The Newtown Management District (NMD), in association with the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC), has launched a campaign to promote Newtown as a film friendly zone. The aim of the campaign is to position Newtown as an attractive film destination.

The Newtown 'film friendly zone' seeks to strengthen the existing strong associations that Newtown enjoys as home to cultural productions while simultaneously boosting the local economy.

The film friendly zone offers filmmakers and producers:

  • Free assistance and support with sourcing suitable locations
  • Reduced location fees
  • Free unit parking in designated areas
  • Logistical support
  • Location liaison
  • Access to diverse and unique urban locations.

According to Kate Shand, Marketing Manager for the NMD, the campaign will sensitise local businesses and property owners of the value of film and in particular the benefits of allowing productions easy access to properties and amenities. With increased film activity, local businesses stand to gain from increased patronage.

Research undertaken by the GFC shows that Newtown is already one of Johannesburg's most used locations with filmmakers attracted to the wide variety of gritty, industrial locations, world-class cultural institutions such as the Market Theatre, iconic landmarks including the Nelson Mandela Bridge, and trendy offices and loft apartments. No wonder that Newtown has been used as location in well-known productions including Gavin Hood's Tsotsi, Ralph Ziman's Jerusalema and e-TV's Scandal - a local soap that is set in Newtown.

The City of Johannesburg, through the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), is committed to seeing Newtown thrive. Newtown is a cultural precinct development aimed at inner-city regeneration. Through their investment in development, the JDA aims to attract retail and commercial business back into Newtown, to promote a mixed use area with restaurants, events and attractions which will give the area a boost from foreign visitors as well as locals.

The NMD is entrusted with ensuring that each visitor to Newtown has an exceptional experience while there. By providing public safety ambassadors (PSAs) and cleaners, the NMD not only provides a safe and clean environment, but a friendly one too. All the PSAs have been trained to assist visitors with queries about directions and general information pertaining to Newtown. Funded by the JDA and voluntary levies by property owners and tenants, it is the job of the NMD to oversee the general maintenance and provide services over and above municipal services. The result is a space where people want to go because it is truly beautiful, vibrant, clean, safe and extraordinarily friendly.

For more information, please contact Kate Shand on +27 11 833 6323 or email or visit