In September the Gauteng Film Commission hosted the first of what it hopes will become a series of industry workshops around the theme of film financing. The first workshop, attended by 50 participants from the broader Gauteng film industry, was held on the 3rd of September 2007 and provided filmmakers the opportunity to engage with key funding and financing institutions.

According to Thabiso Masudubele, GFC Acting Senior Manager: Investment Promotion, the workshop was intended to address a little understood, yet critical, aspect of film production, “One of the key challenges for producers is that it is difficult to predict with any accuracy the revenues that any one film will generate. Even if a film looks like it will be a commercial success ‘on paper’, there is still no accurate method of determining the levels of revenue the film will generate. Due to uncertain cash flows, financiers are faced with a high degree of uncertainty as to whether they will actually have their investment repaid, and if it is repaid, what return they will earn. The workshop was pitched at filmmakers to engage around some of these challenges.”

The workshops, scheduled to run over upcoming months, seek to provide a platform for local filmmakers to engage with funding and financing institutions as well as raise awareness of available opportunities within the sector. Key industry stakeholders will also have an opportunity to promote services to attendees, whilst guest speakers and expert facilitators will look at ways in which filmmakers can develop their business acumen.

According to Masudubele the workshops will encourage a greater understanding between content creators and investors with the aim of increasing investor confidence in local film production. “Round one shows us that there is a need for financiers and filmmakers to engage collectively and more often”, he said.

For more information contact Kgomotso Tabane at Tel: (011) 833 0409 or ktabane@gautengfilm.org.za