IPO Statement: SAFETY ON FILM SETS

The Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) has been alarmed to hear of the unfortunate death of actor Odwa Shweni on a film set in KZN. It seems from the reports that we have been able to access, that there may have been negligence involved and we welcome a police investigation into the matter. Neither of the Producers involved, Gillian Schutte and Sipho Singwisa from Handheld Films, are members of the IPO.

We are also aware of the death of Director of Photography Carlos Carvalho who died after attempting to film a close-up of a giraffe known as Gerald. We will be closely monitoring the investigation into this matter and act as per our constitution and in line with this statement.

The IPO and its members take safety on set very seriously, and follow professionally recognised safety- and permitting-procedures as indicated in our constitution. The IPO materially exists to support producers in any way necessary to execute a production responsibly and safely. Budget pressures, ignorance or oblivion are not excuses where such an organization exists. Therefore, once again, we uphold a zero-tolerance policy where the safety of cast and crew is compromised.

The IPO exists to advocate for a thriving and safe industry where we can all prosper. It is our opinion that all production companies must in some way be accountable to the industry, both where they are in favour and where they have erred. We are bound by the guidelines set out in our constitution and can only enforce disciplinary action upon our members. We therefore urge all producers and production companies to be bona fide members of the IPO and likewise encourage both cast and crew to check whether the production company that they are working for is a paid-up member of the IPO by contacting our Administrator on administrator@ipo.org.za