The City of Cape Town has announced that the Film Cape Town website has been launched, a joint venture between itself and the Cape Town film and media industry. This is excellent news for the tourism industry in Cape Town and surrounds, to revitalize an industry which brought thousands of film industry tourists as well as millions of Rands to our city, but which declined due to the closure of the Cape Film Commission due to a cut in grants from the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape provincial government in 2016, the water crisis, local rising costs, as well as an industry which battled within itself and the City and province.

According to the City’s media statement ‘….the Film Cape Town website is aimed at promoting the city as the premier film and media destination while also providing prospective clients with tools to make their production in Cape Town a success. The new Film Cape Town website (https://film.investcapetown.com) is an online platform designed to showcase the city’s amazing locations, diverse talent pool and world-class infrastructure that contributes to a thriving and sustainable industry’.

The website now provides filmmakers, producers, animators, and service industry entrepreneurs with a ‘one-stop portal’ for their online permit applications, access to first-class services, and information on the most skilled technicians in the industry, the statement shares.

Boldly the statement states that ‘Film Cape Town is geared towards the creation of a flourishing and resilient industry, boosting the city’s economy and ensuring that Cape Town cements its place as the film and media hub of Africa’.

As a first priority, Film Cape Town will focus on creating a ‘fully transformed’ film industry, which celebrates the diversity of Cape Town. ‘This means creating jobs and opportunities for all of the city’s residents and drawing on Cape Town’s diverse mix of cultures and communities’, a sentence which misleads, as it implies that every resident in the city will be employed by the film industry! 

In one of the first statements since taking over as Mayor of Cape Town at the beginning of this month, Dan Plato says: ‘Cutting red tape is key for government to encourage investment and job creation, and this new online film portal is a demonstration of just how we are making it easier to do business in Cape Town. I know that Cape Town’s film industry brings teams from all over the world and creates thousands of jobs for local talent. It is no longer business as usual for this sector, therefore the launch of the one-stop shop for the industry is a game changer. So, I look forward to seeing this industry growing and playing a key role in Cape Town’s economy’.

The City states that the film and media industry provides a platform to unearth, develop and share local stories, a powerful driver of social cohesion and cultural understanding. In my opinion, story telling is a powerful way of marketing Cape Town. 

‘The CTIFMF believes that the City’s commitment to the industry is pivotal to help grow the market. This new portal should provide a central source of information giving both local and foreign filmmakers wider access to the industry which will impact our economy positively. We would encourage our fellow filmmakers to utilise this resource and marketing tool to build their own visibility and offering locally and globally,’ said Rafiq Samsodien, Chairman of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival.

‘The new Film Cape Town website is an exciting and valuable initiative by the City which will provide a unified portal to the offerings of the local industry for the first time. We are currently hosting 6 major international shows, as well as two local film productions, at the studios. Productions hosted by CTFS during the last 8 years have employed over 80 000 people with an economic impact of over R15 billion to the economy,’ said Nico Dekker, CEO of Cape Town Film Studios.

Cape Town’s film and media is a catalyst in boosting the economy, and many other related businesses, including car hire, hospitality, tourism, and catering, translating into economic growth and job opportunities for locals. 

In support of the Film Cape Town initiative, the City has frozen the film tariffs for the 2018/19 season, and states that it is committed to cutting red tape and doing everything it can to roll out the red carpet for both local and international film business. No doubt, these are very welcome words for the tourism industry as a whole. 

According to a study by Grant Thornton, the Cape Town film and media sector contributed approximately R3,5 billion in 2015, and created over 9 500 direct and indirect job opportunities. The top three contributors were television productions at R878 million, commercials at R584 million, and feature films at R500 million, followed by stills production at R291 million, documentaries at R188 million, short films at R72 million, animation at R76 million, and gaming at R44 million. The city is the animation and gaming hub, with around 60% of South Africa’s gaming and animation industry being based in Cape Town. 2015 was the last good year for the local film industry. 

Film Cape Town : https://film.investcapetown.com

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

 

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