Under the banner ‘Big Ideas, Perfect Locations’, the Department of Economic Development in association with the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) will host the 2007 Gauteng Film Indaba on the 6th of November at the Forum in Bryanston. The Indaba will bring together industry role-players from the audio-visual industries to investigate ways of fully exploiting Gauteng as a prime film destination and production centre of choice.

At the Indaba, the GFC will present the first phase findings of ‘Project Gaullywood’ – the most comprehensive sector review carried out in Gauteng to date.

According to Finance and Economic Affairs MEC Paul Mashatile, the Film Indaba – as well as the release of the GFC research findings – should be seen as part of the Gauteng Provincial Government’s ongoing support and commitment to the industry.

“Film can play 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 with this Indaba is that ‘film is everybody’s business’. It is a key component of our economic growth and development strategy”, Mashatile says.

With state-of-the-art studios, a cosmopolitan lifestyle and respected production and post production facilities, Gauteng is seen as Africa’s leading centre for film, television, commercials and interactive media. And with a strong screen culture, year-round film festivals and numerous tertiary film schools that attract film students from across the world, the province is a dominant player in the regional entertainment economy.

“With ‘Project Gaullywood’ we are ensuring that detailed, comparative data on the Gauteng film industry will be available for the first time. We are leading the way when it comes to showing the significant economic benefits that the cultural industry is delivering to Gauteng”, says GFC Chief Executive Terry Tselane.

In addition to the release of the study, a number of panel discussions facilitated by key industry role-players will assess the potential for industry growth. Plenary discussion topics include:

  • ‘Making the Case: The role of research and data management in raising the economic profile of the sector’

  • ‘Selling a holistic package: Location Marketing and building a strong Gauteng film brand’

  • ‘Incentives, funding & financing: how film friendly are we?’

  • ‘Capacity: Skills and Studios – over or under supply?’

  • ‘Speaking with one voice?: Sector coordination and industry partnerships’

  • ‘Bums on seats: Re-igniting a vibrant screen culture’

“With an economic contribution exceeding R2 billion per annum, the moving image industry has proven its importance and relevance to the Gauteng economy. Not only has Gauteng played host to a number of important productions since the triumph of Tsotsi, but Gauteng-based content creators are continuing to impress international audiences and critics alike. The Film Indaba should become an annual showcase of ‘location Gauteng’”, Mashatile concluded.

According to the GFC the Film Indaba will become an annual industry event comparable to the annual Tourism Indaba.