ISSUE 11 | 2017
+ THE WOUND
SA’s Oscar Entry Rides a New Wave of African Cinema
+ STUNT ARTISTS
A Deeper Look at the Thrill Seekers of the Film World
+ LET’S TALK NUMBERS
The Structures and Layers within Film Financing
BE SEEN IN THE
AFRICAN FILM MARKETING TOOL
2018 Distributed at the biggest ﬁlm festivals and ﬁlm markets in the world.
The Filmmaker’s Guide to Africa 2018.
CONTACT COLEEN TAPSON e. coleen@ﬁlmeventmedia.co.za t. 021 674 0646
Ruth Williams and Seretse Khama are played by Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo in A United Kingdom © Videovision Entertainment. Image courtesy of UIP South Africa (www.videovision.co.za)
CONTENTS / 01
02. Inxeba is SA’s Oscars Entry
08 12 18 22
SA TALENT SHINES BRIGHT
South Africa’s stars hold their own amongst their peers across the world.
04. The V&A Waterfront Gets Its Own TV Series
06. Ryan McManus
on the One Source Campaign
07. KwaZulu-Natal Film
Commission: Call To Submit Film Projects
08. South African Talent Shines Bright
A peek behind the scenes at the adrenalin junkies of ﬁlm and TV.
12. Stunt Artists: Thrill Seekers of the Film World
18. Bucket List of
22. Film Finance: Let’s Talk Numbers
BUCKET LIST OF LOCATIONS
All you need to know about the incredible shoot locations in SA.
26. Indies and Shorts 27. WME Signs SA
28. Dexter Davis on
Cape Town, The Blue Mauritius and More
Otherworldly Location oﬀ the Beaten Track
32. Events to Diarise
LET’S TALK NUMBERS The ins and outs of ﬁlm ﬁnancing, insurance and completion bonds.
34. Associations News 36. Directory of Advertisers
02 / NEWS
INXEBA IS SA’S OSCARS ENTRY Inxeba (The Wound), a gay love story told entirely in isiXhosa, starring musician and singer Nakhane and produced by Urucu Media, has been chosen as South Africa’s entry into next year’s 90th Academy Awards – The Oscars – in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.
roducers walked out of the Press and Industry screening at 11am on the first day of the Sundance Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere in the World Dramatic Competition, with an offer for global licence of rights to the Film from the biggest VoD Platform in North America. “They were the first ones to talk about Foreign Language Oscars potential,” remembers Producer Elias Ribeiro, “but they refused to put anything in writing and wanted to restrict the theatrical life of the film, so it could be more of a novelty on their platform. Saying no to them was one of the toughest decisions we had to make, but it paid off.” Backed by one of the leading French Sales Companies, Pyramide International, the producers started to work on the positioning of the film as an Academy Awards contender in January. To date, the film has found a home in over 30 countries between distributors and broadcasters, proving its international appeal. “Locally, the film took home
Nakhane Toure stars in The Wound (Inxeba) © Urucu Media
two awards at the longest running festival in Southern Africa, the Durban International Film Festival, for Best Actor and Best South African Director. It was the best-performing film at both of its qualifying cinema runs in September, when we screened the film to ensure it would qualify for the Oscars,” says Producer Cait Pansegrouw. “It’s a film that was five years in the making, from inception, and it is one that all South Africans can be proud of.” In August, The New York
Times listed The Wound on their Critic’s Pick List during its theatrical run in the USA, and most recently The Economist listed the Film under What is the World Watching. Inxeba is being represented in the US by Kino Lorber, one of the world’s top distributors of the finest art house and international films. Variety already picked up on the film’s promise by announcing the South African entry and calling it “An unflinching examination of sexuality, masculinity and
GOING INTO THIS, WE WERE COMMITTED TO MAKING THE KIND OF FILM THAT WASN’T BEING MADE IN OUR INDUSTRY. WE TOLD A STORY WE FELT WAS URGENT, AND WE CREATED THE KIND OF MALE CHARACTERS THAT WE THINK ARE SORELY LACKING ON OUR SCREENS. WE NEVER ONCE THOUGHT WE’D MAKE A CROWD-PLEASING FILM, LET ALONE ONE THAT WOULD REPRESENT SOUTH AFRICA AS AN OSCAR SUBMISSION.
cultural identity”. The film has won 12 international awards thus far – three of these in the United States. Peter Kwele, NFVF Head of Marketing and Communications, congratulated the creators of Inxeba, saying, “It is important for the content we produce to disrupt and propel audiences to introspect, and the film’s focus on important aspects of our culture and traditions while addressing topical issues of identity, masculinity and sexuality does just that. And I hope that we as South Africans will engage constructively around these issues.” “To be honest, this would not be a satisfying moment if it wasn’t for the overwhelming love and goodwill we’ve received from South African (and in particular isiXhosa) audiences in the last few weeks,” says Director John Trengove. “Going into this, we were committed to making the kind of film that wasn’t being made in our industry. We told a story we felt was urgent, and we created the kind of male characters that we think are sorely lacking on our screens. We never once thought we’d make a crowd-pleasing film, let alone one that would represent South Africa as an Oscar submission. I hope this encourages other local filmmakers to take bigger risks and to try to express something of our uniquely South African experience.” The film will release nationwide in South Africa in February 2018.
04 / NEWS
THE V&A WATERFRONT GETS ITS OWN TV SERIES
Family noir comes to both kykNET and Showmax as a co-production.
howmax and kykNET have released the first trailer for Waterfront, a star-studded family noir set in the dark underbelly of one of South Africa’s most popular tourist attractions. Boat-building patriarch Ben Myburgh (SAFTA nominee Dawid Minnaar) is dead. This brings his three daughters - Julia (Die Byl’s Milan Murray), Anna (Silwerskerm and Fleur du Cap nominee Rolanda Marais) and Kate (Die Boekklub’s Trix Vivier) - back to the family business at the Cape Town harbour. But only one of them will inherit the family empire in this dark story of secrets, sibling rivalry and gentrification. Silwerkskerm winners Albert Pretorius and Erica Wessels; Fleur du Cap winners Charlton Lee George, Paul du Toit and Stian Bam; and 2017 SAFTA nominee Neels van Jaarsveld co-star alongside familiar faces like Edwin van der Walt (Ballade vir ‘n Enkeling), Hannes van Wyk (Kwela, Egoli, danZ!), Joanie Combrink and Marvin Lee Beukes (Die Byl) and Tarryn Wyngaard (Noem My Skollie). But the real star of the show is the V&A Waterfront. “It’s such a wonderful place and has never been used in a drama series like this,” says producer Herman Binge from Lion’s Head Productions. The series is a reminder that this beauty came at a price: the gentrification that followed the development of the shopping centre in the 80s meant that not all of the Waterfront’s neighbours could afford to stay on what had become prime property. Even the
WHEN FLEUR DU CAP AND KKNK-WINNING DIRECTOR JACO BOUWER GOT INVOLVED, HIS REFERENCES WERE RATHER FAMILY DRAMAS LIKE BLOODLINE AND NORDIC NOIR THE KILLING. Trix Vivier stars as ‘Kate’ in this deliciously noir drama series. © davidswart.co.za
likes of the Myburghs were put under immense pressure to move. “When I was a child, the Waterfront was a kind of a ship dock,” remembers cast member Euodia Samson (Die Byl). “It was a fantastic world because there were people and fishermen everywhere. Nowadays, it’s so prim and proper you have to wear heels when you come here.” Charlton Lee George (Die Boland Moorde) agrees. “It’s changed a lot since the eighties. This used to be a dangerous place, so it’s been very interesting to see it become a tourist mecca.” Waterfront was originally envisaged as a soap opera – it was shortlisted with The Wild when M-Net was looking for a soap, and again with Suidooster when kykNET wanted one. But when Fleur du Cap and KKNK-winning director Jaco Bouwer (Rooiland, Samsa-Masjien) got involved, his references were rather family dramas like Bloodline and Nordic noir The Killing. Together with screenwriter
Boat-building patriarch Ben Myburgh (SAFTA nominee Dawid Minnaar) © davidswart.co.za
Leon Kruger, Bouwer rebooted the show to focus on the complicated human relationships at the heart of the story, shifting the primary locations from the brightly lit shopping mall to the shadowy nooks and crannies of the harbour. “I didn’t want to write a goodie and a baddie,” says Kruger, who as an actor had worked with Bouwer on the popular kykNET crime series DIe Boland Moorde. “I just wanted
to write something grey.” Bouwer believes the show is a new direction for South African television, as complex structurally as it is morally, with up to five storylines running at a time, single scenes split across 13 episodes, and both flashbacks and flashforwards. “I hope and I trust that the local audience is ready for this,” says Bouwer. “I don’t think we’ve seen something like Waterfront on local TV.”
COMPANY PROFILE / 05
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06 / SPOTLIGHT
RYAN MCMANUS ON THE
ONE SOURCE CAMPAIGN Ryan McManus, Executive Creative Director at Native VML, shares the story behind their hugely successful Absolut One Source campaign, the company’s crazy experience at Cannes Lions this year, and how to push boundaries in creativity.
s someone who won their first Loerie as a student and a slew of international awards in years to follow, Ryan McManus is no stranger to success. This year saw his company Native VML take things to the extreme with the Absolut One Source campaign which not only raked in 6 Lions at Cannes and a host of wins but also saw them host a talk as part of the prestigious 70 th International Festival of Creativity. It also gave McManus and CEO Jason Xenopoulos the opportunity to be judges on the Young Directors Awards and Entertainment Jury respectively. The Callsheet caught up with Ryan to find out more. Firstly, how was your Cannes Lions experience? What was your biggest take away from the trip? It was fantastic week of information overload and way too many late nights! But such a great experience. Everyone thinks it’s like a relaxing holiday but actually it’s more of a power week. For me the biggest out take – and a simple one which we all already know but was good to be reminded of – is that everyone’s talking about creating entertainment. Everyone’s talking about attention spans getting shorter and shorter all the time, and they think the answer to that is to make really short content.
advertising is not one of them. So we should try harder to make stuff that people actually want to spend time with.
The NATIVE VML team celebrates their Gold Lion at Cannes.
But have you watched Game of Thrones, which people watch for nine hours straight? So the idea that we need to create great entertainment is that we need to create things that people want to watch, and not the things that interrupt the things that people want to watch. The move towards entertainment is a good thing for advertising and a great thing for creatives working in advertising because it gives them the opportunity to create pieces of pop culture; things of value. How does the One Source campaign tie into this trend towards entertainment? One Source was a hip hop album and a music video, and a documentary of the making of that. It really shows how we’ve tried to create something
meaningful and of value at the centre of a campaign, and the ad campaign is really talking about that. We lead the brand into popular culture instead of pigeonholing it or forcing it in there. That’s always been our philosophy and it’s great to have that validated in a way by thought leaders from around the world. We’ve always said that we hate advertising – I’ve always worked somewhere within advertising, but my goal has never been to make ads; it’s been to make things that people want to spend time with. Whether that’s a film, or a shop, or a packaging, I think it’s media-agnostic in a way, but there are so many amazing things in the world that people choose to spend their time with and generally speaking
How does that work when brands obviously have specific ideas and messages they want to convey? It’s about the role the brand plays in making that. I don’t think it’s necessarily that the brand doesn’t win, you have to create something where the brand absolutely benefits from what you’re doing. I mean, the One Source campaign, for instance, has doubled the size of the brand in two years, and it had 94% increase in sales in one year. So it really is about being effective and being smart as well and putting the brand forward as the ultimate winner – but not at the expense of the consumer, they have to benefit, too. The way we started doing that is working and collaborating with people outside of advertising. We get into this habit of only working with a certain amount or a certain group of people and we should be thinking bigger than that. We should be thinking across platforms – what kind of creatives, what kind of people do you want to collaborate with? And this really opens us up to a much broader spectrum. Africa is so full of amazing, creative people and we need to be working with those kinds of people and not just those within the ad industry.
NEWS / 07
KWAZULU-NATAL FILM COMMISSION CALL TO
SUBMIT FILM PROJECTS The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission is inviting filmmakers to submit projects that follow a specific theme or subject.
he projects are to be of high production value and have a clear distribution plan. The call for projects will be designed to address specific needs such as: • Documenting the history and heritage of the province of KwaZulu-Natal • Documenting and profiling South African historical icons • Any theme or topic that the KZNFC at its discretion deems necessary to commission content to address a
specific social, historical or national theme and topic The amounts allocated to these projects will be dependent on the magnitude of the project, and availability of funds. The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission is proud to announce its first call for proposals for commissioned content. The call is specific to the following: • Documenting Zulu culture • Documenting Zulu heritage • Profile heroes, and heroines and legends of the province
• Adaptations of novels from a KwaZulu-Natal author • Profiling South African historical icons The content should portray the subject matter in a credible and authentic manner. Projects should be submitted in the following manner: • A one-page synopsis • A one-page biography of the key creatives in the production team • A one-page treatment or additional information
on the project • Examples of previous work The projects can be in the Concept, Development or Pre-Production phase. Projects are to be submitted to the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission by 3 November 2017. Successful projects will be notified by 30 November 2017. Enquiries to: Jackie Motsepe – JackieM@kwazulunatalfilm.co.za Simphiwe Ngcobo – SimphiweN@ kwazulunatalfilm.co.za Tel: +27 31 325 0200
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08 / FEATURE
SOUTH AFRICAN TALENT
SHINES BRIGHT Despite a tumultuous year with a host of issues facing the talent industry, South Africa’s stars have held their own amongst their peers across the world. Kim Crowie reports.
here truly is nothing like a well-delivered line of dialogue – and this from someone who’s never performed a day in her life! We all have an inkling of what good (or bad) acting looks like, and whether we can pinpoint the exact reason for a scene working or not, we always get that goose-bump-like feeling when our favourite actor has an incredible performance. South Africa’s talent industry has grown immensely in the last few years, with more and more actors and models making a name for themselves internationally and locally, either through films and commercials shot on location in our beautiful country, or by trying their luck overseas. Here’s a look at what’s really happening behind the scenes, and where the local talent industry is headed in its next season.
INDUSTRY UPDATE Most model agencies have reported a busy 2017 with a host of productions ranging from commercial to big budget. ICE Genetics, for instance, has spent much of their time “honing and developing” their boards, as well as building their client base by marketing extensively in Europe in order to bring clients to Cape Town’s shores. “Agencies should endeavour to focus on quality and not quantity, so that castings are filled with professionally trained and developed models and talent and not mediocre Ideline Akimana from My Booker
FEATURE / 09
masses,” says Donne le Grange, “If we raise the bar in this regard collectively and as an industry, we will have clients returning to our shores every season not just for our locations, but our impressive talent.” Liesel Hardeberg, Director of My Booker, says SA still producers many local models suitable for the international market. “This country is loaded with beautiful people from all walks of life,” she says, “although it’s quite challenging being so far away from the main fashion markets in Europe, and it’s harder to get our models out to Europe as this is quite an expensive process.” According to Fusion Models Director Fiona Craig, one of the issues agents are increasingly dealing with is the ongoing refusal of ACA (Association for Communication and Advertising) to drop the automatic exclusivity clause for South Africa. “This limits the talent pool drastically,” she explains, “and as we become more globally linked with product availability, this is beginning to cause problems with foreign clients who want to flight their TVCs here, only to be told ‘sorry, that model cannot been seen advertising your product here as she has a local TVC flighting’. ACA don’t seem to get it, it’s a big problem.” Bonnie Lee Bouman, Casting Director who started BLBC in 2003, has also had a great year, with work such as Hollywood to CNN, Searchers pilot for Warner Bros., Against the Wild 3, a Canadian co-production, and finding the contestants for Gogglebox SA and How Do I Look?, among others. She says that both Cape Town and Johannesburg have considerable talent, “but for me there is just not enough talent to choose from if you are looking for the crème of the crop,” she explains. “Working with internationals, we need actors to be able to do American and British accents and there is only a select pool of actors who can crack that.”
Greg Kriek, a local actor who has seen considerable success in both local and international films such as The Recce and Samson, agrees, adding that producers need to push for local talent to at least get a shot at an audition for ‘top billing’ spots. “For us to reach the healthiest state we’ve ever been in needs to come from both the producers’ and the actors’ side. It’s a collective responsibility,” he says, “In the same breathe, we as actors need to be able to deliver the goods and focus our attention on delivering performances of an international standard. When chatting to Sean Penn a year ago, he told me that he was tremendously impressed by our depth of talent but we have to improve our grasp of the American accent, for example.” Adrian Galley, Vice Chair of the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA) says this is a catch 22 for the industry because once locals have made names for themselves, they often take the opportunity to keep the momentum by heading for foreign shores. “We often hear of how international projects require ‘well recognised’ names in the crucial roles in order to achieve commercial success. At the moment, large productions that come to our shores audition talent in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia before they even catch a glimpse of what we have to offer (and by and large they are pleasantly surprised at what they find here). How will we ever develop a pool of local ‘bankable’ names if we simply export them at the first opportunity?”
Eric from ICE Genetics
Daiane Sodre of Fusion Models
10 / FEATURE
TRENDS IN THE TALENT POOL It can be quite diﬃcult to pinpoint trends in the types of talent that are in demand, although fresh faces are always needed for commercials and ﬁlms. “We need people who are subtle actors (so ﬁlm actors),” says Bouman. She adds that Cape Town actors are exceptionally season ready and are great at communicating when they are available for work, while Joburg actors and agents are often more involved in the daytime soap or drama world, making their availability tricky. In terms of the modelling sector, trends are deﬁnitively moving away from the standard ‘prett y face’ of yesteryear and into more diverse looks, says Craig. “Anything is beginning to go, especially in advertising.” Donne le Grange agrees. “Freckles, dimples, interesting brows, crinkles around the corners of eyes when smiling, perhaps a gap between front teeth, interesting hair styles, tattoos are all regular requests,” she says, “Juxtaposed to that are also the requests for fresh faced, unaﬀected and unthreatening, natural beauties with big smiles and beautiful skin.” Asian talent, too have been growing in demand, according to Chantelle Slabbert, Film Translator at Celebrities Casting Agency. “Our department provides Asian models, characters, actors, background extras, kids, and now we’re developing an action
Bonnie Lee Bouman, BLBC Casting Director
demand are those physical skills required for stunt-work. On the local industry front, television has grown with the multichannel environment slowly needing content, only to increase as the digital migration develops. Vernacular series, features and commissioning of repeat seasons of series keep our local actors working. This seems to have created a sustainable living for actors more than ever before.” Asian talent has been growing in demand. Image courtesy of Celebrities Casting Agency
extra and stunts division,” she says. “A great challenge we face is the constant competitiveness against other countries at a lower price. Even if the exchange rate is an advantage, background extras are paid minimum rates for 12 hour shoots. As a result, this causes good people to lose interest in the ﬁlming industry.” Another trend to note is that of brand inﬂuencers. Talent being booked is now sometimes dependent on their social media followers, says Kay Price-Lindsay of Kayos Casting Directors. “We are now receiving briefs where clients would like to see people who have Instagram accounts with a minimum of 50 000+ followers,” she says. “We believe this is the start of whole new approach to marketing as targeting customers continues to change and move more and more online and into the social media space.” The digital revolution has truly democratised the industry, adds Galley, with many performers building their proﬁles by harnessing the power of the web. Examples of these are the likes of Julia Anastasopoulos’ now infamous SuzelleDIY, and Chin Up! written by and starring Lara Lipschitz. “The most valuable skill for any performer to have is an ability to work in a ﬂawless ‘international’ dialect – Standard British RP and certain speciﬁc regional variations are a must, while a General American delivery is indispensable,” says Galley, “Other skills that appear to be in
HOW THE COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT BILL AFFECTS PERFORMERS One issue on many performers’ minds is that of the Copyright Amendment Bill and how that would aﬀect the industry. SAGA has spearheaded a number of initiatives in this regard and in August the organisation did a presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on the Copyright Amendment Bill. This follows their written submission in 2015 and was prepared with the support of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), of which SAGA has been a member since 2012. They were also supported by a delegation from FEDUSA, the trade union federation to which the Guild is aﬃliated. “This companion piece of legislation potentially underpins the sustainability of a career in the Performance Industry by, for the ﬁrst time, recognising the actor’s inalienable
Pedro Senger of Fusion Models
Kay Price-Lindsay of Kayos Casting Directors.
right to ownership of their image, their vocal and physical ‘likeness’,” explains Adrian Galley. The Copyright Act and the Performers Protection Act were both overdue for review, he says, as the advent of digital technology has vastly changed the production, distribution and consumption of recorded entertainment. “Recognising that performing artists are central to the sustainability of recorded media, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) adopted the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances in 2012.” “South Africa has not yet been in a position to ratify the treaty, as our arcane domestic legislation would preclude us from fulﬁlling our resulting international obligations. Since recorded media is part of a global industry, including music, ﬁlm, television and new media, it is in South Africa’s best interests to claim a slice of the pie by plugging into the mechanisms of worldwide distribution of royalty income being generated. The Department of Trade and Industry has rightfully recognised the costs of missed opportunities and has embarked on the necessary programme of legislative reform.” The amendments to both these acts contain provisions that for the ﬁrst time ever, will grant performers the right to their own image or likeness, something that they previously had little power over and which would now aﬀord actors a bargaining
FEATURE / 11
DILEMMA FOR EXTRAS AND BACKGROUND ARTISTES A major issue the local talent industry faces is the exploitation of extras, according to a Callsheet source who wishes to remain anonymous. They say in recent years there has been a constant cycle of new agencies, some not even registered businesses, “and actors, extras and other artists are being ripped off when it comes to either waiting for their money, or having additional deductions taken from them”. OSCASA has also raised
chip in contractual negotiations. “Currently, actors who are enjoying any sort of international recognition are leaving the country, mostly never to return, instead of investing their boxoﬃce value in helping to build the local industry,” Galley says.
THE OBJECTIVE CASTING DIRECTOR Casting directors have had a good year, according to Pene Saunders, Chairperson of OSCASA (The Oﬃcial South African Casting Association), Bonnie Lee Bouman who works in the ﬁlm and television industry, and Kay Price-Lindsay who works mainly in commercial sectors. There are, however many challenges this industry faces in order to be
this issue, with Chairperson Pene Saunders saying that attracting non-professional talent is always a challenge and particularly at the moment as background extras rates for commercials have not signiﬁcantly risen over the last decade. “Background extras on movies and TV series have risen, but are still often below the basic TV commercial threshold,” she explains, “It is felt across the board in the industry that the talent pool has shrunk in the last 5-10 years because of a number of factors: low rates, difﬁcult working conditions on set,
non-afﬁliated agencies closing their doors without paying their talent and the unpredictability of the ﬁlm industry. One of our bigger concerns is about the long-term sustainability of the industry if not all sectors of the industry are supported.” Although OSCASA, the PMA and SAGA uphold the importance of exclusivity – one artist signed to one agency – many of background artistes are joining multiple agencies, leading to a whole new set of challenges including difﬁculty in tracking their work and exploitation of extras as a result. While
some have called for more transparency in the industry, Government may need to step in to create a fairer, better regulated sector that protects talent – particularly extras. Another suggested solution is for industry bodies like SAGA to lower their entry level rates and operate as the US body SAG-AFTRA does, where no performer can legally work unless they are registered with them. This not only nulliﬁes those who are exploiting agents, but it also means that all performers are represented under one banner across the industry.
in a truly healthy space, despite reported growth across the industry. Some of these include productions selecting ‘model’ looking artists and often want to cast them – but are only willing to pay background extra rates. Kayos has seen trends move ﬁrmly away from briefs with ‘one mum, dad and two children’ to commercials of much larger scale – speaking to the types of advertising currently being created across the board. “The majority of commercials we worked on last season were of an enormous scale,” she says. “We cast over 900 roles for 85 commercials from October 2016 to end of March 2017. We worked this out roughly to a ‘street value’ (including day fees and usage) of +/- R60-million, which went directly into the agent
and talent sector through one casting company.” She adds that although young up and coming talent is very exciting, actors and professional models in the 35 to 55 age range are proving to be a challenge to ﬁnd. “This is leaving a large gap for agents to focus on more. Our advice would be for agencies to really focus on encouraging people to stay in the industry. Even if they only go to one or two auditions a month in season.” Child casting also proves to be quite challenging, and rates are not enough to encourage parents to bother. In the ﬁlm and television realm one particular challenge, says Bouman, is that of agents taking on the role of casting directors. This is an unethical move and assists agents in pushing the
talent they represent into roles they may not be ideal for. In order to combat this, she has begun working on building a casting director collective where those working in the industry can create dialogue around and ﬁnd ways to combat these and other challenges the industry faces. She adds that there are so many ﬁlm programmes churning out students without enough skill to begin their careers. “I think what’s going to be important in talent, is where the truth of their talent lies, that is, theatre, ﬁlm or more practical training,” she explains, “There should be a ﬁrm audition process for some educational institutions where they are more selective on who they sign up. Talent is exactly that – talent. So the process is and always will be selective.”
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12 / FEATURE
THRILL SEEKERS OF THE FILM WORLD Stunt artists and agencies in South Africa offer some of the best and most adrenaline-fuelled services to both international and local productions.
magine the latest Marvel Studios instalment with mediocre action. What if the iconic fight sequences in Oscar-winning Mad Max: Fury Road were just ‘meh’? Where would the blockbusters of the world be without the unsung heroes of danger? Certainly not enjoying anything in 3D or 4D, methinks. Stunt companies in South Africa continue to push boundaries and break their backs
– figuratively, of course – in the name of incredible entertainment. Here’s a look at what they do, how they do it, and how well the local industry is faring.
CURRENT TRENDS AND MOVEMENTS
Although stunt companies have reported a very healthy season in terms of the productions they have serviced, some have also raised the issue of insufficient
remuneration due to continual budget constraints and the economic climate the country – and the world – is currently in. According to Jenn Robinson, SFX and Stunt Manager at Stunts and Special FX (SAS), a company that’s been operating in the industry for the past 20 years, “Stunts in South Africa remains healthy and the performers remain dedicated. The challenges are always budget related and in
trying to give the director what he wants with limited resources.” This, she says, has a knock-on effect on stunt performers in the industry as it can make it very difficult for them to focus on stunts as a standalone career. Vernon Willemse and Grant Powell of The Stunteam, a fight choreography and stunt training company established in 2010, agree that although the stunt industry is growing
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A SNAPSHOT OF BIGBUDGET PRODUCTIONS SA STUNT AGENCIES HAVE WORKED ON • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Avengers: Age Of Ultron Black Sails Blended Blue Crush 2 Chappie Death Race 2 Dominion Dredd Homeland Inferno Kite Mad Max: Fury Road Northmen: A Viking Saga Red Tails Scorpion King 4 The Brothers Grimsby The Edge Of Tomorrow The Last Face Word War Z Zulu (City of Violence)
productions in South Africa including the latest instalment of the Maze Runner franchise and Johnny Knoxville’s latest film Action Park. Pyranha works in the feature film and commercial realm, while its sister company Switchblade deals with realitybased shows like Fear Factor, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Power Couple and Getaway Car. Some of Pyranha’s recent productions were Black Sails which they’ve been involved in since inception – Troy: Fall Of A City, The Dark Tower, and work with OATS Studio on Neill Blomkamp’s short films. “We are now prepping and shooting on a Sony feature film and an HBO TV series,” Hulley adds. SAS kicked of 2017 with a large international action film with as many as twentyfive stunt performers on any given day – from ratchet pulls and jerking performers across
at a rapid rate in season, there are months when it gets quiet. “Sustainability is probably the biggest challenge,” Powell says, “How do we keep the masses employed when there aren’t any big shows running? Training costs money, so as a freelancer, I would say especially if you’re still establishing yourself as a stunt performer, be wise with your money.” He does believe, however that the industry will become more sustainable and organised in the coming years. Despite these issues, South African stunt agencies and performers continue to go from strength to strength, with talented stunt crew that can easily match their peers internationally, according to Grant Hulley of Pyranha Stunts. “We have seen an increase in the number of local stunt crew working abroad for big budget shows,” he says.
LOCAL STUNTS AND BIGBUDGET PRODUCTIONS
Recently, local stunt agencies and artists have worked on a host of action-packed
Images courtesy of Pyranha Stunts
the room, to high falls and action-packed fight scenes, says Robinson. “We then went on to do a live show in Pietermaritzburg for the Royal Agricultural Show. SAS provided a three-car stunt chase sequence, with on car rolling at the end of the sequence through various pyrotechnic explosions.” The Stunteam, by contrast, have worked mainly on local productions by supplying performers and action directing for the likes of Ellen Pakkies, Nomer 37, popular soapie Suidooster, and Waterfront where they worked with Gambit Films and kykNET Films. “It’s always a challenge filming on location on the flats depicting ‘gangsters’ performing fights, etc. Safety is first, so we must let the community know what is happening – especially when rehearsing these scenes.”
THE SA STUNT ASSOCIATION
The South African Stunt Association was created to standardise the industry and create better transparency and protection for stunt performers and agencies working on set. SASA currently has 47 members listed on their site, and is a wealth of knowledge for performers, with information such as guidelines with suggested rates, information on working outside SA, recommended working hours, overtime and turnaround times, and more. It also offers information on rigging and the requirements around it – from the characteristics of a stunt rigger to how one gets started and what to expect on the job. For more information on the stunt industry and the people working therein, visit www.sastuntcrew.co.za.
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STUNT COMPANIES IN SOUTH AFRICA CONTINUE TO PUSH BOUNDARIES AND BREAK THEIR BACKS – FIGURATIVELY, OF COURSE – IN THE NAME INCREDIBLE OF ENTERTAINMENT.
THE ABC’S OF STUNTS There are many varying career paths one can take in the stunt industry – all of which are suited to fearless, adrenalin junkies with a healthy appetite for danger. Here’s a look at some of them.
Stunts and Special FX at the Royal Agricultural Show © Vanessa Phillips
Stunts and Special FX
• Action Director: An Action Director or Second Unit Director meets with the Director, then storyboards or creates a shot list of the action before personally directing action sequences for the production. • Fight Choreographer: A Fight Choreographer creates action design for fight scenes in the script, in line with the Director and Stunt Coordinator’s vision. • Pyrotechnics: This is a specialist field that falls into the SFX category. One needs a strong background in health and safety, should have a police clearance certificate, and should work under the sponsorship of a licensed Pyrotechnician logging 60 shifts working with pyro. Once practical is complete, one then writes a theory exam given by the Chief Inspector of Explosives before being registered in this field. This process can take up to five years to complete. • Special Effects: This is an entirely separate side of the film industry
that’s often lumped with stunts. It involves carefully constructed explosions and mayhem with complete health and safety in mind and requires various licenses and experience in creating material effects (the opposite of computer generated imagery). Stunt Coordinator: The Stunt Coordinator takes what the Director wants, plots it out, and adds their personal touch to the necessary stunts before delivering as required. Stunt Performer: Stunt Performers are the basic bread and butter of the industry – they execute whatever is required by the Director and Stunt Coordinator, doing the unbelievable and keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. Stunt Rigger: Riggers play a very important role in the stunt world, in that they set up all the wire work that a stunt performer is required to do on set. An example of this is a ratchet system where performers fly through the air. Riggers are multi-talented and are often the first to test the stunt rigs. Stunt Trainer: The trainer prepares actors, doubles and stunt performers for their roles, often taking actors with no martial art or fight experience and turning them into action stars in a short space of time.
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DYNAMIC STORIES FROM EPIC PERFORMERS JUAN VERSFELD CV includes The Dark Tower, The Brothers Grimsby, The Crown, Black Sails, Of Kings and Prophets, Siege of Jadotville How did you start working in stunts? I came into the industry two and a half years ago as an extra on Siege of Jadotville, shot in Joburg. The coordinator on the job saw potential in me so he asked me to take a chance and move to Cape Town and do stunts full time. Never before did I even know you could become a stunt performer in South Africa! So I moved down and things took off slowly. The first year was quite hard until the end of Black Sails Season 4 where I was asked to be the second double for the lead Toby Stephens (Captain Flint). It was a big honour for me and also a turning point in my career! Since then things have just been snowballing into bigger things. I have done a lot of fighting in almost every recent movie as that would be the bread and butter of any stunt performer. The stunts come every now and then. Our stunt team did some awesome things on The Dark Tower and I got the honour to fight Idris Elba in one scene. What an awesome actor! I have done some horse falls and big ratchets and hard bails over the last year or so. How demanding is it both physically and mentally to work in this industry? This industry demands a lot of time and effort if you want to make it work for you. We don’t only work on screen but
off-screen as well; this is where the hard work is done. When we are not working, we are training to increase our skill level in as many different ways as possible. I am mostly a fighter; so I train in Jujitsu, Muay Thai, and Boxing. I have seen many people come and go in stunts. It takes a strong, willing person that not only loves doing stunts, but who has a passion for training and becoming a better version of themselves every day. Some just don’t have the look, and this does not always mean your face, but can also include your body. As stunt guys we can’t be to heavy or muscular as it does not go well with being thrown around! We need to be quick on our feet and light in weight, but still hard enough for a good knock. Mentally it can be draining, because of the long hours. Anything from 10 to 16 hours a day, and sometimes even more! That takes a big toll on us. And you have to keep focus or someone could get hurt.
Juan Versfeld working with The Stunteam
Juan Versfeld (left) as stunt double on Black Sails with Tom Hopper
IT TAKES A STRONG, WILLING PERSON THAT NOT ONLY LOVES DOING STUNTS, BUT WHO HAS A PASSION FOR TRAINING AND BECOMING A BETTER VERSION OF THEMSELVES EVERY DAY.
Juan Versfeld performing parkour on a production
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DEVILLE VANNIK CV includes multiple commercials, Black Sails, Of Kings and Prophets, Oasis, Our Girl, Maze Runner: Death Cure, Tomb Raider, Origins, The Empty Man, The Forgiven, 24 Hours to Live, The Recce How did you start working in stunts and what duties does the job entail? I have been doing stunts since 2009. My first real job was doing parkour stunts for a Coca Cola commercial. After that I was hooked. But it wasn’t until a few years later while living in Los Angeles that I was properly introduced into the stunt fraternity and started learning the ropes. Since then it’s been a wild and wonderful adventure that’s taken me to some incredible places and been responsible for some of my craziest and fondest memories. Most recently, I have stunt doubled on a few projects where my responsibilities included learning and performing multiple
The Stunteam firearm training with DeVille Vannick. Photo by Marlon Du Plooy
fight sequences ranging from sword fights to gun fights and unarmed combat. There has also been some stunt driving and extensive horse riding as well as chase scenes involving parkour and acrobatics. But the job isn’t simply about performing these sequences for your actor, but rather to make the audience believe it is really the actor in that scene. If you have done your job well, the audience will never even notice the difference.
ON SET, YOU BACK THEM UP AND MAKE SURE THEY ARE PREPARED FOR THE PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THE SCENE. A STUNT DOUBLE MUST BE FULLY PRESENT AT ALL TIMES; ANTICIPATING WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND READY TO GO AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE.
The Stunteam burn seminar which DeVille was part of. Courtesy of DeVille Vannick.
This means you need to study the way they move, walk, and talk in character. You need to become that character and where possible work closely with your actor to make it seamless. The stunt double will also look after his or her actor on set, helping them get into the necessary safety gear or padding they may require for the scene. We are also involved in the physical training and preparation of the actors, working with them on choreography and techniques. On set, you back them up and make sure they are prepared for the physical demands of the scene. A stunt double must be fully present at all times; anticipating what needs to be done and ready to go at a moment’s notice. How healthy would you say the film industry is for a stunt performer? The film industry is a demanding mistress and the responsibilities that come with this job are not for the faint of heart. The environment itself is not unhealthy, but it does carry the potential to wear one down if not managed properly. For a stunt performer to excel in this industry we need to be adaptable and able to juggle the stresses and challenges of the job while looking after ourselves physically and mentally. This means knowing when to rest and when to push. The working environment itself will always
change; some productions will be more challenging or rewarding than others. But if you cultivate the right mindset and employ self-discipline, continually investing in your craft by developing skills, delivering good work and looking after yourself then you are well positioned to thrive in the industry. Where I feel there is perhaps room for a bit of improvement is with stunt performers being properly looked after on set. Generally we are well taken care of, but unfortunately from time to time it gets a bit chaotic and basic things tend to fall through the cracks – such as having a holding area out of the elements, or getting food on time when we’re working a continuous day. When these basics are not met, it adds to the stresses of the day and morale takes a knock. This is also where our union comes into play and provides backup and support for the performers. Already things have begun to improve and I’m sure they will continue to get better. Where the industry really excels for me is in the work ethic and skills department. I have heard it from internationals shooting here a number of times; they are impressed by how hard our crews work and the quality of the work we put forward. Our industry operates on a world-class level and I am proud to be a part of such a skilled and committed community, dedicated to creating content of exceptional quality.
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BUCKET LIST OF
With so many established locations to choose from and emerging regions coming to light, film commissions and permit offices are excited about attracting even more business to South Africa. Susan Reynard reports.
West Coast National Park, Western Cape © SA Tourism
FAIREST IN THE CAPE The Cape Town Film Permit Office reports the top 20 areas for filming in the region for 2016 to 2017: 1. Cape Town City Centre 2. Camps Bay / Bakoven 3. Foreshore 4. Sea Point 5. Clifton 6. Schotschekloof 7. Zonnebloem 8. Gardens 9. Constantia 10. Woodstock 11. Cape Farms – District B 12. Muizenberg 13. Green Point 14. Cape Farms – District H 15. Hout Bay 16. Salt River 17. Llandudno 18. Oranjezicht 19. Table Mountain 20. Signal Hill / Lions Head
ature and city centres remain the most popular locations for shooting films and commercials in South Africa. And then there is every conceivable space in between, as seen in the locations booked by film commissions and permit agencies. Nature reserves are always in demand and CapeNature has seen a marked increase in filming revenue year on
year. The trend in residentialtype locations tends to change from year to year, but popular locations like abandoned buildings and unique spaces are always profitable. With tighter budgets, locations that are closest to town are now always considered first to limit travel times in location moves. The demand is for new locations that have not been previously used. Stills companies often have repeat clients shooting
in Cape Town every year so need to show them new location stock. Locations that are used more often are ones where owners are willing to negotiate on rates and are flexible with regards to access. The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission CEO Carol Coetzee says the province has such a rich variety of locations within a relatively limited radius, allowing for “filming of ‘berg to beach to Midlands to city to rural areas to gorgeous bush wilderness”.
THE FUND HAS ENCOURAGED FILMMAKERS TO BRING THEIR PRODUCTIONS TO THE REGION – WE HAD OVER 12 PRODUCTIONS TAKING PLACE LAST YEAR AND WE HAVE HAD FOUR PRODUCTIONS SHOOTING IN THE REGION ALREADY THIS YEAR. WE HAVE APPROVED OVER 120 PROJECTS OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS AND HAVE SEEN A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE QUALITY OF PRODUCTIONS REQUIRING VARIOUS LOCATIONS.
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Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa © SA Tourism
“The films we have supported have utilised the Durban city, beach front, various community areas, for example Chatsworth (Keeping up with the Kandasamys) and KwaMashu (Uzalo). Areas as far as Bergville are also very popular as well as the Big 5 False Bay Zululand area (Roots) as well as the South Coast Margate area for the Vietnam lookalike forests,” Carol explains.
Municipal owned locations, such as the Durban Beach, are easily accessible in terms of obtaining permits that are affordable, with the various municipalities keen to attract productions to the region. Privately owned locations are also considered profitable. Carol says the number of productions has increased substantially over the past three years with the establishment of the Film Commission and the
KZN film fund. “The fund has encouraged filmmakers to bring their productions to the region – we had over 12 productions taking place last year and we have had four productions shooting in the region already this year. We have approved over 120 projects over the past three years and have seen a significant increase in the quality of productions requiring various locations,” she notes. The main criteria for
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa © SA Tourism
popularity and profitability of a location for either films or commercials, says Carol, includes: • Link of the physical location to the script – visual alignment • The beauty or uniqueness of the location • Accessibility of the location • Cost of permit/ hiring of location • Availability of parking and additional space for “backlot” activities, catering, etc.
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ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT The Cape Town Film Permit Office lists the most common issues it has with the film industry: • Late applications • Not doing letter drops in advance, causing unnecessary complaints • Late submission of road closure applications and traffic officers • Not arranging meetings for large, complex shoots • Bookings containing insufficient or misleading information • Last-minute changes to agreed schedules • Bookings by admin staff with little to no locations background and experience • Location professionals coming on board at very late stage
• Need to understand importance of early communication to FPO, residents and businesses • Complaints related to setting up and early arrival at locations • Excessive vehicles and activity at location at once, in both the CBD and residential areas • Not employing the unit manager in due time when road closures or special effects are used • Companies making a lot of bookings and not cancelling them timeously; when they get billed they want to cancel applications or dispute billing • Companies not doing any reconciliations with unit managers once a job is done resulting in many disputes and claims for reversals
Apartheid Museum. Gauteng © SA Tourism
Camps Bay, Cape Town © SA Tourism
THE FILM AND TV INDUSTRY REMAINS A COMPETITIVE CONTRIBUTOR IN THE GDP OF THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE.
The Gauteng Film Commission facilitated 170 permits in the 2016-2017 reporting period, with popular locations including but not limited to (in alphabetical order): • Apartheid Museum • Business districts • Churches • Constitution Hill • Cradle of Humankind • Ellis Park Stadium • Emmarentia Dam • Gautrain station Maboneng
• • • •
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Ghandi Square Hartbeespoort Dam Hospitals Inner city incl. streets, warehouses, buildings, shops, taxi ranks Key Art Mile Precinct Lanseria Lesedi Cultural Village Libraries Lion Park M1 Highway Maboneng Markets Mary Fitzgerald Square Metro Rail Nelson Mandela Bridge Newtown OR Tambo International Airport Parkhurst, Parkview Police stations Randburg Roodepoort Sandton Shopping malls and parking lots Soweto Sterkfontein Caves Union Buildings Zoo Lake
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An indoor market in Johannesburg © SA Tourism
Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng © SA Tourism
The Gauteng Film Commission’s achievements during the 201617 reporting period include: • Three partnerships with broadcasters such as SABC, Trace TV and Soweto TV with a view to prioritising local content. • Four projects implemented with the aim of distributing local film. • Twelve initiatives rolled out
© SA Tourism
promoting the appreciation of local film content by South African audiences. • Nearly 20 000 people engaged as a result of audience development initiatives. • Ten skills development initiatives largely attended by youth from townships to upskill aspiring and emerging filmmakers, benefiting 233 people.
“The film and TV industry remains a competitive contributor in the GDP of the country as a whole. The industry is also an effective tool for marketing both Gauteng and South Africa globally as a lucrative destination for filming and for attracting foreign direct investment and international film productions,” reports the Gauteng Film Commission.
USEFUL CONTACTS www.permitz.co.za www.kwazulunatalfilm.co.za www.gautengfilm.org.za www.wesgro.co.za www.durbanfilmoffice.co.za
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Creatives often find the world of finance and insurance challenging to navigate. Experts in these fields get the conversation started. Susan Reynard reports.
CURRENCY 1 US DOLLAR = R13.64 1 BRITISH POUND = R17.92 1 EURO = R15.99 1 SWISS FRANC = R13.95 1 CHINESE YUAN = R2.05 1 INDIAN RUPEE = R0.21 1 AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR = R10.64 *Correct as of 5 October 2017
Jakob Owens (via Unsplash)
FOREX AND FUNDING
Gerswhin Arendse, Business Development Manager at FNB Business, says conversations with his film clients start with assessing what they want to do; how they want to do it; analysing the flow of offshore funds, budgets, expenditure and time-frames; and discussing suitable hedging structure solutions. Large, established clientele usually have a team of experts on board to manage this process. Gerswhin says FNB Business also has a good market share of smaller, independent and up-and-coming producers and filmmakers working on smaller scale productions.
“Filmmakers have budgets in their local currency. If they have offshore funding, they need to manage their risks. The South African rand is one of most volatile currencies in the world so if they’re budgeting for receiving money in different currencies they need to get exactly the amount of Rand that they need and not less,” he notes. “Typically film projects are not suited to financing entirely through bank debt. Potential Finance depends not only on the Credit Metrics of the company but also on the distribution, marketing, actors, genre and much more,” he explains. Many of Gerswhin’s film clients are
local companies doing film and commercials on behalf of international clients. Analysing and eliminating the risks of falling short on budget due to foreign exchange fluctuations or lack of sufficient forward cover is his speciality.
“We as a bank are trying to talk to creative people who may not have a financial background to inform, guide and assist them in making good business decisions. We assist with financials and budgets, explain the various products out there and help clients to manage their risks,” Gerswhin says.
Gerswhin Arendse, Business Development Manager at FNB Business
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“RMB and FNB Business hosted film finance workshops in partnership with Wesgro in 2016 and 2017. Financial experts in different areas addressed about 90 delegates at a time, educating them on different aspects of film financing, accounting, the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) rebates, forex and exchange control. The feedback we got was phenomenal and there is demand to do it again. That is how we as a bank reach out to the film industry, in addition to our meetings with individual clients. As a bank, we want you to feel understood as a film industry,” he explains.
Irish MacLeod Inc. is an entertainment law firm specialising solely in the television, music and advertising industries. Their work extends from putting together complicated co-production structures and the financing of films, music and royalty deals, chain of title contracts, and production contracts. Guy MacLeod is a director of the firm and involved in over 160 film and television programs shot in South Africa during the last 17 years. He says the kind of assistance clients need depends on whether the film project is local, foreign or a co-production; the financing model; and various complex legal issues that arise. “Our work is not only providing and drafting contracts, but getting involved with the clients to close the deals and myriad of contracts that it takes to do that,” he explains. When it comes to financing Guy says, “Everyone is looking for funding, whether a veteran or new person in industry. After a producer has accessed all the ‘soft money’, such as funding from government rebates and grants or tax structures, it all comes down to finding an investor to put in hard cash.” To attract investors, many local producers lack expertise in putting together a business plan, explaining to potential investors
their return on investment, what the profit margins may be, and where in the recoupment of the revenues they will get their money back plus interest. “There is unfortunately a lack of understanding in the process of filmmaking: film, while a creative endeavour, is a business like any other at the end of the day that demands a return on the investment and not just fees for the creatives and producers. This is the biggest difference between dealing with foreign producers and local producers,” Guy notes. An example of a basic to-do list on the legal, accounting and technical front: • Ensure that the company set up for the film has contractually secured the rights to make and exploit the film. • Develop a solid business plan. • Secure finance and investment in the film and where they will recoup. • Budget carefully to derive a sensible price point for the film. • Engage distributors and sales agents to ensure your film reaches the target audience. • Have all the necessary contracts and agreements
Guy MacLeod of Irish MacLeod Inc.
in place to ensure those responsible for the project deliver funding and services as promised. • Ensure production legalities are current. • Ensure all music has been cleared. “Unfortunately, the local industry is geared towards production and getting films made but that’s where it ends. There is little attention paid to developing and educating the base of financiers and investors to invest in creative projects. We need to ensure that people and institutions learn about the business of film so that they see the opportunities to earn a return and in turn invest in more projects. Without this mind-set change, our local industry will just limp along and the hard work by the dti and IDC will end up in films that no-one will ever see. We will just have films that are made but rarely exploited,” he maintains. “Even with the investment there are other challenges that we should look at it, like our local distribution models and marketing of the films, something that other countries have really cottoned on to in terms of providing P&A funds.”
Jakob Owens (via Unsplash)
David Sternberg, a short-term insurance advisor at MountainStar
INSURE THE DREAM
Once all the legalities are in place, insurance is what stands between success and failure when the unexpected happens: an actor or critical crew member falls ill or dies; it rains on the only day you’ve secured a location; disasters that cause delays or complete cancellation of the project, to name a few. David Sternberg, a short-term insurance advisor at MountainStar, says by the time he is contacted by the producer or production company, a lot of preproduction has taken place.
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Jakob Owens (via Unsplash)
This includes finalised storyboards; callsheets; nominated cast and crew; subcontractors; sound engineers; post production; and anyone else involved in the operation. The cost of production overall determines the budget and risks, which determine the insurance premium. Each project is different as are the various film genres. “In the context of film finance, insurance is compulsory. You won’t get financing if you’re not insured,” he says. Financiers have different minimum insurance requirements and David makes sure he knows what these are. A general rule of thumb when it comes to budgeting for insurance is 1-4% of the cost of production, but this varies widely depending on the project. MountainStar also provides personal accident cover for cast and crew, which includes death, permanent disability or temporary disability. Equipment all risk insurance focuses on all aspects of equipment either owned or hired. Drone insurance
is becoming more important as drones are increasingly used in many productions: drone, payload, ground station equipment, controllers, and compulsory public liability cover. David says when it comes to drones, it’s important to note that drone operators in South Africa require licensed pilots and an operators certificate. If they don’t you may not be paid out. Film, media or tape insurance covers damage to footage of shoots that have already taken place and covers the costs of reproducing that footage. Props, sets and wardrobe have to be insured against damage and theft. Extra expenses insurance covers the knock-on effect of loss in one area that affects others, for example if a critical prop is damaged and has to be rebuilt resulting in delays in production. Hired, action and prop vehicles all require insurance, as do office contents, money, animal mortality, non-appearance of cast and crew, cancellation and abandonment. A lot of productions use
DRONE INSURANCE IS BECOMING MORE IMPORTANT AS DRONES ARE INCREASINGLY USED IN MANY PRODUCTIONS: DRONE, PAYLOAD, GROUND STATION EQUIPMENT, CONTROLLERS, AND COMPULSORY PUBLIC LIABILITY COVER. outsourced companies and these too need to be insured. “The minimum level of public liability on a film production is R5-million, covering people outside of the production, and this is compulsory,” he notes. Also important is the difference between public liability and third party property damage. Public liability is damage to property or people that are not involved with the production, as opposed to just property that is deemed to be under the care or control of the production. And a municipality may require R150-million in insurance cover
on a section of highway that is to be closed off for filming. “We’ve got various packages for film or feature productions which include all the major elements required,” David says. These are based on the time-period of the project and include: • Short productions (onceoff productions such as feature films, commercials and music videos) • Long productions (cover for the production company for all productions produced during a 12-month period and may include series, documentaries, commercials and reality TV).
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A completion bond or guarantee is an assurance supplied to financiers of a film that the project will be completed on time and within budget. The cost of the guarantee is usually a percentage of the budget. Film Finances Inc., a worldwide independent completion bond company, outlines the process of completion bond applications:
Jane Fry, Director of Film Finances South Africa
Evaluation: To begin, a feasibility assessment is carried out whereby production documents are reviewed and approved:
• Script • Finance plan • Production schedules (shooting and post production schedules) • Budget and cash flow In addition, a meeting may be held with all personnel deemed relevant to the project so as to grasp a thorough understanding of the project. Before a guarantee can be issued, it is important for the production to have: • The rights to make the film • Secured funding equal to the budget and relevant agreements • Production bank account
A COMPLETION BOND OR GUARANTEE IS AN ASSURANCE SUPPLIED TO FINANCIERS OF A FILM THAT THE PROJECT WILL BE COMPLETED ON TIME AND WITHIN BUDGET. THE COST OF THE GUARANTEE IS USUALLY A PERCENTAGE OF THE BUDGET.
• Satisfactory production insurance • Available and capable personnel and key agreements in place • Cast secured • Locations secured • Delivery schedules Monitoring: During the production and postproduction phases the progress of the film is monitored by way of: • Daily callsheets, wrap reports and progress reports • Weekly financial reports followed by a cost deport meeting or conference call • Visits to shooting location • Post-production schedule and weekly discussions with the post supervisor To see samples of a completion agreement and completion contract go to www.filmfinances.com
NYAPOTSE INCORPORATED ATTORNEYS Nyapotse Incorporated Attorneys (“Nyapotse Inc”) is a strategic partner, trusted advisor and reliable associate to its diverse and enviable portfolio of clients. The firm runs an integrated multi-disciplinary practice that is founded on credibility, reliability and delivery. An unwavering dedication to appropriately and correctly interpreting and delivering to our clients’ legal requirements govern its actions. Our advisory services, spanning many diverse industries including commercial, corporate, company, telecommunications, minerals and energy, entertainment and property, have made us the favoured legal consultant to many of the country’s successful enterprises.
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INDIES AND SHORTS
Kim Crowie rounds up some the short films and indies making waves of late: Buitenkant, Fried Barry, and Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway.
Will Nicholson, Arcade Content Co-Founder and Producer of award-winning short Buitenkant, has been back in the news with this riveting, beautifully shot work of art. The film went viral after it was selected as one of Vimeo’s Staff Picks in October, and last year took home the Jury Prize for Best Made in SA as part of the shnit International Shortfilmfestival. The story follows a homeless woman who breaks into an apartment where her experience turns into a complex reflection of how humans are shaped by their circumstances. At its core, Buitenkant addresses Cape Town’s legacy of spatial segregation, something I personally see taking place around me so often. Although not a word is said, actress Rehane Abrahams conveys so much in her expressions as she navigates the apartment, creating worlds the viewer can only grasp at. Props also to Director of Photography Pierre De Villiers, who made news in October when he bagged a Visible Spectrum Award for Best Music Video (Nasty C’s Bad Hair). Nicholson hopes Buitenkant will start conversations and build empathy around Cape Town’s homeless population, currently around the 7 000 mark. “The response has been overwhelming,” he says. “Everyone who makes a short film dreams of one day being featured as a Vimeo Staff Pick, so I’m just very grateful to everyone who helped make Buitenkant possible.”
Buitenkant stars Rehane Abrahams © Arcade Content
Director/Producer Ryan Kruger’s experimental film Fried Barry is part of a one-year project of a collection of ten films that will be released in 2018 as part of an exhibition. They are currently on the festival circuit, with Fried Barry already winning awards for Best Experimental at the European Cinematography Awards and the Mediterranean Film Festival. It follows Fried Barry, a heroin junkie who spends his days in an abandoned building walking around and tripping from his latest hit, going through highs and lows, and reliving memories of yesteryear. And I must say, what a trip it is, I almost want whatever he’s having (until I see the end scene – think I’ll pass). This is a totally enthralling visual experience, with extremely tight editing
and hair-raising soundscaping. I could not stop watching and couldn’t help feeling absolutely mortified by the time the credits rolled. A solid winner and a definite must-watch.
JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY
The visionary behind dystopian, otherworldly production Crumbs brings another wacky film to life: Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway. Although not yet complete, I thought I’d add it to my roundup because a) it’s an afrofuturistic indie that needs our love and support and b) it’s pretty insane what they’re planning to do, if the teaser is anything to go by. Director/Producer Miguel Llansó has once again used Ethiopia as the backdrop for a new sci-fi thriller which aims to be a cornucopia of
weirdness and interdimensional travel, astonishing spy plots and kung fu adventures. “We have used our savings to shoot 10 minutes of the film and now we need your help!” Llansó and team say on Kickstarter where they’re hoping to raise €15,000 by Friday, 10 November 2017. The story goes something like this: It’s 2035 and Tallinn, now a megalopolis, is managed by a ubiquitous computer programme called Psychobook. Undercover agents Gagano (Daniel Tadesse) and his boss Palmer Eldritch are tasked with protecting Psychobook from any and all threats. If strange, bizarre kitsch is right up your alley, take a gander at the project here: www.kickstarter.com/ projects/22126897/jesus-showsyou-the-way-to-the-highway
SPOTLIGHT / 27
SA WRITER/DIRECTOR DUO SEAN DRUMMOND AND MICHAEL MATTHEWS Leading global talent agency William Morris Endeavour (WME) has signed Five Fingers for Marseilles duo Michael Matthews and Sean Drummond.
Five Fingers for Marseilles . Photo by Graham Bartholomew
traight off the TIFF debut of their first feature Five Fingers for Marseilles, Director Michael Matthews and Writer Sean Drummond have signed with entertainment mogul William Morris Endeavour (WME). The two first made waves in Hollywood with their short Apocalypse Now Now, and produced Five Fingers through their production company Be Phat Motel. “We’re excited about future projects both together and separately as writer and director,” they told Deadline, “specifically
Apocalypse Now Now and supernatural-psychological police drama series Acts of Man, continuing relationships with great companies in the U.S. like XYZ Films and Five Fingers co-producers Game 7 Films, and growing even greater partnerships. WME is an incredible agency and we couldn’t be more excited by the future.” Five Fingers is a long awaited Western style thriller set to South African sociopolitical themes. It is the culmination of eight years of hard work taking the story from script to screen, and
after its rousing success at Toronto International Film Festival, it has also been selected for Fantastic Fest, BFI London, and the Busan International Film Festival. The film was shot in the Eastern Cape and is a visual feast. The story spans twenty years, opening with the young ‘Five Fingers’ fighting brutal police oppression for the safe-keeping of the rural town of Marseilles. Now, after fleeing in disgrace, freedomfighter-turned-‘outlaw’ Tau returns to Marseilles, seeking a peaceful pastoral life. When he finds the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Hailed as one of the best local films for 2017, it stars Vuyo Dabula as Tau, as well as Zethu Dlomo, Hamilton Dlamini, Lizwi Vilakazi, Kenneth Nkosi, Mduduzi Mabaso, Aubrey
Poolo, Dean Fourie, Warren Masemola, Kenneth Fok, Anthony Oseyemi, Brendon Daniels, Garth Breytenbach, Tseko Monaheng, Mosili Makuta with Jerry Mofokeng. William Morris is one of the foremost talent agencies in the world. In 2009 it merged with Endeavour to become one of the leading entertainment and media companies with an unparalleled list of artists and content creators. In 2014, WME acquired IMG, the global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, forming WME | IMG. In 2017, WME represented five of the seven films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards: Arrival, Fences, Hell or High Water, La La Land, and Manchester by the Sea. Five Fingers for Marseilles is set for release in April 2018 after an extensive festival run this season.
FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLE IS A LONG AWAITED WESTERN STYLE THRILLER SET TO SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIO-POLITICAL THEMES. IT IS THE CULMINATION OF EIGHT YEARS OF HARD WORK TAKING THE STORY FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN.
28 / PRO-SPECTIVE
A film producer with a career spanning decades, Dexter Davis has turned his expert eye on South Africa.
What are you currently working on? After several delays, we’re finally going into production next March with the action-packed heist film The Blue Mauritius, which will be shot almost entirely in Cape Town and Port Shepstone. We’re producing with Michael Benaroya of Benaroya Pictures, they’re behind films like Lawless, The Words, Margin Call and Elvis & Nixon to name but a few. Following that is Team Joy, a father and daughter con artist team set in Atlanta, Georgia. We’re executive producing for Joe Newcomb, the Oscar-winning producer of Dallas Buyers Club, and then there’s Moto Anjos, a Brazilian action film in the vein of City of God, also set in Brazil, and to be directed by Emmy Award winning director Joe Tripician. I’m excited we’re going to be spending a lot of time in Cape Town next year with another film called Ballin... On the Other Side of the World, it’s a faith-based basketball movie for the international market. We recently announced the casting of Tanzanian personality turned actor Idris Sultan as one of the leads. Idris won Big Brother Africa in 2014 and is a very talented actor. I’m currently preparing to do a major casting call for the two young South African males leads ages 12 and 20. We need to find a very tall 18-20 year old who can act. It’s a big opportunity as they’ll co-star with an American A-list star to help with worldwide distribution. Aside from film, we’re also developing content for television in South Africa which is super exciting. Lastly, we’re planning to build a stateof-the-art film and TV studio
Film Producer - Dexter Davis. Image courtesy of Jennifer Campbell.
in the beautiful town of Port Shepstone on the South Coast. What led you to The Blue Mauritius? The Blue Mauritius was born from a desire to produce a film in Cape Town, South Africa that expressed what I was feeling at a time when I first discovered the amazing city. I’d been wanting to visit Cape Town for years— one of the reasons was to explore doing business in Africa. I was curious about the film business
throughout the continent, but more specifically South Africa. Cape Town felt like the obvious first city to start the exploration. It didn’t take long to figure out just how amazing the city was and how wonderful the natural beauty could be reflected in film. I knew right away I really loved the city, what it offered and how exciting the restaurants, nightlife, culture and people really were. Not many movies showed this side of Cape Town and I wanted to do that. When I lived in Berlin I discovered a stamp called “The
Blue Mauritius,” this incredible stamp has a unique history and at the time was considered the most valuable stamp in the world. This gave me an idea for a feature film. What if this precious stamp had a secret, a secret that lead to a treasure on the island of Mauritius, where it was originally printed. It was 2004 and George W. Bush was president of the US and with all the foreign policy blunders and the bad feeling a lot of people had over the war, I desired to make a film that was international and inclusive, but more importantly about people from different places, cultural backgrounds and our need for cooperation. Within this subtext I wanted: five characters from around the world, working together for a common cause. And if they didn’t come together, they were doomed to fail. It was a metaphor for what was happening in the world: there has to be cooperation amongst people and nations, and if we don’t, then how could we succeed in our global community? So, we still need to see that: people working together to achieve a common goal. And The Blue Mauritius is all that, plus a sexy, action-packed love letter to Cape Town What was the most important lesson you learned early in your career, that ultimately led to your growth as a filmmaker and producer? For me it’s all about stamina and perseverance. Being an independent filmmaker or producer is not easy, especially if you want to make a career out of it. The required sacrifice and level of commitment is not
PRO-SPECTIVE / 29
IT WAS A METAPHOR FOR WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD: THERE HAS TO BE COOPERATION AMONGST PEOPLE AND NATIONS, AND IF WE DON’T, THEN HOW COULD WE SUCCEED IN OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY? SO, WE STILL NEED TO SEE THAT: PEOPLE WORKING TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE A COMMON GOAL. AND THE BLUE MAURITIUS IS ALL THAT, PLUS A SEXY, ACTION-PACKED LOVE LETTER TO CAPE TOWN. like anything I’ve done before. Getting a movie made and into distribution is not for the faint of heart. One has to stick with it and when you’re successful with one you have to start all over again. It’s taken me nearly thirteen years to get The Blue Mauritius set up. I would call that perseverance. What defines your producing process? As an executive producer it’s all about the script. A project isn’t real for me until we have a draft of the screenplay that’s ready to go out into the world to be packaged. From there everything starts to fall into place. The amount of time and resources that goes into trying to get your film made can be daunting and if your script is bad, you make it just that much harder for yourself. I’m most definitely a collaborator, I think that’s been essential to my growth as a producer and as CEO of a media company. I’ve relied heavily on partnerships to advance our agenda and goals. I believe wholeheartedly they’ve been vital to our success. I travelled a great deal around the world in order to cultivate the kind of relationships that are key to our growth as a company. The industry relies on collaboration; it’s the nature of making movies. I like to think I’ve taken collaboration to the next level and guess what? It’s working for us. I continue to
welcome more partnerships and look forward to collaborating with more South African producers and business leaders alike. What are your thoughts on South Africa’s film industry? As a film service destination, and also as an incubator for authentic African stories? I have to say, in my honest opinion that I don’t believe South Africa has a film industry yet. What you have is an excellent service industry, with standards that are comparable to any country in the world that produces high quality film. That’s why so many foreign productions come here to make movies. That, along with lower labor cost, the tax rebates and subsidies, making for an ideal place for film and television production. Unfortunately, that does very little to help build a South African film industry. You need more movie screens in the country, a larger middle class, in order to build a cinema going audience and very importantly a “star system,” that encourages people to go see more South African film as opposed to mostly American movies. The second part of your question is a bit more complicated for me to answer. I’m not aware of other stories from Africa that are being developed in South Africa, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. It’s just that I’ve only come across scripts
from South African writers who write from that perspective. The challenge I have with a lot of South African stories is the fact that many of them are so issue focused. Obviously there are many social-economic problems that affects so many people, along with your history of apartheid, but I think filmmakers need to strike a balance between difficult, important films and light-hearted films that serves to just entertainment us. Do you feel it’s the responsibility of the filmmaker to develop the audience? Yes, in a lot of ways I do. I was recently asked why I thought Nigerian films were so successful, or why they get so much attention around the world. My answer was that they’re producing films that Nigerians wants to see, rather than trying to emulate Hollywood, which is difficult to do if you don’t have Hollywood resources. Nigerians make movies about what they know and they are unapologetic about it. The guerilla aspect of their productions is very reminiscent to early days of filmmaking when the technology was not there. The difference with the Nigerians is that the technology exists today, however access to it and highly skilled talent is limited. So they found ways to make their movies by any means necessary and when they were made, found clever ways to get them to the public for consumption. This was repeated time and time again until the people they were selling to became their audience. Will you be making use of South Africa’s film rebate? Most definitely. This is a very important aspect to attracting productions and what makes South Africa so attractive. I think SA is the only country in Africa with such a sophisticated system. As an independent you’re looking for ways to reduce your risk and when you can put those savings on screen, you honour your audience and your investors.
ABOUT DEXTER DAVIS: Dexter Davis began his career in entertainment at 23 years old when he formed Dexter Davis Productions, a company that specialised in organising creative events for non-profits in San Francisco. After successfully running the business, he went on to create and executive produce OutTalk Magazine a lifestyle and entertainment program for NBC’s San Francisco cable affiliate BAYTV. Four years later he moved to Los Angeles to pursue film production and started the boutique production company StoneCreek Entertainment. In 2001, Davis expanded that company, changed the name to D Street Media Group and relocated to Europe to learn first-hand the global film business. During this time, the subsidiaries D Street Pictures, D Street Releasing and D Street Medienvertrieb, GmbH in German were established. In 2003, he executive produced his first feature film, the successful art house movie The Reception which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005 and opened across America in June of 2005 by Strand Releasing. The film was shot in eight days for $5K and received positive reviews in the NY Times, Variety, LA Times and many more publications which put D Street on the map. He then focused his efforts on specialised distribution, Davis successfully executed a co-marketing deal with the automotive giant Volkswagen to promote and release foreign films in the United States. Davis has since produced six additional feature films with a number of films going into production in 2018 and 2019.
30 / LOCATION SPOTLIGHT
Catholic Church, Harar, Ethiopia © Rod Waddington
Ethiopia’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi Crumbs © Lanzadera Films
Fasil Ghebbi in Gonder, Ethiopia © SarahTz (via Flickr)
A fascinating location off the beaten track, Ethiopia offers a plethora of otherworldly looks for the discerning filmmaker.
country that’s seen many hardships in the last few decades, Ethiopia is now coming into its own as a nation with much to offer the film world. It has a wealth of undiscovered cultures and locations, from rivers and deserts to forests – and is even home to the lowest point on Earth, the Danakil Depression, and the hottest inhabited place on earth, Dallol. Other locations of interest are the Lalibela rockhewn churches with their ancient
facades, the magnificent Blue Nile Falls, Fasilides castle, and a host of natural beauty found in the likes of Nechisar National Park, the Siemen Mountains – home to Gelada Baboons – and Harar walled city where hyenas feed at night. Also of interest is the Lower Valley of the Omo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and prehistoric region near Lake Turkana where the discovery of fossils has been of fundamental importance in the study of human evolution.
Dallol, located in the Danakil Depression © Ji-Elle (via Wikimedia Commons)
Hamer in Logara, near Turmi, Ethiopia © Alfred Weidinger
FILMS SHOT IN THE COUNTRY
Although the country has a vibrant local film sector much like Kenya’s Riverwood and Nigeria’s Nollywood but on a smaller scale, the nation has seen some incredible independent films grace the international stage in the last few years. Some of these include the post-apocalyptic surreal story of Crumbs (2015) and the beautiful, heart-wrenching Lamb (2015). Difret, released in 2014 and executive produced by Angelina Jolie, won the World
Cinematic Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance, as well as the Audience Award at the 64th Berlinale in the Panorama section. Older hits set and shot in Ethiopia include The Athlete, Teza, The Best of Enemies, Time to Kill, Mother: Caring for 7 Billion, Town of Runners, and A Walk to Beautiful. There is currently much dialogue in the local film industry around the development of its filmic pursuits in order to make it more competitive and attractive. According to a paper released
The Library of Emperor Yohannes at Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar © A Davey (via Flickr)
LOCATION SPOTLIGHT / 31
CLIMATE Ethiopia’s climate is generally mild and tropical, with average temperatures in the highlands and major cities like Addis Ababa below 20°C, and exceeding 30°C in the lowlands. Average Annual Temperatures in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 320C 24 0C 160C 8 0C 0 0C
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Max temp
Aug Sep Oct
Dallol salt and sulphur formations, located in the Danakil Depression © Ji-Elle (via Wikimedia Commons)
Average precipation (rain/snow) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June 2016, over 100 films have been produced per year thanks to the technological and economic growth the country has registered in recent years – although 60% of respondents in this study believed the industry has been growing in quantity rather than quality. There are currently about 300 filmmakers and companies, as well as 39 cinemas in the capital of Addis Ababa. Local filmmakers still face many struggles in producing their stories and getting it in front of an audience.
FILMING ON LOCATION
There are no set fees for filming on location in Ethiopia, however enough time should be allowed for local fixers to liaise with regional governing bodies who may charge location fees. National park fees are high, particularly for aerial shoots,
and require the pilot having a flight permit from the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority. The best time to shoot during clear, sunny days is from January to March, with the rainy season running from April to September. At present, there are no film incentives in Ethiopia, although locations, local talent and support crew are generally inexpensive. The country has a small pool of directors, videographers and stills photographers, with Kenya being the closest place for sourcing key crew from abroad. Customs can take a while, according to local fixer Zabalon Beyene. “Have your locations manager wait with a customs clearance paper in hand for the crew’s arrival. If not, the crew will lose at least a day sorting customs clearance,” he says. Malaria precautions are also important, as is the need to stay hydrated in hot regions.
400 mm 300 mm 200 mm 100 mm 0 mm
Mar Apr May Jun
Oct Nov Dec
ACCESS Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is the main access point to the country, with a number of other commercial and connecting airports serving the region Carriers to Ethiopia include: • • • • • • •
Air China Air Europa Air India Austrian Airlines British Airways EgyptAir Emirates
• Ethiopian Airlines • Kenya Airways • Lufthansa • Malaysia Airlines • Qatar Airways • RwandAir
• Saudia • Singapore Airlines • South African Airways • Turkish Airlines • United
POPULATION 105 350 020 (July 2017 estimate, CIA World Factbook)
CONTACT Ethiopia Tourism Organisation Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.ethiopia.travel
FIXERS Solomon Abrha | Independent Fixer Tel: +251 912 623 170 Email: email@example.com Yohannes Feleke | Independent Filmmaker and Fixer Tel: (+1) 202 403 9226 (USA) / +251 911 378 976 (Ethiopia) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Lamb by Yared Zeleke © Slum Kid Films
32 / EVENTS TO DIARISE
NOVEMBER AMERICAN FILM MARKET & CONFERENCES 1–8 Santa Monica, USA LEEDS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 1 – 16 Leeds, United Kingdom THESSALONIKI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2 – 12 Thessaloniki, Greece HAWAII INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2 – 12 Hawaii, USA FORT LAUDERDALE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 3 – 19 Florida, USA CARTHAGE FILM FESTIVAL 4 – 11 Carthage, Tunisia NAPA VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL 8 – 12 Napa, USA LONESTAR FILM FESTIVAL 8 – 12 Fort Worth, USA CUCALORUS FILM FESTIVAL 8 – 12 Wilmington, USA
FILM FINANCE WORLD CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION 10 – 11 Johannesburg, South Africa KOLKATA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 10 – 17 Kolkata, India BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL 11 – 27 Tallinn, Estonia BARCELONA INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL 14 – 20 Barcelona, Spain INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL AMSTERDAM 15 – 26 Amsterdam, Netherlands INTERFILM FESTIVAL 20 – 26 Berlin, Germany INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF INDIA 20 – 28 Goa, India CAIRO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 21 – 30 Cairo, Egypt
STOCKHOLM FILM FESTIVAL 8 – 19 Stockholm, Sweden
SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 23 – 3 December Singapore
DOC NYC 9 – 16 New York, USA
TORINO FILM FESTIVAL 24 – 2 December Torino, Italy
AFI FEST 9 – 16 Los Angeles, USA
WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL 29 – 3 December Vancouver, Canada
DECEMBER FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DU FILM DE MARRAKECH 1–9 Marrakech, Morocco DELHI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 4–9 New Delhi, India DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 6 – 13 Dubai, UAE MONACO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 7 – 10 Monte Carlo, Monaco FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DEL NUEVO CINE LATINOAMERICANO (HAVANA FILM FESTIVAL) 8 – 17 Havana, Cuba BAHAMAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 10 – 17 Harbour Island and Nassau, Bahamas METRO MANILA FILM FESTIVAL 25 – 1 January Manila, Philippines
EVENTS TO DIARISE / 33
PALM SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2 – 15 Palm Springs, USA GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS 7 Beverly Hills, USA NEW YORK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL 10 – 23 New York, USA DHAKA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 12 – 20 Dhaka, Bangladesh LONDON SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 12 – 21 London, United Kingdom TROMSØ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 15 – 21 TROMSØ, NORWAY SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 18 – 25 Park City, USA SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 18 – 28 Park City, USA WORLD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (TORONTO) 19 – 20 Toronto, Canada GERARDMER FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DU FILM FANTASTIQUE 24 – 28 Paris, France INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF ROTTERDAM 24 – 4 February Rotterdam, The Netherlands GÖTEBORG FILM FESTIVAL 26 – 5 February Gothenburg, Sweden
Hovedøya, Norway | Photo by Linnea Sandbakk on Unsplash
34 / ASSOCIATIONS NEWS
SASFED, SAGA, OTHER INDUSTRY BODIES IN PARLIAMENT Both SASFED (South African Screen Federation) and SAGA (South African Guild of Actors), DFA (Documentary Film Association) and SAGE (South African Guild of Editors) represented the interests of performers and industry stakeholders in Parliament around the Copyright Amendment Bill. SASFED Treasurer Marc Schwinges spoke on behalf of the organisation, sharing their stance behind the bill. The current dialogue is centred on who actually owns the rights to a creative work, who can claim royalties, and whether the state should have copyright over creative works that it commissions and funds. Under current copyright laws, someone doing commissioned work earns royalties everytime that piece is used. However is proposed changes to SA’s copyright laws go ahead, an artist’s right to these royalties could cease over submitted as the Copyright Amendment Bill could see copyright rest with the institution commissioning and funding – not the creator thereof. Debate around the bill has been ongoing for months, but was brought before Parliament in late August. Although nothing is ﬁnal as of yet, performers and creators alike are encouraged to voice their concerns and familiarise themselves with the issues surrounding the bill. More information can be found by contacting the abovementioned organisations.
NFVF CHANGES AWARDS FOR SAFTAS 12 The National Film and Video Foundation recently opened their call for entries to the 12th edition of the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs), after making some key changes to the awards system, which now totals 80 awards plus four discretionary awards. The SAFTAS are managed by the NFVF and are guided by the SAFTAs committee comprising the SABC, DStv, eTV, StarSat, the Cultural and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa, and SASFED. “Following the SAFTAs 11 post review meetings with the Adhoc and SAFTAs committees, the categories were workshopped and reduced. The objective is to create consistency and uniformity that reﬂects the South African ﬁlm and television industry,” said NFVF CEO Zama Mkosi.
Key changes include the following: • Documentary short will now be treated like the short ﬁlm award, and will only be awarded best of genre. • Wildlife Programmes will also not have sub categories, and will only be awarded best of genre. • Magazine shows and Variety shows will be a combined award, the Best Magazine and Variety show. • Telenovela is a growing genre in SA and for this reason, the genre will be awarded its own best of genre, so there is now an award for Best Telenovela separate from the Best TV Soap.
• In the Telenovela category, cinematography has been included. • The two will be combined when competing for the public vote of Most Popular TV Soap including Telenovelas as well as the sub categories. • Best Sports Show was removed as this award has consistently not received enough entries.
ASSOCIATIONS NEWS / 35
The Writers’ Guild of South Africa recently took an ofﬁcial delegation to the prestigious London Screenwriters’ Festival. The event saw a group of 15 in attendance, with Polani Fourie and Fazila WahabKohl, Chairperson of SWIFT, selected for the Euroscript Script Surgery programme. Says Fourie: “The festival exceeded my expectations – from the moment we stepped into the festival, the organiser, Chris, went over and beyond to make our South African delegation feel welcome. They
even made an additional slot of pitching available to us. I deﬁnitely think all of us came back with some real interest in some or all of our projects.” Desmond Denton of Imagen Heart Films said it was an honour to represent South Africa at the festival. “What stood out for me was pitching concepts and television series to highly accomplished executives and honestly seeing the interest in the stories we are producing. South Africa has become a destination for ﬁlming for various big title ﬁlms and commercials that we service. We aim to take it even further and co-produce creative South African stories that can travel beyond our own borders,” he explains. “With my own project Spelonk, a post-apocalyptic TV series set in Cape Town, I found a strong interest and am currently in discussion with a Chinese Executive Producer as well as a British Creative Producer.”
Wahab-Kohl says every writer and ﬁlmmaker should place London Screenwriters’ Festival on their annual events calendar. “I got to meet so many people and have returned energised, motivated and inspired to just create and have fun doing so.” “This is the festival where the script really takes centre stage,” adds Brigid Goldman of DO Productions. “We walked away inspired, nuanced, galvanised, armed with new sensibilities and creative lensing – and more than that, we met likeminded fellow writers, producers, and ﬁnanciers. It’s a must do!”
CPA HOLDS PRODUCTION WORKSHOP 2017 The Commercial Producers Association of South Africa held a production workshop on Tuesday, 10 October 2017 in Cape Town. Headed up by Executive Ofﬁcer Bobby Amm, the workshop covered a range of topics including the state of the industry, environmental sustainability, health and safety in the commercial ﬁeld, animals and the new PAPA regulations, and of course updated information on crew, suppliers, and talent. For more information on the details of the workshop, or to ﬁnd out what upcoming events the CPA will be holding, visit www.cpasa.tv, or contact email@example.com.
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THE BUSINESS OF FILMMAKING 4th Annual
Film Finance World 2017 · · · · ·
Budgeting Packaging Legal Marketing So much more....
10 November 2017
|Venue: IDC, Sandton |Time: 9 – 4pm
www.ﬁlmﬁnanceworld.com Tel: 011 050 1312/072 861 6130
Hosted by Destiny Media
We’re famous for our mountain, and our oceans, and our desert, and our forests, and our city, and our rivers, and our salt pans, and our winelands, and our farms, and our beaches, and our parklands, and our game reserves, and our studios, and any other location you need. Cape Town and the Western Cape has as many locations as you have ideas. Together with state-of-the-art facilities and a budget-loving exchange rate, the journey from script to screen will be seamless. That’s why movies and series such as Resident Evil: The Last Chapter, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Brothers Grimsby, Eye in the Sky, Momentum, District 9, Shepherds and Butchers, Noem My Skollie, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Invictus, Safe House, Dredd, Strike Backs S3, Blood Drive, Homeland S4 and Black Sails S1-4 have been filmed here. Other benefits of shooting here are the moderate climate, highly competitive rates, a skilled and established commercial and stills industry, as well as world-class animation, VFX, and post production facilities. Wesgro is mandated by the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government to promote the region’s film and media industry. This means we’re a favour waiting to happen. Find out how Wesgro can support you by visiting www.wesgro.co.za and download our new e-book to see some of the inspiring locations we have waiting for you. Cape Town and the Western Cape. An inspiring place to create.
For more information contact: Monica Rorvik, Head: Film and Media Promotion +27 (0) 21 487 8600 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.wesgro.co.za
Published on Oct 31, 2017
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