Wesgro has announced that a total of nine film and media declarations contributing R1.92 billion to Cape Town and the Western Cape’s economy were facilitated by their Film and Media Promotion Unit in the 2017/2018 financial year. This spend on productions will result in approximately 2 449 full-time equivalent jobs having been created in the Cape.
In addition to this, the unit delivered over R33 million Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) through marketing support for the film and media industry.
This outstanding achievement was the efforts of a stronghold two women team – headed by Monica Rorvik and supported by Lisa Mini, film and media relations officer. Both women were certified as official African Film Commissioner’s by the African Film Commissions Network in November 2017.
The aim of the unit is to attract the production of local and international film and new media productions into Cape Town and the Western Cape. Their objective to grow the local industry is aligned to the Department of Economic Development and Tourism’s (DEDAT) 5-year film and media strategy, the Cape Town Film Studios, as well as the film and media promotion mandate from the City of Cape Town.
Congratulating the team on their efforts, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, commented: “The film and media market is a key contributor to our province’s economy and the above results bare testimony to this. It can garner much more international direct investment and local growth if we maintain and stabilise our legislative and incentive frameworks.”
During the financial year, the unit worked hard to facilitate the growth of the industry in a variety of different ways. This included four outbound missions to Cannes, France (May 2017); Toronto, Canada (September 2017); Berlin Germany (February 2018); and El Gouna Egypt (October 2017); 603 companies were upskilled through the completion of Exporter Advancement Promotion (EAP) courses activities – these were done in partnership with industry, and partnerships around inbound missions; as well as numerous ad hoc facilitation activities which took place, and to mention a few: visa support, mentoring and strategic B2B networking events.
Twenty-three separate inbound missions were facilitated with participant nationalities from Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, USA, UK, Qatar, and Russia. Seventy-five Western Cape companies were assisted on outbound missions to five festival markets: Shanghai Film Festival, China; Visions du Reel, Switzerland; Annecy, France; Cannes, France; and the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada. There was ongoing updating of the creative locations e-version book and the recent launch of the location’s website, Location Manual – a joint effort between Wesgro and the industry. Plus the completion of the film research project, Cape Town & Western Cape Film & Media Sector Study (Situational Analysis Report 2017).
Working alongside the Wesgro Tourism team, the film and media unit presented at various stakeholder engagements hosted in regions across the province. Presentations informed regions on how to become more film friendly and how to become a more attractive film location.
Head of the film team, Monica Rovrik, commented: “Over $30billion is spent on production by the Motion Picture Association companies globally, and the likelihood that South Africa can grow its footprint of spend from those companies from $400m to $1,5b is part of an ongoing discussion to help stabilise national strategic frameworks. Wesgro FMP is helping to facilitate this discussion and to attract even more of this spending to the region.”
Minister Alan Winde added, “The Western Cape has been growing traction as a destination of choice for filmmakers from all over the world and these results are proof of the excellent facilities and value we offer. It’s also good to see the number of local jobs being created which means that filmmakers are recognising the skills of our crews. This sector has a lot of potential for growth, which will allow us to further develop our skills set and grow the number of jobs available.”
“The Wesgro team has been working hard to resolve red tape faced by our industry, specifically with regards to constructive engagements with SAN Parks and various municipalities. Monica and her team have been pivotal in contributing to the positive growth of the local film industry with our company, the South African Association of Stills Producers (SAASP), declaring R521 Million and facilitating 168 full-time equivalent jobs in the Western Cape over the past financial year,” commented Rudi Riek of SAASP.
Commending the unit on their performance, executive mayor, Patricia de Lille said: “These results are a firm testament to Cape Town being a destination of choice to filmmakers and the work we are amplifying to let the world know that Cape Town is open for business. I would like to commend the media and film promotion unit for their efforts which contributed to this great success and we look forward to building on it to make even more progress possible in this important job-creating sector for our city.”