The opening performance at the 3rd BRICS film festival opening produced by Department of Culture, The Playhouse Company. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad/ African News Agency (ANA)

A colourful display of various art forms from member states opened the third BRICS Film Festival last night at the Durban Playhouse.

The festival, which is a companion to the Durban International Film Festival, aims to celebrate films from the five member states, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

It is also done with the objective of inspiring more collaborations from these nations.

Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa who officially opened the festival said that South Africa wanted to leave behind a legacy in film.

“As a government, we asked ourselves what will be our legacy. We chose the film industry. Nothing lends itself more acutely than cinema. The BRICS festival allows for social cohesion and the festival is critical for film makers to bond and work together. It also makes economies turn around," said Mthethwa.

He said the country believed the arts culture and heritage are the cornerstone, soul and architect of the nation.

"The challenge we face going forward is to continue highlighting the social, political and economic contribution of the cultural industries and ensure that it is given the prominence it deserves. This must go hand in hand with complete programs which seek to elevate the role and contribution of the arts, culture and heritage," said Mthethwa.

He said collaborative efforts within the BRICS nations in the form of co-productions, exchange programs, cultural diplomacy at various levels will provide an opportunity to grow and diversity in the sector.

In honour of the legendary Nelson Mandela, five five-minute long short films produced by the respective countries under the facilitation of a South African production company, Via- Vollenhoven and Appollis Independent was shown.

Under the theme, “Mandela”, each country reflected their uniqueness of the country, how each member country related to Nelson Mandela and the impact he had through leadership, politics, humanity, culture, and unity.

Starting yesterday until July 27, each member state will have a day to feature their countries films at the Durban Playhouse.  

Today, Tuesday starting 1 pm the Russian film that will be shown are Thawed Carp, The Crew, Arrythmia, How Viktor “the Garlic” Took Alexey “the Stud” and The Age of Pioneers.

The BRICS Film Festival comes to a close on Friday.