Acclaimed South African movie producer and CEO of Videovision Entertainment, Anant Singh and Chief Executive of South Africa’s private television station, etv, Marcel Golding, co-owners of Cape Town Film Studios (CTFS) are at the Cannes International Film Festival with CEO of CTFS, Nico Dekker to introduce CTFS to the global film industry. The state-of-the-art studios are currently under construction outside Cape Town and are due to open in March 2010. South Africa’s film industry is burgeoning, with many big-budget productions using the favourable exchange rate, specialist creative and technical talents, stunning locations and temperate weather to full advantage. Recent productions include Clint Eastwood’s The Human Factor, starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman and The Bang Bang Clubstarring Ryan Phillippe. South Africa and its creative talents are highly regarded internationally and is the talk of the town in Cannes, especially director Gavin Hood (Tsotsi), currently riding high with the Number One film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
“Cape Town Film Studios is the first custom-built, Hollywood-style studio complex of its kind in Africa,” says Singh. “South Africa has great potential with filmmakers around the world and we are delighted that we are finally able to give producers and directors the opportunity of a one-stop-shop to maximize everything that South Africa has to offer and to make a complete film in Cape Town. This is a world class facility and will be among the best on offer anywhere in the world. We believe that it will be the dedicated hub for media, new media, entertainment and film on the continent.”
“The complex will consist of over 75,000 square feet of high-specification soundproof stages, each with a roof height of more than 65 feet, lighting gantries at almost 40 and 50 feet,” explains Dekker, CEO of CTFS. “With five-foot-wide walkways, a hanging capacity of 150kg/m2 and a point load of 1.8 tonnes, we are confident that we will be able to meet the technical needs of any production. CTFS will also have the ability to transmit dailies electronically anywhere in the world.” “In addition, the complex will boast two fully equipped workshops of 31,000 square feet each for set construction, art department, wardrobe and storage, as well as an extensive backlot for exterior set building. Production offices and support buildings will make up the offering in phase 1,” he adds.
Dekker announced that companies representing all aspects of production servicing are planning to move on to the site, which will provide the fullest range of production support. The studio already has a short list of more than 80 companies that want to move permanently on the site and these include post production, special effects, specialised film equipment, casting, props, crew, crew agencies, lighting, camera, grips and a full range of transport and motion vehicle services
South African production services costs, according to Dekker, 30 to 50% less than elsewhere in the world, offering a huge incentive for companies to use Cape Town Film Studios. Dekker and Singh emphasized that CTFS in time will also be a production partner that will provide financial incentives, distribution deals, and gap and equity financing.
Cape Town Film Studios is backed by the South African government and will also facilitate applications for tax rebates and refunds as well as financial support from the SA government, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) and the Department of Trade and Industry, the DTI.
Another aspect that makes South Africa attractive as a production destination is that, according to Singh, “South African crew, cast and production support are experienced, non unionised, creative and universally English speaking. In terms of cast, talent deals are done on a buy-out basis with no residual fees.”
The majority shareholders of CTFS are Videovision Entertainment and Sabido Investments, which are leaders in their field. Singh is at the helm of Videovision and has produced more than 70 feature films, including the Oscar-nominated Yesterday and it also holds the rights to Long Walk To Freedom (the only authorized feature on Nelson Mandela) which will go into production later this year. Sabido Investments, a media investment holding company headed by Marcel Golding, own e.tv, South Africa’s first, privately owned free-to-air television channel.
“Cape Town is one of the 10 most desirable cities in the world and when CTFS open in March 2010, filmmakers from across the globe will be able to make movies in a beautiful location at a fraction of the price,” says Golding. South Africa’s telecommunications systems are reliable and top-notch and CTFS are 15 minutes’ drive from Cape Town International Airport, which is 11 hours’ flying time from London direct.
“Some of the world’s greatest and oldest stories have originated in Africa. Once Cape Town Film Studios open in March 2010, we will be able produce the world’s new stories from this exciting continent,” added Golding.
“Cannes is the perfect opportunity to launch the Cape Town Film Studios as the Festival traverses both the creative and technical areas. Marcel, Nico and I are having meetings with high profile producers and companies such as Kodak and Technicolor,” concludes Singh.
Nico Dekker, CEO of Cape Town film Studios, at the World Premier of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds starring Brad Pitt
Pictured above: Nico Dekker, CEO of Cape Town film Studios, at the World Premier of Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds starring Brad Pitt
Nico Dekker can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 462 1838.
For more information please visit www.capetownfilmstudios.co.za