Greetings from a crisp and sunny New York City where I am attending the World Television Festival and Annual International Emmy Gala Awards.
I am writing this mail whilst waiting for the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences November Board meeting to take place. I am accompanied in New York by the Cape Film Commission delegation of 11 semi-final judges, all of whom are members of the CFC. Our trip is kindly supported by the DTI.
There is also a representative of the NFVF present together with two of their judges.
Most notably there are three programmes from South Africa featured as finalists here: Miners Shot Down, Masterchef South Africa and Puppet Nation ZA. Representatives of the production teams responsible for two of those productions are also here; Both Worlds and Uhuru Productions. We wish them all luck for the finals tomorrow.
With regard to the NFVF press release on this event at http://www.filmcontact.com/news/south-africa/film-festivals/national-film-and-video-foundation-takes-sa-film-international I feel it necessary to clarify an element of their press statement. The NFVF was not afforded the status of semi-final host due to being the "official representation of South African film industry". Many semi-final hosts around the world are broadcasters, production companies, studios and others.
The Cape Film Commission, who represent many municipalities in the Western Cape and our members across South Africa, has both hosted International Emmy semi-final judging and attended the event for the past 5 years.
The CEO of the CFC and some of our Members are official Members of the International Emmys. Being a Member entitles you to host a semi-final judging session. This year we hosted the judging for Documentary in the English Language In Knysna on 1 July 2015. We extend our thanks to the Mayor and Municipal Manager of Knysna for welcoming us there.
Our judges attending in New York are, in no particular order:
Good luck to all of the South African finalists for this evenings announcement of the winners. And we look forward to hosting a semi-final judging session in 2016.
Cape Film Commission CEO
We are pleased to announce that we have been able to make more weekend passes for the Eden Independent Film Festival (EIFF) available to the general public. Please tell your family, colleagues and friends.
These passes are complimentary and available on a first come first served basis through email@example.com
The festival runs from the 30 Oct – 1 Nov 2015. CLICK HERE to view the programme.
We believe we have put together an exciting programme of films including the opening film Die Ontwaking from Johnny Breedt, the Best of Shnit 2015 and workshops from local and international filmmakers and the SABC.
We are especially pleased that we have included films made in Knysna, George and Wilderness and others throughout the Western and Northern Cape and South Africa. The programme also features films from the UK as part of the cultural exchange programme between SA and the UK.
Please come and join us in what promises to be an exciting and stimulating few days. Should you be interested in attending please specify which events you would like to attend on the Sunday morning. Also, please include your ID number in your application as it will be necessary for collection of your pass.
For more information about the EIFF please go to www.eiff.co.za
Sabido eAcademy will be hosting a Train-the-Trainer (Coach) workshop in Cape Town from Tuesday 11th to Wednesday 13th August 2015 and they would like to extend an invitation to all CFC members to attend this accredited training, at a 20% discount. Booking on a first-come basis. Course info and booking form attached.
Training will take place in the city (venue to be confirmed) and hours will be from09h00 to 16h00 daily, with lunch, stationery and training manuals to be provided.
Successful delegates will be awarded with a Certificate of Competence (after assessment) and will be accredited as trainers with the ETDP (Education, Training & Development) SETA.
Sabido eAcademy would like to inform industry experts that their accreditation as trainers will put them at the forefront to be considered by the eAcademy as freelance trainers.
For the course information and the booking form please go to our downloads page.
For more information contact Natalie Delport at Sabido eAcademy:
Tel: +27 11 537 6000
A sassy new channel for today’s AFRIKAANS WOMAN is launching in November. Okuhle Media is looking to hire a team of equally sassy production candidates, positions available are:
Okuhle Media is Cape Town based. Send CV’s along with contactable references to Linda@Okuhle.co.za and indicate position you’re applying for in the subject line. CV’s must be electronically delivered by midday on Saturday 1 August 2015. Remuneration will be based on experience and ability.
Editors: please deliver a showreel along with your CV.
For queries contact Linda Bindura on 021 486 2900. Okuhle Media reserves the right not to fill all positions. For more information please go to our downloads page for the document “Okuhle TV Crew Recruitment”.
Cape Film Commission
Member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Member of the Association of Film Commissioners International
Cell +27 766 325 548
ICASA—the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa—has put out a Position Paper and Draft Regulations on South African Content on television and radio.
These Draft Regulations are a penultimate stage in reviewing regulations in terms of Sections 61 (2)-(5) of the Electronic Communications Act 36 of 2005.
ICASA will hold workshops around the country to solicit input. There will then be public hearings. Thereafter the Final Regulations, based on the inputs from the workshops, comments from public hearings and all written submissions, will be published.
The Cape Town Workshop date is 24 July 2015. Please could you advise me if you want to attend the workshop. We will advise ICASA of numbers and in turn advise you of the venue.
For ICASA Workshop dates around the country, the Position Paper and the Draft Regulations please go to our Downloads page.
Please find below a joint communiqué from the Department of Home Affairs and the CFC regarding clarification on issues relating to the new Immigration Act following a meeting last week between both parties.
Please note that this only refers to queries raised by our membership following our request for you to highlight any issues that were impacting on your businesses.
In addition, please be aware that a visitors or medical visa cannot be changed to another status within South Africa, and the applicants are required to return to their country of origin to reapply for any other visa.
The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and representatives of the Cape Film Commission met in Cape Town on 16 September 2014.
The purpose of the meeting was to address certain challenges that the Film Industry raised in the light of the new immigration legislation and regulations.
The information that follows is a guideline only.
Our discussion turned around four key points:
The department clarified the following: A visitorʼs visa is issued for a maximum period of three months and can be extended on one occasion only whilst in South Africa, for another period of three months. The application must be submitted to the department within 60 days of the expiry of the visa or if the visa is valid for less than 90 days the application for an extension must reach the department within 7 days of the expiry date.
The extension (for an additional period of three months) of a s11(2) visitorʼs visa that allows the holder thereof to work in South Africa, can therefore be applied for in South Africa.
Applicants looking to stay or have multiple visits over a 3 year period should also apply for a 3 year s11(1)(b)(iv) visa, which is granted for a maximum period of three years. This may be done simultaneously with an application for an ordinary visitorsʼ visa.
In countries where there is a Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) operational (non-exempt countries), applications for a personal appointment at a VFS centre are done on-line. Urgent processing can be requested at VFS centres upon application, if genuinely urgent. For all other visa non-exempt countries, applications must be done in person at the local South African Consulate or Embassy. Standardised processing time for all these ordinary visitorsʼ visas, whether being applied for at a VFS centre, Embassy or Consulate, is 5 working days.
VIP facilities are available at VFS centres upon request.
The department has encouraged stakeholders to engage the department on frequent travel volumes from countries/provinces in countries where missions or VFS facilities are unavailable. Based on evidence presented, additional application points may be considered in these territories.
In time the intention is to make available a “Trusted Traveler Visa”.
Individuals cannot apply for a visa in one country and collect in another.
There has been a postponement of the requirement of an unabridged birth certificate (full birth certificate depicting the identity and vital information of the parent(s) or legal guardian of the child) for travelling children until 1st June 2015.
The department will investigate allegations related to adverse/inconsistent practices at SA Missions, in particular as far as it pertains to s11(2) applications.
I trust you are all doing well and gearing up for the new season. At the CFC we have had quite an eventful few months. I thought I would share some of the highlights with you.
I spent 10 days at the festival in June. I must admit that it was one of the most enjoyable festivals I have attended for some time (with the exception of Durban of course).
With the exception of Cape Town, it is difficult to beat the beauty of Edinburgh with the Castle prominent on the landscape and the helpful and extremely friendly locals.
Each day the festival hosted a full day of workshops followed by a networking reception in the industry lounge. There was a wonderful programme of films from around the world with one of the highlights being the Empire magazine readers vote, screening of the “best film of all time”, “The Empire Strikes Back” accompanied by Darth Vader and the Star Wars theme tune on bagpipes (see YouTube – Star Wars Edinburgh Film Festival 2014).
I spent most of my time in workshops and meeting with my counterparts in the various UK Commissions. I also met with various funders, which gave me an insight into how to access the European Film Fund of some Euro €1.5bn.
I also spent time with the festival organisers to look at how we could include some South African content into the festival in 2015. This is an ongoing discussion.
Interestingly there was also a touring African Film Festival “Africa in Motion” taking place throughout Scotland at the same time. This included highland and island screenings of the superb SA documentary “Two Wings and Many Prayers” by Lloyd Ross, “Unfinished Business” by Graham Shillington and “Streetball” by Demetrius Wren. Also screened was the now classic SA surfing movie “Otello Burning” by Sara Blecher.
The festival is constantly improving but this year the Market raised the bar. Toni Monty and the team did us all proud. The market had moved to a new venue, the Tsogo Sun Elengeni Hotel. The venue enhanced the event and provided a great backdrop for the pitching sessions and workshops.
What many local and international attendees noticed was how much the SA film industry has matured in the past 4 years and how much the Film Mart is assisting with industry development. This was apparent from the questions and comments coming from the floor during the interactive workshops.
For the third year running the CFC hosted a category of the semi-finals of the International Emmys. This year we hosted TV Movie and Mini-series in the English language.
Jessica Franco from the IEmmys oversaw the judging. Our judges from across SA were from Cinga Productions, Light and Dark Films, Paw Paw Films, Penguin Films, Shootaway Productions, Zen HQ, Blast Films, Spirit Sister Productions, Advantage Entertainment and the CFC.
Judging also took place in Gauteng for two other categories hosted independently by the NFVF and Light and Dark Films.
A special mention and congratulations to one of our judges, Thembi Mtshali-Jones who was awarded the Nedbank Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grahamstown Festival the evening before the judging in Cape Town.
Following the successful Film workshop in George in May, we have now been asked by the Municipality to open a branch office in George. This is a very exciting opportunity for us to assist the local filmmaking community. There are already a number of films being shot in and around George and following interactions at the Durban Film Mart there is a possibility of more being shot there over the coming months.
Some 45 filmmakers turned up for the first workshop; a follow up workshop will be held in Knysna on Friday of next week.
The South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) continues to drag its feet over giving approval for the use of camera drones. Currently they are stating that draft regulations may be proposed by end of April 2015. Clearly, this is too late to assist with the pending season.
We have recently met with various bodies representing the industry to ensure we are all on the same page and have a consistent lobbying voice to the CAA. We have also engaged with the Agriculture and Oil and Gas industries on the same topic.
We recently tabled a proposal to the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) that the issue of camera drones is discussed at their annual Cineposium in New York later this year. As a consequence we have been asked to work with other Commissions to assemble a panel of specialists to debate the issues and come up with an international proposal to Aviation Authorities around the world where drones have been’banned’ (including the USA).
We will be hosting a second discussion “drone” forum in Cape Town in a couple of weeks once we have heard back from local associations.
We have requested that the KZN and Gauteng Film Commissions become involved in the lobbying on behalf of industry.
In the meantime, we hope that the CAA is looking into the approvals process with a bit more urgency than April 2015. I have requested an informal meeting with them in Cape Town and am optimistic that this will take place this month.
At the invitation of Home Affairs, we attended last month’s debate in Parliament over the new legislation regarding Visas and Permits. The news did not appear to be good for the industry’s cause as some of the opposition parties were supporting the tabled proposals.
Clearly the new guidelines and legislation have been put in place for legitimate reasons; however, we need to find a way forward that assists the industry in doing business. We also need to find ways that attract business to SA and not put a further obstacle in the path of investors wanting to come here.
As many of you already know, the new legislation will have a detrimental effect on bringing business in from overseas. However, we believe that our relationship with Home Affairs is such that we can work to find a solution.
We are also collaborating with the Oil and Gas and Call Centre industries on this challenge.
Some of you may have noticed some subtle changes to our website. We have removed some historic information and added new sections.
This is an ongoing process and will take a few months before we get to where we really want to be with the site, so apologies for any technical glitches while you are surfing.
We have begun displaying details of various films that have recently been shot in the Western Cape together with a link to the YouTube or a relevant link to the trailer.
If you would like us to include some of your work on the site please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will include the name of the local production company involved in the filming and will refer back any enquiries to the company that we receive.
Please note that recent documentaries and music videos shot in and around the Western Cape would be gratefully received with any brief details of the location.
Any suggestions for other improvements/additions to the site would also be gratefully received.
Dear Members and members of the press,
I am currently in the USA where I have been attending the AFCI (Association of Film Commissioners International) annual Locations show. This is the premier event for film commissions to promote their local industries. As the only representative from South Africa I was there in my capacity as CEO of the CFC and as a professional member of the AFCI.
As I understand from feedback I received this morning, the usual mischief-makers and detractors were vocal at this morning’s TAE Partnership film plenary session hosted by MEC Alan Winde. Apparently these detractors claim that we do not exist. They have their own agenda and according to letters, emails and meeting minutes we have on file, they have been attempting to frustrate and undermine the CFC since 2005.
It is therefore necessary for me to clarify a few things.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who submitted their 2015 projects to us for funding consideration from MICT SETA, these will be collated and forwarded to SETA this week.
As many of you know, we have now received and signed the final agreements with SETA for the funding of many of the 400 bursaries we applied for in 2014. This includes support for training in filmmaking, sound engineering, animation, editing and performance with various institutions both locally and nationally. Our independence from a government institution allows us to do this.
As all of you are aware, the CFC has never been a government department. It has always been Independent and since 2000 has been run on behalf of industry with funding and project support from various government departments.
We will continue to run the CFC in this manner to enable us to leverage support from a range of entities and as a consequence give you the support you need.
Having just returned from a hectic week in Park City, Utah, USA where the 30th Sundance Film Festival (2014) took place, I thought I should share some of our experiences from there with you. The CFC took a delegation of 12 Filmmakers from across South Africa to the festival, with the support of the DTI. The Sundance Film Festival is a mix of workshops, teachings, interactive sessions and screenings of documentaries, features and shorts from all over the world.
The CFC established a relationship with Sundance when I met up with their representatives at the Durban Film Mart in 2012. The relationship has proved fruitful and they could not have been more supportive and helpful towards our delegation during the planning of the trip and our time there.
Young Ones Premier
Our visit started late into the first week of the festival where Jake Paltrows' new film Young Ones premiered at the festival. Two of our delegates, CFC members Brigid Olen from Do Productions and Francois Verster from Undercurrent Films were invited to the premiere following our request to the producers for tickets. Our other delegates were unable to attend, as our flights did not connect us until after the premiere.
Filmed entirely in South Africa, Young Ones was co-produced by CFC Member, Michael Aurett of Spier Films. Brigid is the co-owner of Do Productions, the local SA production company partner on the film and Francois is the Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker who was the producer/director of the 2008 SA film Sea Point Days. During the reception following the premier, Michael, Brigid and Francois met and chatted with Jakes sister Gwyneth Paltrow and his godfather, Steven Spielberg amongst others who were present at Sundance to support the film.
South African indie band, ‘The Parlotones’, played at one of the local bars in Park City on the final Friday evening of the festival. Our delegates found their way into the show and spent much of the evening hanging out with the band. Also playing during the week were Damon Albarn and Pete Tong amongst a varied musical line up throughout the festival.
Filmmakers Lounge in Main Street
On our first Monday morning we wandered down to the Filmmakers Lounge in Main Street where we hung out with Filmmakers and festivalgoers from all over the world. We enjoyed an interactive session with Maggie Gyllenhaal and William H Macey. The discussion was one of the topics chosen to celebrate 30 years of Sundance "Failure", "it embraces failure as essential to risk taking, innovation and the creative process", and we came away feeling quite successful.
Trip to Italy
This was followed on Tuesday morning by a very enjoyable and humorous interactive session with Michael Winterbottom, Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan who were discussing their new film, The Trip to Italy that premiered at the festival. This is the sequel to their film The Trip that was originally commissioned by the BBC as a series.
Private Workshops, Q & A Sessions, Screenings
During the course of the week we attended a series of private workshops and Q&A sessions organised by the Cape Film Commission and chaired and put together by the Sundance team. This included sessions with Agents, Marketers, Producers, Documentary and Feature film writers and Directors, all of whom had projects in the festival together with the Sundance and Hot Docs documentary funding bodies.
Our delegates also attended many screenings during the course of the week. The Cape Film Commission arranged tickets to the screenings, usually the screenings were followed by a Q&A session with the Filmmakers.
We were all a bit overwhelmed by our experiences. Many of those we met were Sundance veterans and part of the Sundance extended family that had films featured in competition. Many had also passed through the Sundance Lab training programme at some stage of their career. The learning curve and experience passed on to our delegates was invaluable.
Park City itself is in an amazing location, surrounded by ski runs, the scenery is spectacular, the townsfolk are super friendly and helpful. Cars stop in the middle of the road to allow pedestrians to cross the street. Bus drivers take the time to ensure you are on the correct route and if not direct you to where you should be. The bus service is free of charge and efficient. I suspect this is a legacy of Park City hosting the Winter Olympics some years ago.
I cannot recommend the experience highly enough. Our delegates expressed their delight at being there. They all stated that it was the most rewarding festival they had attended. We are already making plans to attend in 2015. Our other delegates included representatives from Mirror Mountain Films, Be Phat Motel, Team Tarbaby Productions, Gambit Films, Zen HQ Productions, Noble Pictures, Light and Dark Films, NB Productions, Sinamatella Films and Azania Rising Productions.
Again, we would like to extend thanks to the DTI for their continued support. I would especially like to thank Sudeep, Heidi, Rhadi, Meredith, Carolyn and everybody else at Sundance for their help and for hosting a great event. Also, a special thanks to the people of Park City for making us feel so welcome.
Applying for Future Missions
For those of you considering applying for future missions with the CFC, please note that we have been advised in the past few days that the DTI have changed their guidelines. We are now required to have a minimum of 10 delegates (Max 20) under the SSAS rules.
As we currently understand it, we must now apply at least 4 months ahead of any delegation for the funding. This has potentially put our MIPTV and Cannes film delegations at risk, they only let us know one week ago about the rule changes.
However, we are also engaging with them to extend the size of the delegations by including EMIA applications, by the CFC handling this process it should streamline the paperwork and make the application process simpler for you.
In the meantime we have arranged a meeting between the CFC and the DTI to clarify some of the changes to the guidelines.
Many of you are aware that the DTI have currently exhausted their 2013/14 funds and as a consequence trips organised by other organisations to events such as Berlinale Hot Docs, MIPTV and others have been cancelled. We have appealed the decision-making process and are hopeful that the new guidelines will not affect the CFC Cannes Film delegation but let's wait and see.
Back to the Daily Grind
Oh well, back to the daily grind of Cape Town, beautiful weather, surfing, wine farms, live concerts over the next few weeks from Bruce Springsteen, Santana and Eminem, outdoor film screenings at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, beach parties with live music. It's all a little bit like Sundance but warmer....
Additional thanks to Nadeema and Lorraine for their tireless support behind the scenes at the CFC.
I trust you are all having a great filming season and we hope to hear from you soon.
Please do not forget to diarise the CFC industry engagement with the DTI at AFDA film school on February 26th. MICT SETA has confirmed their presence.
We would like to share some exciting news with you.
I am pleased to announce that Cape Film Commission Member and my fellow Member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat of Light and Dark Films, has been chosen as a panel Moderator at this years International Emmy® World Television Festival.
He will be moderating the Nominees Panel for Best Performance by an Actor. The Nominees are:
Best Performance by an Actor:
Best Performance by an Actress:
Zaheer commented, "This is a big honour for me to be asked to do it, and a real acknowledgement of the talent and place of the film industry in Cape Town".
The Cape Film Commission is particularly honoured to have one of our delegates nominated in this manner, especially as two of our other Members, Quizzical Pictures and Diprente both have programmes nominated in other categories.
The partnership between the DTI and the Cape Film Commission has made it possible for 12 of our Members, who were chosen by the Academy as judges this year, to travel to the International Emmy® Awards Gala in New York next week.
Our delegation is also being supported by the South African Consulate in New York, a special thanks to the Consul General for all his support.
Cape Film Commission Production and Distribution Company
I am pleased to advise that this company is now fully registered and listed with the Cape Town Film Permit Office (CTFPO). This will enable our current Members and International Production companies who are not able to register with the CTFPO, for whatever reason, can now utilise this company as a vehicle for applying for permits. For further information please contact email@example.com.
October was yet another interesting month at the CFC, the following are some of our highlights:
CFC Memorandum of Incorporation
You may recall the proposal I sent out to you all in July 2011, prior to our 2011 AGM, and the subsequent approval and adoption at the AGM of the resolution for the proposed changes to our Articles of Association.
I subsequently sent out a newsletter to everyone in February 2012 reiterating the proposals. This newsletter followed 6 months of interaction with advice from our attorneys, accountants and our board on the final structure of the Memorandum of Incorporation. Please note that our funders, City and Province, prior to me sending them out to our Membership, accepted all of these proposals
As we received no adverse comments from anyone, we then submitted the revised Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI) to CPIC in May 2012 for registration and ratification. There is currently a backlog of almost 20,000 applications at CPIC due to the changes in the Companies Act.
I am pleased to advise you that we received notification from CPIC earlier this week that our proposed amendments and changes to the MoI has now been accepted and placed on file at CPIC. More on this later as we address the changes we need to make to the structure of the organisation.
We currently have a board that is free of conflict and does not have any industry representation on it. We also have an Advisory Board, which consists of industry body representatives who advise the main board on industry needs. The new MoI allows us to continue with independence and transparency.
Earlier this week I attended a stakeholder engagement with the COO of the SABC and his associates from Gauteng. The engagement also included representatives of the SABC’s Western Cape management team. There was much positive discussion with the highlight from our perspective being, the desire to have more interaction with and programming from the Western Cape industry.
The consequence of this was that I tabled a proposal whereby the Cape Film Commission partners with the SABC and our members to develop concepts and ideas that gives the Western Cape improved access to the national broadcaster for the development of programmes produced and filmed in the Western Cape. The partnership proposal has been accepted in principle by the SABC and they have indicated their desire for a long-term relationship with the CFC.
We have agreed on a meeting in early November to commence planning and structuring for the future. Please rest assured that they acknowledged some of their failings regarding payments and other matters, these are matters I have raised with them previously on your behalf and they have committed to improving the situation.
I would really welcome hearing some of your suggestions for agenda items for when I meet with them. Following the first engagement I will suggest a meeting for us to engage with them in a broader forum. Please forward your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be positive about this, as the impression given is that they are turning a new leaf and we would like to support that.
Trade Missions in Partnership with the DTI
As you are aware, our 3000 strong membership is a national membership and our trade missions include a diverse array of filmmakers from all backgrounds. I therefore feel the need to rectify some of the mischievous rumours that are being spread around the industry.
Our trade missions are not “exclusive or elitist”. The missions are open to all members who qualify under the DTI guidelines.
I can categorically state that, with one exception, no members of the CFC Advisory Board have benefitted from a trade mission. The one individual sitting on the Advisory Board as a representative of their organisation who has benefitted from a trade mission was nominated as a representative delegate for the mission by their industry body.
We advertise our missions through our newsletters. Any one member can apply provided they comply with the DTI guidelines as detailed on our website. We are allowed to take between 5 and 20 delegates on each mission. Provided you qualify, we will submit your application documents to the DTI who makes the final decision on your inclusion based on company registration, tax clearance, appropriate project etc.
We currently have a delegation attending the Banff Film Festival in Canada. We also have a delegation approved to travel to the International Emmys and World Television Festival in New York next month. In January we have a full compliment travelling to the Sundance Film Festival in the USA, which is in partnership with the organisers. We are pleased to advise that some of our delegates have films showing at the festival.
We have an application currently being assembled for MIPTV in Cannes in April; we will also be taking a delegation to Tribeca in April next year.
Should you have any festivals or markets that you think we should be addressing, please let us know.
Our Chairman, Denis Skeate, and myself had a productive meeting with the CEO including Head of Policy and Research of the NFVF on Wednesday morning this week. It is interesting how similarly structured the NFVF and CFC are with a Board/Council and an independent Advisory Board
The meeting has hopefully cleared the air between both organisations and set the record straight. Unfortunately there is much rumour mongering in the industry at the best of times, so this was a useful interaction for both parties to understand each other’s drivers and mandates.
The outcome of the meeting as we understood it was “it’s good to talk”. Something we would like to achieve with all parties of industry, government and associated agencies to allow us to cut through any misunderstandings and get on with delivering a service to you our members, without being sidetracked by the politics of the industry and government departments.
It is a sad state of affairs when not only ourselves, but also other organisations in the industry have to resort to a legal process to get government to listen and take action.
The NFVF and the CFC both worked to develop a Memorandum of Agreement in early 2012. This was due to be signed by the Acting CEO and myself during that time. For reasons not of our making, the document was not signed and remains pending for over 12 months awaiting signature. At the meeting this week the NFVF agreed to revisit the document with a view to signing it.
We discussed the sensitive issues of the South African Film Commission (SAFC) and clarity was expressed on miscommunication and misinterpretations.
We tabled a proposal for the future of SAFC for NFVF’s contemplation. In the meantime we advised them that we would be moving forward with the SAFC and that we could revisit the discussion with them again once they have decided where they are on timescales with their proposed Act of Parliament and their intention to change their mandate. Potentially the revised Act of Parliament could take some years, we therefore have time and with your support we can develop a strong Commission. Clearly we need to interact with the other Commissions and Film Offices around the country and we would welcome your intervention to encourage them to do so.
We understand from the 80 strong industry interaction with the NFVF in Cape Town on Wednesday afternoon that the NFVF was given an undertaking by the meeting that they would intervene in the impasse between the CFC and WESGRO. We welcome this intervention as we have been offering to meet with the WESGRO funders for some time in an attempt to find a way forward that benefits industry and our members.
City of Cape Town
As some of you may be aware, the City of Cape Town through Exec Dir. Anton Groenewald announced publically on 11thSeptember 2013 that they had withdrawn our funding mandate with immediate effect.
This notification came as a shock to us when we received the letter from Mr. Groenewald dated 4thSeptember 2013 advising us of his decision. This notification was given to us some 2 months into the City’s financial year (The City financial year runs July to June) and clearly we were already into the first quarter of delivering our mandate for the current financial year for them. At the time of sending the letter to us, the City was aware that we had made commitments to projects, rent etc., for the coming year through our Business Plan and letters which we had submitted to them in April 2013.
The City has given us no reason whatsoever as to why they have taken this decision. There is clearly no issue with the governance or structure of the organisation as they undertook an audit on CFC only a couple of months ago when they released our 2012/13 funding (albeit one year late).
We are continuing to deliver a service to industry but please be aware this may be compromised if City and Province are not forthcoming.
As many of you know, our team has been working tirelessly over the past few years to deliver a service to you and to inbound productions. The withdrawal of our funding from City and Province has thrown the industry into disarray and has impacted on well-established structures; it has frustrated strategies and projects and has set us back 5 years in the progress we have made in transformation and economic development.
We appreciate any support you can give us and look forward to being able to support and promote you over the next 5 years.
Industry has already written to the Province to request it to reinstate our funding. We will advise you if we feel it necessary for the Mayor to be lobbied in the same manner. In the meantime, if you feel that you want to express your support for the CFC, please mail us on email@example.com.
As an addendum, earlier this week we received copies of the City of Cape Town’s presentation to industry given on 11thSeptember 2013. Lorraine will send out copies via a newsflash on Monday, please send any comments or queries on this to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the City documentation handed out at the meeting stated that a FULO (Film Unit Liaison Officer) is required in certain filming circumstances as part of a Film Permit compliance matter. Please request a FULO through the CTFPO; they will then notify us to appoint one for your shoot.
Cape Town International Film Festival
As many of you are aware, the National Lotteries Board has approved funding to the CFC for the Cape Town International Film Festival (not to be confused with the “Cape Winelands Film Festival” taking place in November).
We would like to include some of the input/content of many of the other Cape Town film festivals in our programming to showcase our film footprint to international and local visitors.
The intention is to create the best of the best, showcasing local, African and International content. This would include highlights of local festivals, new and old film revivals and restorations. The festival will include CBD and township screenings, master-classes, special events and surprises. The festival will not be limiting its content; we plan to showcase as broad a selection as possible, only limited by logistics and budget. We will also be looking to incorporate a photographic festival as part of the proposal.
In order to guide us we will be creating a festival advisory committee in due course.
In the meantime we would like to hear from all local film festival curators who would be interested in working with us in creating this umbrella festival which will include not only your highlights but will hopefully promote your individual festivals to a wider audience. Please indicate your interest to email@example.com no later than close of business on 27th September 2013. Please also indicate in your response a suggestion as to what time of year you believe this festival should take place and over what period of time.
We look forward to hearing from you.
The film “Felix” was the winner of the Audience Award Best Film at the Durban International Film Festival earlier this month and it is easy to see why. I attended a press preview of the film this morning and am delighted to report that it is good, in fact very good.
The director/producer of the film, Roberta Durrant and the screenwriter, Shirley Johnston are both members of the Cape Film Commission.
After a faltering opening 10 minutes the film quickly finds its rhythm and takes the audience on a wonderful experience. It would be easy to categorise the film by classifying it as a feel-good movie, which it undoubtedly is, it has already been compared to Billy Elliott. However, there is much more to this production than a feel-good movie. Roberta is a seasoned director and it shows. The ease at which she cuts from location to location is a delight. As always, Cape Town looks stunning.
For me, the most impressive aspect of this film is not the superb acting or the underlying story of a young boy growing up in a challenged yet privileged environment, it is the fact that this is a film about Jazz and how music brings together communities. The soundtrack showcases the best of Cape Town jazz and ranks with Clint Eastwoods Charlie Parker film “Bird” in showing the contrasts in the lifestyles of musicians and their relationship with their audience. It also hints at how the Cape Town township jazz developed and crossed over.
I understand from the films publicist that there are no plans as yet to release the soundtrack. In my opinion, this decision needs to be reviewed. The European and USA audience for this film could potentially be quite sizeable in the hands of the right distributor. Using the music soundtrack as part of the promotion for the film, the audience could be built upon and our local jazz music could receive additional dividends with wider exposure for the musicians.
You need to see this movie in a theatre, don’t wait till it comes out on DVD, you will miss the full experience of the colour on the screen and the quality of the acting (especially from Dame Janet Suzman) but more importantly you need to experience the musical soundtrack in the later scenes in full and glorious Dolby.
“Felix” opens in Cape Town in 2 weeks time with some sneek peeks on Sunday 1st September at selected Nu Metro cinemas, go see it, you won’t be disappointed.
Watch the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XC2YXTxuhQ
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
We received our funding from the City today. So a big thank you to Executive Mayor Patricia de Lillie and Cllr Pascoe and his team for working through all of the paperwork on this and for sticking with us. I would also like to thank Cllrs, Purchase and Schafer for all of their support over the past few months.
As many of you know, there were a couple of disgruntled former board members and industry representatives who used to be part of the CFC who had lodged a complaint with the City making false allegations over our corporate governance and financial management implementation, which ultimately caused a delay to our funding. The City sent in its legal, financial and stakeholder management team to review our books and our systems and found nothing of concern.
NATIONAL LOTTERY BOARD
Thank you to all concerned at the NLB for our Cape Town International Film Festival funding, now the hard work begins! We need a part time project manager/event manager to assist with this. If you believe you have the appropriate expertise, please forward your details to firstname.lastname@example.org We have received notification from the NLB that the film fund projects we submitted will be considered in the next couple of months. As you can appreciate they have been inundated with applicants. Please don’t despair, just be patient.
Thanks as always to the DTI for funding our recent trade missions to Berlin, Cannes, Annecy and the forthcoming missions to the International Emmys and Banff. We are planning trade missions to Sundance in January 2014, MIPTV and Tribeca in April 2014. For South African resident citizens, if you would be interested in being considered for any of these missions, please email your name and CFC membership number to email@example.com
Again, thanks to the MICT SETA for all of their support. We had 24 out of 25 of the CFC AFDA students graduate in film last month, the one that didn’t graduate left early because of a job offer, well done to all of them!
For those who submitted project plans to us in December 2012, we were required to resubmit them last month as the SETA guidelines had changed in the first quarter of this year. We are advised that they have all been approved in principal and were submitted to the MICT SETA board last week for final approval.
Welcome to Cape Town to Greg Bonnan, the producer and creator of Baywatch and his principal actor Dolph Lundgren and the rest of the cast and team from LA and Australia, they arrived in Cape Town last month and filming started 2 weeks ago. Originally called Rescue 3, the series is now called SAF3. For further details see http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2497788/
Thanks to Michael Murphy (local producer) and Irfaan Fredericks (production manager) of Kalahari Pictures the project could be here for 2 seasons. Without them both we could not have beaten off the competition from Australia, USA and New Zealand.
There are 103 days of filming this season. The production has created 200 local jobs and is bringing in approximately R160m to the local economy. The principal location is Camps Bay Beach where they have built a semi-permanent set. The shoot is an open one, the production team are quite happy for you to wander down there and take a look, but PLEASE respect that they are working and filming, so get out of shot when asked to.
The series is also being shot in Tokai Forest and the Porter Estate amongst other locations including Maidens Cove. For 16 of the 20 episodes of the series, Cape Town is doubling as Malibu; the remaining 4 episodes feature Cape Town as itself. Watch out for it airing on eTV later this year. For teasers please see following link http://www.youtube.com/user/AreYouSAF3
Please don’t forget that the CFC provides independent Film Unit Liaison Officers who ensure that the terms of the City of Cape Town film permits are adhered to by the production company. They also act as an independent interface between the film unit, general public and City officials through the CFC. We continue to act as the interface for Provincial Property and their locations. We have a meeting next week with SANPARKS Permit representatives. If you have any issues that you want raised or have a query with in relation to a particular location for filming please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
Some of you are advising us that you are being stifled in your Constitutional right of Free Association. Please stand up for your rights. If you are being given ultimatums that compromise your right to earn a living or associate with certain organisations then please let us know at email@example.com
We are continuing with our good working relationship with Home Affairs and are assisting in the processing of visa and work permit applications and letters of reference for overseas consulates. Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
SOUTH AFRICAN FILM COMMISSION
Thank you all for your kind words and supportive suggestions for this initiative. We received one negative response to our proposal, which we have now addressed.
DURBAN FILMMART AND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Well what a fortnight this turned out to be. Filled with controversy, fantastic films, great workshops and happy delegates. The weather and Durban kept their side of the bargain and Durban was amazing as always. Many thanks to Toni Monty and Gugu Zungu from the Durban Film Office for their amazing stamina in keeping everything working like clockwork. A special thank you to Peter Machen, the DIFF Festival Director for the amazing job he did in his first year with also a special mention for the tireless work of Tiny Mungwe in keeping it together.
I think it is worth mentioning some of the work on display from some of our members. Chris Roland and Zen HQ screened an absolutely amazing movie “The Forgotten Kingdom” you must go and see it, as you must see the banned and now unbanned film of the moment “Of Good Report” produced by CFC Member Michael Aurett who also screened “Layla Fourie” which won a special mention at Berlinale earlier this year.
Congratulations to our members for their successes at DFA and DIFF:
Congratulations again to everyone.
WILD TALK AFRICA FILM FESTIVAL
Durban didn’t want to let us go. Straight after DFM the newly vamped Wild Talk Africa Film Festival kicked off. As a first time attendee I was overwhelmed by the professionalism of the organisation and the calibre of attendees. Commissioning Editors were in abundance from SABC and TopTV to Discovery. The workshops were informative, the delegates friendly and the vibe was great. Thanks to Shani van Stratten and team for organising it.
Once again thank you to the City of Cape Town, we are relieved and pleased to be continuing our good work with your support. Also, a big thanks to the CFC Board and staff for their patience and dedication through the challenges and difficulties of the last 14 months.
As many of you are aware, the Membership of the Cape Film Commission (CFC) has grown from 550 in December 2010 to approximately 3000 today. Many of our Members are from Cape Town and the Western Cape and have benefited from the many opportunities the CFC has created for them.
Our Membership also includes representatives of the Film industry across South Africa. We also have international Members who often come to South Africa to film. With this in mind, we have been having discussions with various agencies and entities across SA over the past 12-18months. These included discussions with representatives from DAC, NFVF, the National Lotteries Board, the DTI and others.
It has become clear from these discussions and suggestions that we have received from our Membership and Advisory Board that the industry would benefit further from our relationships with national government departments and agencies if we created a National Film Commission. Therefore we have created and registered the South African Film Commission.
This Commission will be Independent and separate from the Cape Film Commission. As the CFC currently does, this new, independent, Not for Profit company will benefit from its' independence which will enable it to work with a variety of agencies and industry bodies to further the development of the industry.
Contrary to rumours and speculation, the Cape Film Commission will continue to exist. Although the CFC has been party to the discussions around the formation of the South African Film Commission, it will continue to operate and provide the same level of service and advice to its members.
It will take a few months for us to find our feet. Currently the registered postal address for the new Commission is the same as the Cape Film Commission, the email address is: email@example.com will be live from the 21stJune 2013. The website is under construction and can be found at www.southafricanfilmcommission.com. Please feel free to make any suggestions for content inclusion for the site.
We tabled a proposed South African Film Commission some time ago, and again at Cannes in 2012, with the NFVF CEO. We firmly believe that the establishment of this national commission will compliment the work that the NFVF is doing on behalf of DAC and that of the other Commissions and film offices around the country.
Our aims and objectives are to promote filmmakers, industry and job creation through the partnership we have with the DTI and local departments of Economic Development and Tourism amongst others. We have forged relationships with the sound and music industries through the Cape Music Commission and hope to develop these relationships nationally to further promote and support the associated development of that industry through film.
Please note that there is absolutely no intention to undermine or compete with the work of the Gauteng and KZN Film Commission, the Durban Film Office and other film offices around the country, it would be churlish to think that we could. We view the creation of the SAFC as complimentary to everything else that is happening in the industry at present.
As an independent business it is our aim to work alongside these agencies to assist in the promotion of the broader industry, the fact that we are not a government agency brings certain benefits and allows us to support government initiatives and agencies with a degree of independence.
The Cape Film Commission recently welcomed Mr. Bruce Paisner, President of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and Mr. Nathaniel Brendel, Emmy Judging Director, to Cape Town. Both Mr. Paisner and Mr. Brendel were here at the invitation of CFC CEO Mr. Denis Lillie who also hosted the two semi-final round of judging sessions.
The International Emmys are the most important TV awards for the international TV community and recognise excellence in this field for all TV productions outside of the USA. They are are open to any TV programme produced and broadcast in the previous year outside of the USA.The categories judged were Current Affairs and Arts Programming. Sixteen Members of the Cape Film Commission were chosen as judges from a field of 40 nominations.
It was clear from the programmes viewed this year that the quality of content being produced in South Africa is as good as, if not better, than other programming around the world. We would therefore encourage local content producers to submit programmes for the competition later this year when the call for entries is announced.
The proceedings for the Cape Town hosting came to a close last week at a dinner hosted by the CFC at the Five Rooms restaurant at the Alphen Hotel. In attendance were Mr. Paisner and Mr. Brendel, Alderman Felicity Purchase represented the City of Cape Town and representatives of the CFC Membership, some of who are Members of the International Emmys, including Roberta Durrant of Penguin Films who is the current SA Ambassador for the Academy.
The event took place over Wednesday and Thursday last week. Earlier in the week, Cape Town based, Cape Film Commission Member, producer Zaheer Goodman-Bhyat from Light and Dark Films hosted a judging session in Johannesburg.
CFC CEO commented that this was the second time the CFC had hosted a judging session in Cape Town. “This year we had the luxury of having President Bruce Paisner joining us. As well as meeting our local TV and filmmakers, we took Bruce and Nathaniel for a tour of the Cape Town Studios where we met with CEO Nico Dekker. Bruce commented on how impressed he was with the facility, especially the sets for the TV pirate adventure series ‘Black Sails’ currently being shot there. We also discussed in depth plans with Bruce for other International Emmy events to be hosted in Cape Town over the coming years. We view this as an extremely important partnership for the development and growth of the TV industry in and around Cape Town”.
For further info please contact Denis Lillie, CFC CEO at firstname.lastname@example.org
TRIBECA, CANNES AND OTHER NEWS
It's that time of year again, Berlin followed by Tribeca, and Cannes tomorrow followed by AFCI Locations. Many of you are clocking up your air miles and utilizing the support partnership of the DTI and the CFC to travel to these festivals and markets.
We have 14 travelling to Cannes today with the CFC trade mission. The NFVF are also supporting 60 Filmmakers so the SA footprint will be quite significant at the festival this year. My diary is full of meetings and there are the traditional parties including the NFVF annual beach party on Saturday evening.
There are three SA films being screened at the festival this year, Black South- Easter which the CFC worked on in assisting access to locations, Khumba our own Triggerfish Animation follow up to the highly successful ‘Adventures in Zambezia’ and Blitz Patrollie. Of course the festival closing film is Zulu starring Orlando Bloom and Forrest Whittaker, a film shot entirely in Cape Town, again with support from the CFC in getting the production company access to some key locations.
Tribeca was an overwhelming success both in festival terms and from our delegate’s perspective. Our delegation of 20 included Filmmakers from Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape. In partnership with the SA Consul General we had organised forums with key broadcasters in New York, the New York Film Academy, the International Emmys together with studio and film museum visits.
One of the highlights for many of us was the launch party for a new book "Notes to the Future" by Nelson Mandela. Members of the Mandela family treated us to welcome speeches and some of us were lucky enough to meet Robert De Niro who was one of the organisers of the event. All set to the spectacular backdrop of Times Square at night where we could see a full size billboard promoting the HBO film Mary and Maude directed by Philip Noyce with our very own Genevieve Hoffmeyr manned next to him as Producer.
We were gratified to hear on their eventual return that all of the delegates had a successful and rewarding trip. Planning for next year has already begun.
Many of you appreciate the fact that getting crews here to scout for movies is quite challenging, the distance and costs can be prohibitive in attracting interest from other territories. We are also aware that many other territories attract productions, as their local authorities are more supportive in assisting in bringing in scouting trips.
With this in mind, we have developed some good relationships with local and international suppliers. In certain circumstances we may be able to assist an inbound scouting tour with discounted airfares with several major airlines and access to good accommodation at minimal rates. If you have interested parties wanting to fly in to SA and especially Cape Town, please contact email@example.com who will see if she can assist. Please note that you will need to register or be registered as a (free) member of the CFC through Lorraine as the membership number is used to track any bookings and allow you access to the discounts.
We have received a communication from Home Affairs requesting that we encourage all of our members to apply to them directly for visas and work permit related matters. Should you be encountering any unnecessary delays please get in touch with Lorraine who has a good contact there to help unblock any frustrations you may have. We are continuing to provide our membership with visa letters for inbound productions when requested.
We have now signed the agreement with the National Lottery Board for our funding to support the Cape Town International Film Festival and are anticipating the funding for this important major project to be with us in the next few weeks.
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
Many of you wrote to us frustrated at the late notification of the City forum on the draft Events Policy. Unfortunately we only received that notification one hour before we sent it out in a newsflash. The City has advised us that the Events Policy does not affect film and that they will be reviewing the Film By-Law and Policy,
We have requested that CFC and industry are included in the development of the revised Film Policy and By-Law. Ironically, during the first meeting we had with City after receiving notification of film not being affected by the Events Policy, our application to film in the City was referred to the Events committee, I think they have taken the point. Please be aware of this situation and allow sufficient time when applying to film, especially when applying for a TV series where you may be using the same location for a longer period of time.
Well that's enough from me. We are still facing challenges over our funding from City and Province but continue to operate and deliver a service. Hopefully they will both realise they have been incorrectly advised and we do deliver a valuable service to industry. In the meantime a big thanks to Nadeema and Lorraine. Please don't forget, the service we offer is free of charge unless we need to charge an admin fee on certain aspects of our work, and, due to the budget cuts there are now only three of us delivering the same and better service that 8 were doing three years ago.
More news soon including details of Rescue 3. It looks like this major TV series is coming our way. Only a few more t’s to cross. I sure hope it does after the long hours and late nights we have put into bringing it here. The City of Cape Town is working with us and pulling out all the stops to make it happen.
Have a great few weeks,
NATIONAL LOTTERY BOARD
As many of you are aware, we were approached by the National Lottery Board to partner with them on accessing their grants for the film industry. As a consequence of this we hosted a workshop at AFDA last month with representatives of the NLB. The workshop was very well attended and has borne fruit. We have received applications for 50 projects, which we submitted through the CFC to the NLB yesterday. All of the projects are of a high standard. Funding applications ranged from R150k to R15m for featured features, shorts, TV series, documentaries, industry equipment requirements and festival funding applications. We received applications from filmmakers from all over South Africa. Thanks to Kgomotso Pooe and her team at the NLB for all the support they have given us in the process. Now we wait patiently to find out who was successful. I would really like to congratulate the NLB on this initiative as it has switched the focus onto our industry that has been neglected for quite some time in relation to lottery funding.
We submitted a number of projects (approximately 12) to MICT SETA in December, these ranged from bursary applications to master class support. All were with the support of MICT SETA following their 2-day visit to the CFC and the Cape Town industry in November 2012. The projects that we submitted are based in Gauteng, KZN and the Western Cape. We have been advised verbally, with one exception, that all of the projects have been approved and the MoA documents are in the process of being drafted and will be sent to us in the next few weeks. However, please note, PLEASE DO NOT ACT until you have seen and signed the Agreement. Our projects include supporting 200 bursaries and internships through various film schools and institutions.
DTI TRADE MISSIONS
We have received approval for 20 filmmakers from across SA to join the Cape Film Commission to attend the Tribeca Film Festival next week. The mission was organised in partnership with the Gauteng Film Commission, Durban Film Office and the Consul General in New York. We will be hosting an industry reception in partnership with the Consulate. Features events during the festival include discussions with Clint Eastwood, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Linklater and a live performance by The Nation. We currently have pending applications for the Annecy Animation Festival and the Cannes Film Festival; both are currently receiving DTI attention and we should hear positive news by Monday.
We have received motivations from some members for Banff, Toronto and MIPCOM festivals. For us to gauge the level of interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to organise a Mission to these festivals and markets and advise us of any other markets you would be interested in attending. Please note that as part of our sound for film and soundtracks initiative, we have received approval from the DTI to include “sound” related applicants on future missions should the application be relevant and compliant.
We are hosting 2 semi-finals in mid June 2013. We are still receiving nominations from you for judges. These nominees will then be approached by us to submit information to the IE for final approval. Please send nominations to email@example.com. The International Emmy President and Judging Director will join us for the process in June. We also received confirmation today with the very exciting news that the Namibian Film Commission is partnering with the CFC to co-host a third semi-final judging category in Cape Town in June. We will advise you more on this once the IE have confirmed the category.
CITY OF CAPE TOWN
We continue to have positive interactions with the City and support their Film Permit Office with the provision of FULO’s to monitor film shoots. We are awaiting some positive news from them at the end of this month in relation to our funding and other support.
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT OF THE WESTERN CAPE
There are still challenges with our relationship with DEDAT who have asked us to interact with them through our attorneys, which we are doing. Hopefully we will have a positive resolution in relation to the impasse quite soon. Our relationship with Property, Health, Agriculture and other departments goes from strength to strength and we are working well with all departments in relation to access to locations for permits and the use of properties for various support services for filming. We would especially like to thank MEC Carlisle for making these interactions possible through his Property and Roads team.
As many of you know, we have been working closely with the producers of Baywatch and their new team that have put together RESCUE 3 as a new action series to be filmed in the next few months in Cape Town. The show has been commissioned for 2 seasons and will be broadcast 52 weeks per year. Presales are staggering, reaching over 100m TV screens towards the end of the year. The team wants to bring the show to Cape Town with Cape Town doubling as California but also featuring as itself in 4 shows per season. The concept is very exciting and we are enjoying working with everyone involved.
Thanks to Tsogo Sun, Virgin Group, Emirates, Avis, Provincial Property, and all of those we are working with in the industry for their positive support in trying to make this happen. Special thanks to Councillors’ Felicity Purchase and Beverley Schafer from the City for their support and to Anton Groenewald and Terence Isaacs for their proactive approach to the show. We would also like to thank Cape Town Fire and Rescue and Table Mountain National Parks for their invaluable assistance in our interactions with the producers.
TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARKS
We had a very productive meeting with their film and events team earlier this month. They have outlined to us some of their new plans for managing the film permit application process. Although some of the plans may cause some frustrations at first, we believe they are practical and understandable proposals to ensure the parks primary interests and that of the industry are met. In the long term, familiarity with the process will enable you to plan and structure your shoots more manageably and effectively. Should you require any assistance in applying for permits, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFCI (Association of Film Commissioners International) LOCATIONS EXPO
We will be attending this event in Los Angeles in June of this year and will be joining the NFVF and Durban Film Office. This is an annual event where all of the International Commissions showcase their territories to interested industry players in LA. The CFC is the only Commission in SA registered as a Member of the AFCI and our CEO is a Professional member of the organisation. This entitles us to attend the AFCI Board meeting which is held at the same time as the Expo enabling us to interact with our other 350 partner Commissions on matters relating to the film industry.
CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND MARKET
This project is still being developed. Our partnership with espAfrika, the organisers of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, is still in place. We have pending funding available from the National Lottery Board and have applied for further funding from the NLB together with the DBSA Jobs Fund. We are hoping to have more news on this towards the end of June.
DBSA JOBS FUND
In agreement with the DBSA, we have re-submitted our Industry application for funding. We have applied for R250m, which encompasses a series of holistic projects all interlinked to the work we are doing with SETA, SEEDA, the DTI and the National Lottery Board. The linkages we have created between grass roots, emerging talent and established production companies has created an interesting balance to generate new projects outside of the traditional structure of the industry.
We continue to offer our services through the Membership and Help Desk. Visa, Insurance, Work Permit, Film Permit and Locations guidance are available to all of our Members. A reminder that Membership to the CFC is free of charge. Application forms are available from email@example.com or can be downloaded from our website.
I returned from Berlin last Wednesday to attend what turned out to be two very successful meetings; one with the Ministry and Department of Home Affairs. More of this later but it will ultimately make life a lot easier for many of you.
I subsequently attended a very productive meeting with Western Cape Provincial Property whereby we have committed to working together to make life easier for our filmmaking community. Again, more of this later.
Before I get to my Berlinale report, we understand that some of you have been expressing concern that you may not be eligible to join some of our trade missions such as those to the Berlinale, Cannes Film Festival, and Tribeca etc.
Please let me clarify. Anyone who is eligible to join the CFC and is a South African resident and passport holder is able to apply through us to be considered for support to travel with one of our delegations. The CFC works in partnership with the DTI and South African Consulates on the planning and development of these missions. We also work closely with the Gauteng Film Commission and Durban Film Office on encouraging delegate applications.
Assuming you are submitting the correct documentation to the CFC, your application will be submitted to the DTI with all other applications for final approval. The DTI use a rigorous selection criterion and make the final decision. However, if you aren't registered as a member of the CFC and don't apply, you cannot be considered.
Please note that later this week, in association with Animation South Africa, we will be putting a call out for CFC Members in the Animation sector to join our CFC/DTI trade delegation to the animation festival and market: Annecy 2013.
It was cold - having flown from a sunny and clear Cape Town at 32 degrees to a sunny and clear Berlin at -10 degrees, it took a while to acclimatise. However, we had proper snow, a real treat, and the kind of wrong snow that would grind British Railways to a halt. The City looked stunning.
Day one is about orientation, registration etc. Berlin works for a film festival, the centre around Potsdammer Platz has approximately 35 screens within 5 minutes walk of each other. With screenings all day everyday, there is a lot of content being showcased.
I had a productive meeting with a UK based Producer who represents 6 international film funds. He has asked us to work with him to source SA content.
On Saturday I had lunch with a USA producer who is almost certain to bring her 5-picture deal to Cape Town. Much was discussed and we still have some way to go before securing the deal but if successful, this could be a $150m contribution to our local economy.
I also had a very productive 2-hour meeting with the DTI on Saturday morning. We have a great relationship with them and they are extremely supportive over what we are doing. More of this later.
This South African event at the SA Consulate on Saturday evening was a great success. I had the honour of being asked to be MC by the DTI and the Consulate. I introduced His Excellency Ambassador Rev. Stofile who gave a rousing speech to the 150 attendees about the strengths and growth in our industry.
Following the speech by the Ambassador, the DTI represented by Dr Mashalaba spoke to the audience about the DTI rebate, the SSAS and EMEA schemes and the number of films they had supported during the previous 12 months.
At this stage please let me extend my thanks to the Ambassador, the DTI, and especially Karen Liebenberg from the DTI and her team at the Consulate for all of the support they gave us at the event and during our visit.
Then it was time for me to introduce the 3 SA films that were being shown at the market. With one film in competition we were very well represented.
Jeremy Nathan (Producer) and Pia Marais (Director) introduced their film "Layla Fourie" which was being premiered at Berlin and was in competition. (Please see photo attached). The film was being widely promoted and was visible on many billboards around the city. Reviews of the film have been very positive. Aside from the obviously positive reviews of the narrative, acting and script, some critics were commenting on the photographic beauty of the Western Cape being seen on a big screen that does it much justice. The film received a special commendation from the judges. Well done to the team and congratulations on receiving the accolade.
Ntshavheni Wa Luruli (Director) and Florence Masebe (Leading Lady) introduced "Elelwani". This film opened the Durban Film Festival last year. It is a beautifully crafted film with an outstanding performance by Florence. Please support it (see photo attached).
Finally Harry Patramis (Director) and Eleni Asvesta (Producer) presented "Fynbos". I want to thank them for making my job so easy. This is a great film, filmed locally. They spoke eloquently about their positive experiences filming in and around the Western Cape.
The proceedings were followed by a networking session. We were joined by the great and the good from the industry including legendary British Director John Irvin and his Producer Claire Evans who are about to go into production on 3 movies in SA.
Also present were many members of the CFC including our 25 delegates plus a further 25+ supported by the DTI, the GFC and the CFC. There were an estimated 75 representatives of South Africa at the Festival making up some of the 150 in attendance at the Consulate event.
Thanks also to the GFC whose CEO Mzwandile Masina and their Stakeholder Liaison Officer Siyabonga Mngoma who together supported some of the cast fromLayla Fourie in attending the event.
Sunday was taken up by me attending the AFCI (Association of Film Commissioners International) Berlinale workshop. It was a great success with approximately 50 attending. We have some good news coming from this later.
There were of course, parties and parties and networking functions. Thanks to the Commissions from Scandinavia for all their hospitality together with the Commissions from Columbia, Croatia and elsewhere for the great parties they hosted.
The interesting aspect of all of this is to see that South Africa has arrived as a film producing country. I was heartened to hear that one of our delegates has signed a $1m deal, another has been aligned to the new Ron Howard production, others have also signed deals and some had up to 60 meetings in 4 days.
Personally I have 35 business cards from relevant producers, distributors and producers. I will share these in due course.
Thanks to everyone involved and a special thanks to all of our delegates for representing South Africa with such professionalism.
Two former Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking students, now working in Big Fish’s Production Company – Little Pond, were invited to be part of the Berlinale Film Festival in February. With grateful thanks to the NFVF, Siphiwe Linda (right) will be attending the Berlin Film Mart, after having submitted his film `Basotho Blankets’ produced by little Pond and funded by the NLDTF, alongside Khululekile Banzi (left) whose film `African Negroes’ was funded by the DSTV Grooming Exceptional Talent Programme. He is going as part of the Cape Film Commission delegation.
Work Permits, Visas, Cannes and other matters
There are some unfortunate communications being made to the film and television industry by The Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism, and Wesgro.
The communications I refer to purport to advise the industry on what work/services are being provided to industry by the CFC. These entities do not have the CFC's permission to make such statements nor are they in a position to advise the industry with regard to the CFC's services or the work that it does, so please ignore them. I reiterate that we have an on-going working relationship with the Provincial Government of the Western Cape and The City of Cape Town.
Please can I also take this opportunity to remind you all of the contents of the newsletter we sent out last year in relation to comments made on Facebook and Twitter. Many of you will have seen the front-page article in the Cape Argus at the weekend. The law in South Africa is now clear on remarks made on social media that may be deemed to cause intentional harm to a company or an individual.
On a much more positive note;
Many of you have been seeking the assistance of the Cape Film Commission in relation to inbound production requirements for work permits and visas. We have recently received communications from South African Consulates that the CFC is their preferred local agency for the provision of letters of support from local production companies to support their inbound production company partners or talent.
Many of you are now asking us to apply for work permits and visas on behalf of your local production companies for inbound talent. I would like to take this opportunity to make you all aware of the existing relationship that the CFC has with the Ministry of Home Affairs and The Department of Home Affairs. This relationship is assisting in unblocking any matters that may be causing you frustration.
To further reinforce the arrangements between the parties and address some key issues, the CFC has arranged a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs to take place next week. Some senior representatives of industry will join me at the meeting. Should you have any pressing matters that you would like us to table at the meeting, please make us aware of them no later than Monday of next week at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many thanks for your continuing support of the Cape Film Commission and welcome to our 50 new production company Members who joined us in January.
Finally, for those of you who are applying to join our trade mission to the Cannes Film Festival, please note that we have already received many applications and the deadline for submissions to the CFC is 4pm Friday 8 February, no exceptions will be made.