Stop curtain falling on Cape Town film industry‚ pleads De Lille

25 July 2018 - 13:35 By Dave Chambers
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille says the city's film industry needs to adapt.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille says the city's film industry needs to adapt.
Image: Gallo Images

The credits could roll on Cape Town’s film industry unless urgent action is taken‚ mayor Patricia de Lille said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the signing of an agreement with the industry on its growth and transformation‚ De Lille said: “The business-as-usual approach cannot continue‚ because if we do not adapt we may not have a film industry next year.”

The industry had been through one of its toughest years‚ she said‚ outlining steps the city council was taking to help drive its recovery. They include:

  • Pegging film tariffs for three years;
  • Making the Civic Centre‚ Steenbras Dam and the Atlantis dunes available as filming locations; and
  • Launching a film commission “that truly represents a collaboration of the film industry and government to enable us to put Cape Town’s best foot forward to the international community”.

De Lille said the city council was determined to make Cape Town the film hub of Africa. However‚ “we work from the premise that the world owes us nothing”.

Almost 7‚000 permits had been granted in the last year‚ she said‚ making film a key job creator. “But honest‚ frank discussions this year revealed that the industry needs to have a hard look at its operations in terms of inclusivity and access.

“The industry cannot continue to benefit just a few big players at the top. It needs to be representative of Capetonians of all races and genders because everyone has something unique to offer.

“It is encouraging to see that industry leaders here today will sign a pledge that commits us all to these objectives.”

De Lille drew parallels with the events industry‚ which had proved that a robust partnership between the council and businesses could bring “incredible” success.

“This year the city attracted eight signature events that contributed more than R3-billion to the local economy and created more than 20‚000 temporary jobs‚” she said.

“With commitment from the industry and the city we can emulate such success.”