The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) has committed itself to the support of the Gauteng film community. This assurance was made at a workshop recently held to discuss industry concerns around JMPD film permit procedures.

The workshop was facilitated by the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) after a number of complaints had been received by the JMPD and GFC from filmmakers. The workshop comes as the GFC is currently completing a film permit review which is aimed at bringing Gauteng’s film permit processes in line with international and national best practice.

Industry representatives from the Commercial Producers Association, the Independent Producers Organisation, The Producers Alliance, the South African Association of Stills Producers, as well as location scouts, made inputs to the workshop highlighting some of the operational constraints that various players of the industry experience on location. Concerns highlighted include the need for transparent, simple policies and procedures; the need for a central contact point; the need to keep the industry informed about changes; the need for greater flexibility when required by unforeseen location changes; and the need for sensitivity to small-budget productions including student projects which cannot afford expensive location permits.

According to Martin Cuff advisor to the GFC on municipal film permits, “there is increasing interest in Johannesburg as a film location which will place greater pressure on permitting authorities such as the JMPD. It is vital that we adopt a coherent, streamlined permitting process for the entire Gauteng to ensure our competitive position is secure”.

JMPD Director of Operations, David Tembe confirmed that the hourly permit rate for filming on public roads in Johannesburg is R200.00 and that each permit application will still be assessed individually. Where producers suspect that a shoot may impact on traffic during peak traffic hours they are advised to discuss their needs with the GFC and JMPD well in advance.

The meeting agreed that standard application procedures will be developed by the JMPD and GFC in consultation with the industry by the end of October 2007.

According to GFC Chief Executive Terry Tselane, “The bottom line is that the GFC is aware of the need to make sure that Joburg locations are available and ‘film friendly’. With 2010 ahead, we need to build relationships and processes now, so that we don’t deter producers from choosing Gauteng as a location.”

Members of the Gauteng film community can submit their views by participating in our on-line permit survey. Click here for more information

Film permit enquiries and applications must be submitted to the GFC. Contact Puisano Phatoli at (011) 833 0409 or for further information.