Lights, camera, action is the order of the day in the Mother City as was highlighted at the opening of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival last night. The filming industry is exceeding expectations, with the City of Cape Town issuing around 7 000 permits each year for the last two years.
The current boom in the filming industry has the potential to create additional economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMMEs. The trend has clearly been sustained over multiple years and looks set to follow the same pattern during this financial year (2017/18). Cape Town’s variety of locations, competitive film tariffs, and production costs underpin the city’s attractiveness as a filming destination.
The thousands of permits issued by City of Cape Town were for various film shoots, with the bulk being issued for the following filming categories:
|Production category||Number of permits issued||Number of permits issued|
|Micro-shoot||2 678||2 678|
|Commercials||1 811||2 184|
|Stills photography||1 729||1 703|
During his opening address at the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival (CTIFMF) last night, 12 October 2017, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, welcomed the employment opportunities created by the filming sector, especially in light of the current unemployment rate of the city and the country as a whole.
‘Filming is a labour-intensive industry and therefore has a long value chain. The film production sector encompasses a wide range of ancillary services in the local economy through the demand for products and services such as transport, accommodation and catering, to mention a few. The sector presents a variety of opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMMEs to consider exploring further,’ said Alderman Smith.
The industry showcases Cape Town, its diversity of locations, technical film capacity and talent, and also provides value-added marketing and investment collateral for the city. This booming industry ensures valuable skills transfer from international crews to our local crews, which is critical to the future sustainability of the industry. The film industry plays a vital role in the economy of the Western Cape. It stimulates growth, generates substantial employment, and brings in valuable foreign exchange. It is also one of the best forms of promotion for the city’s natural assets and beauty.
Cape Town’s downtown streets are commonly used as production locations because they can be used to depict many different cities in the world, while iconic buildings are always in demand due to their character.
Alderman Smith congratulated the CTIFMF for establishing an industry platform that will celebrate world cinema and market South Africa’s filmmaking prowess to an international audience.
One of the key objectives of the festival is to encourage the uptake of co-productions by demonstrating the benefits of working in collaboration. The seasoned industry experts at the festival workshops will provide insights for industry stakeholders on how to approach co-production and how to extract the value built into co-production.
‘It was most appropriate to screen the world-premiere of “An Act of Defiance” on the opening night, which is in fact the product of the first co-production between South Africa and the Netherlands. I do hope to see many more such collaborative efforts being presented at this festival in years to come,’ said Alderman Smith.
Importantly, the contribution of co-production to the growth and development of the local economy will be most welcome. One of our key priorities in the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan is to support skills transfer and skills development in lucrative sectors. This will in turn boost our residents’ chances of being included in the local economy.