Cape film industry pulls investors

14 March 2007

Cape Town’s film boom has attracted 120 investments worth over R52-million to the region since July 2005, injecting over R2.6-billion into the Western Cape economy, says the Cape Film Commission.

Commission chief executive Laurence Mitchell told Cape Business News last week that 2006 was a successful year for film in the Western Cape, with positive partnerships between the government and the film industry as well as significant international investment in the province.

According to the commission, film activity during 2005/06 included 2 100 photography shooting days and the production of 687 film and TV commercials and 30 feature films – including major international movies such as Blood Diamond and Goodbye Bafana.

There are currently 150 production companies, 1 650 skilled supply companies and six world-class equipment rental companies in the province.

The Cape Film Commission, a joint initiative of the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government, was set up in 1999 in response to the rapid growth of the film industry in the province. The city has contributed R3.32-million to the commission, and the province R11.2-million, since 2002.

Last week, the commission told the city’s portfolio committee for economic and social development, tourism and property management that it had fielded over 22 000 industry-related inquiries between July 2005 and December 2006.

During the same period, the commission said, it had given assistance to just over 1 000 small businesses and 400 empowerment firms, trained 974 people, established 55 new businesses, hosted 74 industry events, and created over 2 000 new jobs.

The city’s portfolio head for economic and social development, tourism and property management Simon Grindrod told Cape Business News said the city had decided to abolish film location tariffs on council land.

“The phasing out of all tariffs charged to the film industry is one initiative that needs to be investigated as a vehicle to attract more business to the city in this sector,” Grindrod said.

“Capetonians also must be educated and encouraged to help the City become more film-friendly. This will require a shift in attitude from one of resenting the inconvenience of location shoots to one of appreciating the direct benefits of the film industry.”

SouthAfrica.info reporter

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