At a workshop held last month (September 2009), the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) invited the film industry and location professionals to comment on draft location filming guidelines for the Province.

According to Seitiso Mogoshane, acting Marketing Manager for the GFC, the guidelines are intended to clarify roles and responsibilities and to give film makers clear guidance relating to location filming requirements and also to inform them of locations with particular requirements.

The guidelines include a locations code of conduct, tips for 'green filming', general location filming guidelines, legislation affecting filming as well as proposals for dealing with shoots that contravene permit conditions.

The draft guidelines stress that the GFC does not issue permits. Permits are therefore issued by the relevant city, provincial or national departments, agencies and authorities. The GFC will however point film makers, when they require a film permit, towards the relevant department or agency and will facilitate the submission of applications on their behalf at no cost. For use of private locations, permission must always be sourced from the owners or managing agents directly.

The GFC also aims to collate and manage the latest information on the production environment in Johannesburg and Gauteng and will endeavour to know who to contact, what permit conditions to expect and how to best go about a production in the Province.

The GFC further plays an active role in lobbying municipalities to improve on their permit processes for film. It has developed practical, applicable film permit processes, including standard approvals times for issuance, and it works hard to get City and Provincial Departments to adopt these terms.

The GFC also works with film makers and the government to collate accurate statistics on the industry. This information is used to unlock resources and lobby harder on behalf of the industry.

Lastly, the guidelines also note that the GFC's time and resources are best spent building broad-based support for the industry, rather than troubleshooting the needs of individual shoots. Nevertheless, depending on staff availability, the GFC will try to help where it can.

Comments on the guidelines must be submitted to Seitiso Mogoshane in writing at fax +27 (0)11 833-0282 or seitisom@gautengfilm.org.za. Submissions must be made by 15 October 2009.