Gauteng Film Commission CEO Andile Mbeki
Gauteng Film Commission CEO Andile Mbeki at the South African premiere of superhero blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron in Johannesburg in April. One of the film's key action sequences was filmed in downtown Joburg.

South Africa's provincial film commissions, along with the National Film and Video Foundation and other organisations, need to unite in promoting the country as a filmmaking destination, Gauteng Film Commission CEO Andile Mbeki said at the 2015 Durban FilmMart.

That's according to an exclusive Screen Africa report from the Durban FilmMart, which ran parallel to the 2015 Durban International Film Festival from 17 to 20 July.

Screen Africa was reporting on a panel discussion, held on the first day of the FilmMart, involving the Namibian Film Commission, Gauteng Film Commission (GFC), KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, and the film and media promotion department of Western Cape destination marketing agency Wesgro.

Mbeki outlined his "Team South Africa" vision of collaboration for the panel, saying that this should extend to the provision of services to filmmakers.

"We, as government agencies, shouldn't be competing," Screen Africa quoted him as saying.

Regarding the GFC's work in Gauteng, Mbeki said that, while the commission's capacity for financing film productions was limited, it would "bend over backwards" in adding value to services that were not funding-related.

"If you need to bring Johannesburg to a standstill for your production, we will do that," Screen Africa quoted him as saying.

The commission will also help ease the administrative burden faced by producers looking to apply for filming permits, make arrangements for filming in public places, and so on. "You shouldn't have to deal with government," Mbeki said. "We're a government agency, so let us deal with government."

The GFC has been a strong presence at the 36th Durban International Film Festival, which opened on 16 July and runs through to 26 July.

The commission supported 15 participants in Talents Durban and the Business Model Canvas Workshop, funded the screening of six Gauteng-made films, and is sponsoring The GFC Award for Best South African Short Film at the festival.

Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission