Cape Town and the Western Cape’s Film and Media Promotion Unit, located in Wesgro, extends its gratitude to the many companies in the industry taking innovative steps to become water resilient.
Last week, together with the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government, the unit hosted a “Think Tank” session where best practice on water saving was shared with businesses. The enthusiasm and determination demonstrated by members who attended this workshop was heart-warming.
Cape Town is not the first major film destination to experience severe drought, with several parts of California only recently emerging from a similar experience. Nevertheless, Wesgro is determined to become stronger during this challenging period, positioning itself as a water resilient, and sustainable sector. This, they say will result in even more film and media productions being brought to the Cape, now and into the future.
Monica Rorvik, the head of the Film and Media Promotion Unit, and certified African film commissioner said: “Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business. We are working with the industry to assist them in becoming water resilient during this drought. We are so thankful for the many companies already taking steps to make this happen. If we all work together and do our bit, we will emerge from this period stronger and more resilient. This gives me confidence and hope.”
Ms Rorvik continued: “Over the coming months, our team will be proactively engaging with the international film and media trade at key festivals such as the Berlin Film Festival. We also will use our colleagues that embark on tourism, trade and investment missions to get the word out that Cape Town and the Western Cape are open for business, and are both ready to be an inspiring destination to create.”
Genevieve Hofmeyr, co-founder and managing director at Moonlighting Films – a major facilitation company based in Cape Town said: “Film businesses in Cape Town and the Western Cape are adapting to the new normal. Our international cast and crew are living like locals and cutting their water footprint. Where potable water is required for a scene, it is imported from the Cape Overberg and then re-used in our greywater systems, but these scenes are being cut to the minimum.”
Byron De Carvalho, director at Shesha – a film catering company added: “Shesha has a plan to save 145 000 litres of water. We are going to erect water cooler drums, which makes use of water from springs outside of Cape Town. An average shoot uses up to 480 plastic bottles of water a day, so this intervention will drastically save water. We are also installing an air-water converter, which will be used to run our kitchen, and will use plastic, biodegradable plates and cutlery to reduce washing requirements. Our chefs will in addition cut out high water using dishes from the menu, and greywater will be used to clean floors. We know that by taking these steps, we will not only save money but also ensure that we are sustainable now and into the future. And this will mean even more TV and advert shoots in Cape Town.”
Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said: “We welcome the forward-thinking efforts of the film industry to reduce their water footprint and to save water. It is these types of innovative steps that are set to catapult our economy into a stronger and more resilient future. In the short term, the commitments being made by businesses across the province are helping us to get through this critical time, with the result that many jobs will be preserved”.
Rudi Riek, a leading consultant to the film industry concluded: “Our Industry has been world leaders on many fronts and our ability as an industry to deal with crisis situations is well known. We are encouraged by the incredible measures our suppliers and production companies are already taking in order to save water. Along with our partners in the City and Wesgro with the support of our suppliers we will be rolling out new guidelines that all companies must adhere to in our efforts to ensure all productions are water neutral or as close to it as possible. Fortunately for film, we generally only bring in less than 10 per cent of the participants on the project from overseas – the remaining 90 per cent are locals, who are already saving water at home. Our message is clear: Cape Town is open for business and we cannot wait to welcome you.”