African Consolidated Films Ltd

African Consolidated Films Ltd

Bulawayo/Salisbury

Isadore William Schlesinger arrived in South Africa from America in 1894. Penniless at first, Schlesinger began working in the insurance industry and by 1904 he became a significant figure in the insurance world and eventually developed massive interests in land and real estate.

During the Ango-Boer War, he began a series of newsreel productions called The African Mirror (the world’s longest running newsreel). By 1913, through his company African Theatres Trust Ltd, he had acquired all distribution rights to films in Southern Africa.

His interests extended even further, when he established African Film Productions Ltd. Studios were built at Killarney, South Africa. Between 1916 and 1920, several major films were shot there. By 1923, local film production ceased due to poor performance.

However, Schlesinger continued to hold monopoly over local distribution from Cape Town to the Zambesi through African Consolidated Films Ltd. American interests were distributed African Consolidated Films Ltd and into African Consolidated Theatres (Ltd). In 1956, 20th Century Fox bought the Schlesinger monopoly.

African Consolidated Films Ltd had an office in the Palace Theatre in Bulawayo,and another in Gordon Ave, Salisbury. From here they also sold and serviced photographic equipment.

References

  • Critical Approaches to African Discourse – Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike
  • South African Cinema 1896-2010 – Martin Botha
Connect with us!