The Sasani Studios complex, situated in Highlands North, is home to a wide variety of film and television services. Ideally located in a leafy suburb of Gauteng, with good access to all

Sasani Studios – the home of film
amenities, the recently revamped complex is buzzing with activity.

The complex is large by anyone’s standards. Consisting of 31,000 square meters (with 16,500 square meters covered), it has been home to the extremely popular soap opera Egoli for the past 15 years. The site has serviced the industry for some 60 years, which gives it an important place in the South African film and television industry.

James Whitehouse, who had been at the helm for the last few years, recently moved to a non-executive position and the day-to-day management is now handled by CEO Geoff Green and his team.

Whitehouse says:  “We recently completed a rejuvenation programme at the site, which included a general refurbishment of all the major buildings, a new entrance and a great coffee shop. We also installed air conditioning in Stage One and the control rooms. Most recently we completed the building of a ‘house’ to accommodate the new Big Brother series.  This is the nature of our business – to meet demands at short notice, as with Big Brother.”

According to Whitehouse: “I think this is what makes us unique. We have a management team that caters to clients’ needs – including engineers, site managers, IT support and technical facilities. Everything is on site and we can turn to Sasani companies such as MCC for lighting and generators. We have huge backup potential. This is a mature business and over the years we have provided much of what is required. Good security with a fully enclosed site, fibre optic links and Microwave links – we have it all. I believe our many tenants are satisfied.”

Their tenant list is indeed impressive. Sasani is home to Franz Marx Films, Little Bird, Screen Africa, Moviworld, Endemol's Big Brother, Out of Africa Productions, Jaffit Management, Memar Learnthings, ZSE TV, Chris Fellows Sound Studios as well as the only full-service Kodak-approved film laboratory in Africa.

Whitehouse concludes: “To replicate an infrastructure like Sasani’s would cost hundreds of millions of rands and it would be almost impossible to find a better location. Our coverage of the site is such that we could build another large studio, so we still have a lot of capacity. I also can’t overstate the importance of security at a site of this nature. Contained within a walled complex with 24-hour access control and multiple security features, Sasani has to be the safest production environment in the country.  I think the importance of this aspect will grow over the years and I believe we will continue to provide safety to our clients. Sasani is ideally set up to benefit from the inevitable increase in local productions as the new free-to-air and pay TV channels come on air.”