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South Africa's Film and Television Industry Back in Studios Amid COVID-19 Outbreak.

South Africa's Film and Television Industry Resumes Amid  COVID-19 Outbreak

While the industry has been given the go-ahead to get back to production, broadcasters have been told to work on shows that "can be produced with minimal risk".

South Africa's film and television industry has been given the go-ahead by the government to resume production following a month-long suspension. While the country recently entered level-4 restrictions under a continued national lockdown, broadcasters, actors, actresses, production houses and crews will still have to abide by several strict regulations as part of efforts to contain further spread of COVID-19.

A week after the 20th edition of the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) were held virtually on Twitter, the industry and its various players have received a saving grace. Popular soap operas and telenovelas including The River, Uzalo, The Queen, Imbewu, Isibaya, Muvhango and several others, are more likely to resume production immediately due to the relative safety of studio environments versus on-location shoots.

Guidelines issued in the Government Gazette read as follows:

"Broadcasters must identify solutions to ensure the protection of performers and production crews" according to the Government Gazette, and should "retain, to the extent possible, a work from home approach. Each broadcaster must work closely with the respective production companies and the relevant industry bodies to determine the most appropriate return-to-production strategy and feasible implementation dates."

READ: Here's How Artists are Navigating the World of Music Amid the Coronavirus Outbreak

As the national lockdown continues in South Africa, the economic repercussions have left few unscathed. Recently, South African Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has called on the public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), to play more South African content in an effort to assist artists during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa currently stands at 7220 with 138 deaths and 2746 recoveries. Thus far, there have been over 250 000 tests conducted across the country.

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Kayode Kasum’s Quarantine Watchlist

From 'Wives on Strike' to 'Goodwill Hunting' here's what the Nigerian filmmaker is watching while stuck at home in Lagos.

Kayode Kasum, like most filmmakers, has been stagnated by the coronavirus pandemic. The director behind the blockbuster Sugar Rush and the critically acclaimed Oga Bolaji was working on the post-production of his upcoming movies, The Fate of Alakada: Party Planner and Kambili—a collaboration between FilmOne Entertainment and Chinese Huahua Media— when the Nigerian government announced the lockdown order.

While post-production on Alakada has concluded, the stay-at-home orders have delayed work on Kambili. "Since the team cannot meet at a single point, we are moving hard drives left and right," he says to me over the phone from his home in Lagos. "It is a challenge, but the beautiful thing about a challenge is, when you make it work, it is fulfilling."

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Kasum has turned to books and films for an escape from the unpleasant realities of the pandemic. "I have been reading Elnathan's books: Born on a Tuesday and Becoming Nigeria," he tells me. "I have also been reading film directing books, Directing Actors by Judith Weston." However, Kasum longs for the movies. "I miss going to the cinemas; I miss that experience," he says. "There are times during this pandemic that I'm like 'na wa o, I wish I can go to the cinema.'"

Below are five films he recommends you watch during this pandemic.

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