's premiere.

"I feel like everything we think that everything from overseas is better," he said, "which is such a load of shit. SA is 20 times better than anything in America."

"It's not that South African horror films aren't that good it's just that South Africans just feels as if they're not good enough - which is just such a lot of bullshit.

"Look at Mexico - they're a similar country [to SA] and they have such a great film industry and have great storytellers. There are so many successful Mexican directors like Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron and [Alejandro González] Innaritu."

'We're better'

Liebesman, who is based in Hollywood and is best known for films such as Battle: Los Angeles and Darkness Falls, said he didn't believe budget constraints were a factor.

"It's a lack of confidence. I'm telling you, South Africans are not confident in ourselves. We feel like we're shit for some reason - and we're not.

"We should just realise that we're better. When Neill Blomkamp made District 9 he didn't give a fuck he just did it.

"Young filmmakers can just make short films and put them on Youtube. People [who do that], if their films are good, two weeks later they are meeting people in Hollywood and giving them the money to make the movie they want to make."

Break through internationally

He further said that South African filmmakers need to be as confident about their stories and films as they are on the sport field.

"I thought at first it was only people like me who grew up in the apartheid era and there was a lot of guilt and you felt awful. We just have to believe in ourselves, like we do with sport."

However, Liebesman was confident that more local filmmakers would break through internationally soon.

"It's just a matter of time," he said. "There's definitely some young kid with a camera who's going to make a little movie that's gonna be massive. "

Liebesman, and AFDA graduate who was born in Johannesburg, says he hasn't lost his roots and still watches the cricket and the rugby whenever it's on.

Wrath of the Titans debuted in the No 2 at the US box office this weekend with $34m.

Liebesman is lined up to film a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film which is being produced by Michael Bay.

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