A series of workshops set up to unearth film talent in the Vaal, proved to be a necessary and much-appreciated intervention for local film-makers.

outreach-workshop

The final day of the Gauteng Film Commission's outreach workshops was an educational highlight among film-makers and others in the industry in Sedibeng.

Some 30 participants attended the last leg of the tour, which began on 26 November, at the TRP Lodge in Vereeniging on 30 November. The series of workshops covered areas such as ironing out film-making skills, discussing funding options offered by the commission, and helping people who would like to further their careers in the industry.

The audience, all aged 20 and older, was made up of actors, directors, producers, animators and more. During the round table discussion, participants were given an in-depth lesson on how to go about filling out application forms in response to a concern that one of the major challenges facing the industry was funding.

According to Sam Tshabalala, a local producer, the Vaal was not considered when broadcasters looked for content. Financing was a problem in that film-makers had a hard time accessing funds. He pointed out that some production houses in the area even did training, for which they did not know they could be subsidised. Some of the people who had been trained here were now working on local soapies.

When asked why the GFC felt the need to host workshops in the area, Nthabeleng Phora replied that not enough content was received from the region. It was also felt that local film-makers should be more informed about where they could get funding so that they could complete their projects. The GFC wanted to know from the locals where it could help, as well as to encourage film-makers to think outside the box so that they could receive the funding for their projects.

For example, she said, if a movie spoke about HIV then the film-maker should consider approaching the Department of Health for funding. The commission also wanted to reassure film-makers in the area that they hadn't been forgotten.

According to Bongani Maseko, a film producer who acted as the session's programme director, the GFC had undertaken its mandate to develop and unearth talent in the province by making sure that the film industry developed and created jobs, as well as enhanced tourism. He said it was essential that people in the industry in the Vaal were able to nurture the talent in the region, because it had a rich history that needed to be told.

The Gauteng Film Commission offers a range of professional services to the film industry, namely:

•Logistics support – for example, permit facilitation;

•Content development support;

•Funding and advisory services;

•Skills development;

•Marketing;

•Research and market intelligence;

•Information dissemination; and,

•Lobbying and advisory.

The commission's core business is to facilitate and improve the contribution of the industry to the economic growth of the province. It has an important role to play in enhancing Gauteng's competitiveness and in driving job creation and economic growth.

In line with these priorities, the GFC invests more heavily in industry support and development projects that undertake training and skills development, grow local content and expand local audiences – all contributing to emphasizing job creation in the province.

The commission believes strongly in collaboration. For the past two years, it has been working with local independent film-makers on introducing creative content that is linked to an alternative distribution model. This has resulted in films such as Jerusalema and White Wedding, which have shown that local demand not only exists but that local films can be financially viable as a result of this demand.

The GFC's industry support and development unit specialises in helping to develop outstanding film, television and interactive media projects through support programmes and focused investment facilitation. Programmes include help with funding and financing facilitation, and negotiation of co-productions, as well as partnership projects with all major public and independent distributors, broadcasters and their content commissioners.

Scriptwriters and film-makers can submit scripts and projects to the GFC for further assistance.

Project Proposal Application Form

The Project Proposal Application Form is an official form for film-makers to ask the GFC or any other government body to help them complete their project. Download the Project Proposal Application Form (PDF, 550 KB) here.

Filming Permit Application Form

With the online Filming Permit Application Form, film-makers give the GFC permission to obtain, on their behalf, the necessary permits from local authorities for location filming in Gauteng. The Filming Permit Application Form is available here.