In a move aimed at ramping up support for the film industry in the Eastern Cape, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) and the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC) are calling on South African producers who wish to produce and shoot films in the province to submit proposals for feature films, short films, documentaries and series projects.
The expression of interest closes on 2 July 2018 and the proposals will help the Eastern Cape government determine the type of support needed by filmmakers to grow the industry and to make it profitable in the province. A panel to be made up of officials from the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture the Department of Trade and Industry, Industrial Development Corporation, National Film and Video Foundation and a film commission from one of the provinces will help ECDC and ECPACC select the most deserving proposals. .
“To qualify for support, the proposed film projects must be shot in the Eastern Cape and 70% of the total production and development budget must be spent in the province. The expression of interest applies to South African, especially Eastern Cape based, production companies with experience and a credible track record producing film content of international quality who have projects to be shot in the Eastern Cape. Application requirements include a completed application form, covering letter, proof of South African identity document and tax clearance certificate, proof of company ownership, letters of support from project investors as well as a high-level budget and project plan.
“Production applicants also need to submit a script outline that is ready for production, it must have relevance to a South African and Eastern Cape audience and in the case of co-productions there must be compliance with all the necessary compliance requirements. Documentary applicants must also submit a research report and outline. These include South African production companies who hold exclusive rights for at least 12 months on films produced in the province and those that have produced at least three documentaries in the Eastern Cape which have been broadcast on television or released theatrically in either one hour or feature length formats. New and emerging filmmakers or writers who have a production company attached to the project are based in the Eastern Cape are also invited to submit proposals,” says ECDC Trade, Investment and Innovation head Thabo Shenxane.
Shenxane says this is an exciting development because the Eastern Cape is an attractive film location for filmmakers. Currently, productions are shot in the Eastern Cape without the involvement of the province. The province also needs to set down regulations to guide filmmakers when they arrive to shoot films in the province. These regulations are present in provinces such as Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, but the Eastern Cape currently lacks this regulatory environment for the sector. We need to put some regulations on how the Eastern Cape will benefit economically from hosting film productions in the province.
“The film sector is attractive in that it has spinoffs for other sectors such as tourism, accommodation, food industry, skills development, vehicle hire, general transport services and job creation,” Shenxane says.
Shenxane says also up for consideration are development projects. This would be any project undertaken to put an idea or concept into writing with an intention of creating a script, including research undertaken in a feature film whether fiction that can be formatted, sold globally and licenced to remake rights for syndication. In addition education and training projects will also be considered especially those that stimulate and advance skills development and those that meet the current needs of the industry. The bigger idea is to collate all selected ideas, cost them and request allocation from the provincial fiscus to create a Provincial Film Fund which will cater for the needs of the film industry in the Eastern Cape.
Shenxane says they intend to finalise the selection process by the end of August 2018.