Cape Town - The South African film and television industry
is currently valued at around R12bn a year, says Sebastian Ndayi, research
manager at the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC).
This creates direct and indirect jobs for more than 30 000
Danny Bryer, the sales, marketing and revenue director at
the Protea Hotels Group, estimates that there was a 20%-odd increase in the
number of bed nights used by film producers in Cape Town in the last summer
season compared with the previous high season.
Most came from Britain and Europe (Germany, Italy, Spain and
the Scandinavian countries) but also from the US and increasingly India.
Terence Isaacs, head of the Cape Town municipal office for
films and presentations, said by the third quarter of the 2010/11 financial
year 3 793 permits had been issued for, inter alia, South African, Italian,
Dutch, American, British and Indian productions.
Cape Town’s city centre, beaches and coastal roads were the
most popular filming sites.
Toni Monty, acting head of the Durban Film Office, said
there had been a definite decline in the city’s film industry over the past two
years, but it saw a slight improvement so far this year.
She attributed this mainly to the global recession and
therefore wanted to ensure that the domestic production industry toughened up
to reduce dependence on international producers.
Ndayi said there had been a significant decline in the
number of Gauteng productions during the financial year to end-March 2011
– 334 compared to the 742 in the 2009/10
He attributed this to the World Cup soccer tournament last
year which had resulted in 23.5% more being spent on filming in the country.
“Competition between the provinces is inevitable,” said
Denis Lillie, chief executive of the Cape Film Commission (CFC).
“In Los Angeles about 1 000 film commissions are operating
and there is fierce competition between the American federal states.”
Lillie therefore finds it heartening to see increasing
rapport between the CFC, the National Film and Video Foundation, the Gauteng
Film Commission and the Durban Film Office.
He has felt encouraged by Cape Town Film Studios having been
singled out by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the world’s top 10 film
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