Western Cape’s Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, hosted a visit by the foreign Consular Corp to Cape Town Film Studios (CTFS) on 12 August to showcase the state-of-the-art Hollwood style complex – the first of its kind in Africa.
Consuls from the UK, Germany, Japan and many more were treated to a tour of the facilities.
Minister Winde was clear about his motivation for inviting the foreign delegates. “We are open for business and serious about growing the economy,’ he said in his opening remarks.
Extremely positive about the view the world has of Cape Town, particularly after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Minister Winde went on to emphasise that while much of the world is feeling the pressure of the recession, Cape Town is growing. He cited the examples of the 32-storey Portside development and the recent sale of the V&A Waterfront. He sees CTFS as part and parcel of this growth and as an opportunity to provide jobs in the Western Cape. This is largely dependent on foreign productions taking place in the region.
The Minister made reference to the growing number of South African stories on the big screen such as Invictus, District 9, and The Bang Bang Club. His pride in South Africa was summed up in the statement: “Film is an amazing medium that lets us tell our story, and we have a great story to tell.’
The foreign delegation was impressed by the scale of the four sound stages spreading over an accumulated area of 18 300m2 and by the support facilities, particularly the 37-seater cinema that also caters for 3D film grading, two large workshops, and two fully furnished luxury star rooms that accompany each stage.
CTFS recently hosted the second instalment of British production, The Borrowers. Nico Dekker, CTFS CEO, was thrilled when one of the stars, Stephen Fry, gave it a thumbs-up by tweeting:”Deeply impressed with brand new Cape Town Studios. Make Pinewood etc look v shabby’ to his three million Twitter followers.
Another British production, Dredd, is the biggest project to have filmed at the studio so far. Based on the graphic novel Judge Dredd, the movie enhanced CTFS’ reputation as it is a live action 3D production.
The representative from the Japanese Consulate, Seigo Nishijima, was most impressed by the studios’ technical aspects. Dekker believes CTFS surpass other studios in this regard. The advantages of lighting gantries and electrical access at every possible vantage point along the soundproof walls and gantries, combined with on-site post-production facilities and a fibre optic network that allows for affordable transfer of rushes to any part of the world, were pointed out to the delegation. – Anton Crone