At the annual Gauteng Film Indaba held recently in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) released the results of the first phase findings of ‘Project Gaullywood’ – the most comprehensive sector review carried out in Gauteng to date.

According to GFC Chief Executive Terry Tselane the research was commissioned to address data gaps prevalent within the film industry. The 6 month project entailed a comprehensive investigation into the size, scope and competitiveness of sector activity in the province.  According to the GFC the study is the first of its kind illustrating the true size and impact of the Gauteng film cluster.

“With an economic contribution in excess of R2 billion per annum the research shows that Gauteng is indeed at the creative heart of the South African film industry.” Tselane said.

The audiovisual industry is not a sector that has historically been tracked by national agencies, with data fragmented and vital indicators such as employment and production data outdated or unavailable.

The study shows that Gauteng accounts for the bulk of TV production in South Africa and enjoys a large slice of the commercial production sector with an estimated 44% of all commercials filmed in South Africa, shot in Gauteng.

Increasingly the province is also used as base for the facilitation and provision of logistical and technical services for foreign productions with a number of international productions recently filmed in the province including Gandhi My Father (India), Shakalaka Boom Boom (India), The Killing of Wendy (US), Surprise! (the Netherlands) and Cutting Silence (a European – SA co-production) amongst others.

Speaking at the opening of the Gauteng Film Indaba, Finance and Economic Affairs MEC Paul Mashatile said that the release of the GFC research findings show that the film industry must be regarded as a key growth sector for the province.

“The moving image industry has proven its importance and relevance to the Gauteng economy. Film is playing a vital role in growing a ‘smart’ economy that not only attracts cultural workers, but significantly contributes to job creation, poverty relief and economic growth. We want to ensure that we position the film industry in Gauteng as a globally competitive sector. Our message should be that ‘film is everybody’s business’. It is a key component of our economic growth and development strategy”, Mashatile said.

Also see ‘Gauteng research survey shows growth’.