The Commercial Producers Association of South Africa (CPA) and the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) this week (3 December 2008) hosted a networking breakfast for Cape-based producers to discuss location options in Gauteng and strengthen relations between the GFC and the Cape production industry.

The breakfast was facilitated by The Filmmakers Guide to South Africa.

"Research shows that Gauteng is rapidly growing its share of service work from Cape-based producers. We want to thank our partners in the Cape for using Gauteng as a location, as well as discuss location options available to producers working nationally," says Terry Tselane, Chief Executive of GFC.

The workshop was aimed at encouraging the Cape industry to use Gauteng as a location and production centre for upcoming shoots. In addition, producers were updated on the latest developments within Gauteng in respect to permit facilitation and location support. 
At the workshop the GFC also discussed its 'hotlist' of locations - locations that are proving popular with the industry and are readily available in Gauteng.

"We have found that certain locations are increasingly becoming difficult to access in other parts of the country. From city streets to stadia, race courses, railway stations, trains, platforms, parks, public swimming pools and historic homes, we are receiving increasing requests for specific types of locations. We have had discussions with the GFC and believe that Gauteng offers value-for-money location options," says Bobby Amm, Executive Officer of the CPASA.

The GFC updated the industry on initiatives underway to ensure that Gauteng remains film friendly. This initiative has been developed by the GFC in consultation with the Gauteng Film Partnership to address concerns regarding escalating permit and location fees.

According to the GFC there is a perception in the industry that Gauteng means Johannesburg. The GFC has been actively working with regional Gauteng to ensure that locations outside of Johannesburg are promoted to the industry.

"We want to convey that outside of Johannesburg, historic towns and cities offer a multitude of high and low-rise streetscapes often at a fraction of what a location in central Johannesburg, or other parts of the country, will cost. Small town Gauteng include the historic centres of Heidelberg, Springs, Mohale City and Cullinan with an interesting array of Victorian, Edwardian and Wilhelmine architecture on offer. Gauteng is also benefitting from the construction of not just one but three FIFA soccer world cup stadia and Orlando Stadium has recently been refurbished and is available for shoots.  Landlocked Gauteng also has hundreds of dams, lakes and rivers which can be used for filming. On the western side of the province, the Magaliesberg range offers dramatic mountain scenery", explains Tselane.

According to the GFC, most studios in Gauteng have also been expanding their capacity and the province enjoys well developed post-production facilities.

"We have the locations and the commitment from government to ensure that Gauteng remains conducive to film production. Come shoot is our message to our national industry," Tselane concludes.

"We have always been extremely keen on ensuring that our national and regional film organisations have opportunities to network one-on-one with our industry players," says Kathy English-Brower, publisher of The Filmmakers Guide to South Africa range, "as we believe that face to face interaction creates future business platforms, breaks down barriers and creates mutual understandings and business initiatives.  We are very excited about this initiative by GFC and the CPA."