by Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town is now asking for public comments on its Draft Film Policy of 2021 as the city tries to reclaim its position as a significant film destination and wants to attract more local and international film and TV productions despite challenges like droughts, Covid-19 and rising production costs.
The 27-page draft policy is available on the city of Cape Town's website with comments and objections that can be submitted online or written and hand delivered by 31 October 2021. The Draft Film Policy of 2021 is set to replace Cape Town's Film Policy and Protocol of 2004.
The City of Cape Town says that its new Draft Film Policy "aims to position Cape Town as a globally competitive film destination, renowned for the quality and variety of its exceptional locations, studios, facilitation companies and specialised crew".
"It will also guide us on how to work with role-players to build a film industry that contributes to city objectives, such as economic growth, job creation, and social inclusion."
The Draft Film Policy 2021 also seeks to "attract, drive and support film activity in Cape Town; position the city as a significant film destination, attracting local and international productions; and to build a resilient, sustainable and inclusive film industry".
According to Cape Town's film office, the city has a "robust and vibrant film industry" but still faces a number of challenges inhibiting the growth and impact of the industry in Cape Town".
"In recent years the Cape Town film industry, like many other industries has been negatively impacted by a number of external factors such as increasing global competition coupled with rising production costs, the 2017/18 drought and the Covid-19 pandemic".
"The critical challenge for Cape Town is to successfully reclaim its position as a significant film destination attracting a host of local and international productions, and to harness the extensive film industry value chain and enormous potential within this industry to grow jobs and help build the local economy."
"Although Cape Town has the highest concentrations of film industry companies and resources in the country, the industry still does not market itself optimally," the draft film policy states.
"The lack of collaboration and aligning of sales and marketing campaigns means the region is missing opportunities to maximise new business development. There is a need for more collaboration and support within the local film industry aimed at ensuring Cape Town has a presence at key industry markets and festivals."
"There is a need for increased inclusivity within the film industry," the draft policy says.
"Currently, barriers to entry negatively impact inclusivity, diversity and transformation in the industry. These barriers need to be resolved in order to realise the benefits of inclusivity and to realise the potential of a diverse and inclusive industry."
"While Cape Town has some of the best studio facilities on the African continent and boasts a rich diversity of locations there is still a need to increase infrastructure across the film industry value chain, from training to production facilities, to expand the industry and enhance competitiveness."