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Cape Town’s film industry is a rising star

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23 May 2019 | Source: City of Cape Town

The City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato, and Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, visited the film studio at the City-owned Good Hope Centre as the production team prepares for an international production. 

 The visit to the film studios comes as the Cape Town film industry makes a steady recovery after a short-lived slump and is looking to further cement its place as Africa’s premier film and media destination.

The City’s Film Permit Office received 11 726 film bookings in the first nine months (July to March) of the current financial year, compared to 11 350 during the 2017/18 financial year. 

Of the 11 726 bookings made on the City’s online Film Permit System the Film Office issued 6 906 permits for a variety of locations across the city preferred by local and international producers.

Most recently, the office issued 3 059 permits between January and March 2019. This is a significant increase compared to the same quarter in the 2017/18 financial year, when 2 663 permits were issued. 

The film industry is more than just about entertainment. It also contributes to our efforts to reduce unemployment. A study commissioned by the City shows that the film industry contributes approximately R5 billion to the local economy annually and has created more than 35 000 jobs over a three-year period. 

The goal is to bolster a flourishing and resilient industry, which in turn provides job opportunities for residents and boosts the local economy. At the City-owned Good Hope Centre, there are at least 400 people employed at the studio. Making the location available is one of the ways we ensure that filmmakers have a variety of locations to choose from for their production,’ said Mayor Plato.

In addition, Cape Town has already attracted some big international productions including Ridley Scott’s Raised by WolvesBloodshot starring Vin Diesel and HBO series Warrior this current financial year.

‘This is because location scouts are spoilt for choice with a variety of spectacular backdrops in a city so diverse that it offers the world in one location. The City has undertaken various interventions to assist the film industry, including freezing film tariffs for the 2018/19 season; establishing the Film Cape Town initiative with the local film industry and updating policy to meet the sector’s modern needs,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.    

Film Cape Town is aimed at promoting the Mother City as the premier film and media destination, while also providing prospective clients with tools to make their production a success.  

‘These initiatives speak to the City’s commitment to providing an environment conducive to attracting both local and international film productions by cutting red tape and enhancing the ease of doing business in Cape Town. We are also reviewing our film strategy, policy and Film By-law to be aligned with latest developments, trends and international best practice, while also addressing the needs of the industry and those of residents. 

‘We want to ensure that the film ecosystem is one that takes into account the sustainability of the industry, within the context of regulatory and environmental compliance and the protection of residents’ rights,’ said Alderman Smith.