Monday, May 18, 2009

Cape Town Film and Broadcast Industry steps up a gear

In another milestone towards cementing Cape Town and the Western Cape as South Africa’s leading film and broadcast industry destination the Cape Film Commission held a 2010 Film Imbizo at Green Point Stadium on the 28th of April.
Discussed where the specific requirements which the film industry would need to meet in order to become a service hub for international broadcasters, independent film crews and freelance broadcast journalists.

The Imbizo was attended by well over 100 people representing various production and equipment hire companies, location managers, scouts, freelance producers, scriptwriters, training service providers and film students.

The 2010 LOC Chief of Communications, Mr. Rich Mkhondo, who was the main speaker, lauded the Cape Film Commission and the film industry for being proactive in leading discussions on how the film and broadcast industry could benefit from 2010.

Mr. Mkhondo stated that even though there had been massive investment in infrastructure like building of stadiums and transport upgrades, the film and media industries also will stand to benefit from 2010 and that it would be important for Cape Town to be able to service the huge amount of foreign broadcasters and freelance journalists who will be following their respective teams around Cape Town.

He also highlighted the fact that beyond the soccer games, broadcasters and journalists would want to be able to access the Host Cities’ unique stories about their respective cultures, heritage and sports and this in itself provided the film industry with opportunities to package local content driven stories.

Laurence Mitchell, CEO of the Cape Film Commission said that the 2010 Showpiece presented the film industry with huge film, media, broadcast and content development opportunities.

“Cape Town and the Western Cape have become a global film and broadcast industry destination, and despite the fact that the International Broadcast Centre was lost to Johannesburg, many top international broadcasters will be based here in Cape Town for various reasons,” Mr. Mitchell said.

Mr. Mitchell further added that apart from the fact that these broadcasters would have access to world class production, post production and studio facilities, broadcasters want spectacular viewing and vantage points.

“No where else in South Africa would you be able to have from one vantage point spectacular views of an international landmark like Table Mountain, or Robben Island showcasing our history, or Green Point Stadium highlighting our soccer and the Waterfront linking Cape Town to it’s business and tourism hub, “ Mr. Mitchell was quoted as saying.

The Cape Film Commission (CFC) has already trained more than 500 people in various disciplines such as Fixers, Chaperones and Film Unit Liaison Officers, scriptwriting and use of HD Broadcasting equipment. In addition the CFC has partnered with Visual Impact to train 50 previously disadvantaged individuals to become Satellite and Electronic News Gathering support staff with a specific aim to be employed by various international broadcasters during 2010.

As part of broadening the marketing and promotion of the Western Cape’s various private and public film locations, the CFC also announced that it’s Location and Media Database with more than 5000 images will go live in May 09.

“This Online Locations Database will further extend the offering of Cape Town and the Western Cape as the premiere destination for film and broadcast related productions,” Laurence Mitchell said.

In responding to certain questions related to access to the City and the impact 2010 will have on film related activities, Pieter Cronje, the City of Cape Town’s 2010 Director of Communications, stated at the Imbizo that the final Fifa event and venue footprints are being finalized and these will be published once they are available.

The event and venue footprints largely relate to activities around the official fan park, fan mile, Green Point Stadium and certain areas that would be demarcated as Fifa zones.

Mr. Cronje also said that, “the draft by laws will be put in place to protect FIFA and their sponsors against ambush marketing from filtering into designated areas that will belong to FIFA during the event.”

The Cape Film Commission and the City of Cape Town will have a film industry briefing in September this year to clearly spell out these by laws.

“The notion that the entire City of Cape Town will be shut down for film related activities next year is nonsensical,” according to Mr. Mitchell.

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