Production of the television series, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, will no longer take place in Gaborone, Botswana. The producers of the series, Film Afrika, decided to relocate the production to Cape Town after the Cape Film Commission (CFC) offered attractive incentives. Originally the Botswana government planned to introduce a rebate system to stimulate the country’s film industry but this did not materialise.
“After lengthy discussions with the Botswana government and promises to introduce a film rebate, there is still no official rebate in place,” says Film Afrika producer Vlokkie Gordon.
She states that on the pilot, directed by the late Anthony Minghella, the government contributed a considerable sum of money to ensure the project stayed in Botswana as the Botswana Tourism Department recognised the marketing potential of the series.
The lack of financial contribution from Botswana for the ongoing series placed financial stress on the project, says Gordon. “We realised that we needed to shoot in South Africa where we are assured of a rebate that will help with the financing of the series.”
Gordon says the decision to shoot in Cape Town rather than Johannesburg was based on the studio facilities available and the fact that the cast and crew would be happier in Cape Town, where they could enjoy the longer hours of summer sunshine after a day in the studio.
At the time of writing, the producers had still to decide whether the production would be based at the Waterfront Studios or Cape Town Film Studios.
“We hope to be in pre-production before the end of the year,” says Gordon. Ð Martin Chemhere