ISSUE 01 | 2014
+ LOCATIONS South Africa Delivers
+ STUDIO SPOTLIGHT The Continent's Top of Class
+ SEYCHELLES Crown Jewels of the Indian Ocean
CONTENTS | 01
2. Mandela Film Turns from Tribute to Marking Passing
4. Food Network Serving Up ‘Chopped South Africa’
5. South African ‘UP’ Series on Al Jazeera
6. African Films Featured at Sundance
7. Film Banned by Apartheid Government is Being Digitally Remastered
From directors, DOPs and lesser camera operators, technicians and assistants to make-up, Africa has it all
Everything you need to know about what makes South African locations special
8. Loeries Official Rankings 9. Behind the Ad – Star Sat 10. Nico Dekker: Moulding Africa’s Film Destiny
12. How to Become Export-Ready 14. Talent and Experience - Crews in Africa
16. Locations – South Africa Has What You Need in 2014
22. Africa’s Best Studios 26. The Seychelles Islands – Crown Jewels of the Indian Ocean
Look no further than Africa for a worldclass studio for film or stills
Filming in the crown jewel of the Indian Ocean features stunning natural surroundings in an inviting atmosphere
28. In Production 30. Industry Moves 34. Events 36. Opportunities 38. Associations 40. Directory
02 | NEWS
MANDELA FILM Turns from Tribute to Marking Passing
We have lost our father, an exceptional human being, a hero to the world. There has never been anyone quite like him and there will never be. We should be inspired by his life and celebrate him with our love. We will all miss him dearly. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with Mama Winnie, Mrs Machel, Zenani, Zindzi, Maki and the entire Mandela Family during this difficult time. -Anant Singh, Producer, ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ 6 December 2013
he passing of Nelson Mandela was announced during the London premiere of ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ – the film version of the autobiography that is the only motion picture to be authorised and endorsed by the Mr. Mandela and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. When the announcement was made, the Hollywood Reporter reports, there were audible gasps throughout the packed cinema. Producer Anant Singh first began communication with Mr. Mandela while he was in prison, and acquired the rights to the autobiography in 1996. Since its debut, the film has won awards, critical acclaim, and support from governments. It was shown at the White
House in Washington D.C. in the United States last year at a screening that the Mandela family was invited to attend. The film is distributed in the United States by The Weinstein Company. Owner and renowned producer Harvey Weinstein attended the special screening. The film had a record opening in South Africa on 28 November, just a short time before Mandela’s death. ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ was the highest grossing film in South Africa on its opening weekend, earning R4 431 228.00, It also out-grossed the opening weekend box office of some of the biggest studio films of the year, including ‘Hunger Games – Catching Fire’, ‘World War Z’, ‘The Wolverine’ and ‘Hangover 3’.
04 | NEWS
Food Network Serving Up 'Chopped South Africa'
he Food Network, the international food and cooking programming network, has announced that the channel will produce a South African version of hit international show ‘Chopped’ for broadcast in Q2 2014. The Food Network is owned by Scripps Networks Interactive (SNI), a leading developer of lifestyle content for television and the internet worldwide. ‘Chopped South Africa’ will follow the same format as the internationally acclaimed series. Each episode will feature four chefs tasked with turning a selection of everyday ingredients into an extraordinary
three-course meal. After each course, a contestant gets “chopped” until the last person standing claims victory with a cash prize of R40, 000. The program will be presented by TV presenter Denvor Phokaners, and judges will include South African food celebrities Jenny Morris, Siba Mtongana, David van Staden, Lindsay Venn, Rebecca Hurst and Reuben Riffel. Nick Thorogood, SVP Content and Marketing at Scripps EMEA says he is thrilled that ‘Chopped South Africa’ is being produced to meet the needs of the local and passionate foodie scene. “Chopped is the most highly rated and popular series on
Food Network in South Africa, and this new, local commission will give more than 40 home-grown chefs the chance to compete for victory in South Africa’s very own Chopped kitchen.” The production company for ‘Chopped South Africa’ is Snelco Prod with Executive Producer, Sue Nell in association with Ukhamba Communications. The Director is Eugene Naidoo. The production of ‘Chopped South Africa’ follows closely on the heels of the success of Food Network local commissions ‘Jenny Morris Cooks Morocco’, ‘Siba’s Table’ and ‘Reza’s African Kitchen’.
NEWS | 05
SOUTH AFRICAN ‘UP’ SERIES
wenty-one years ago, acclaimed director Angus Gibson filmed a cross-section of South Africa’s seven-year-old children and asked them about their lives, hopes and dreams. The result was ITV’s award-winning TV series ‘7UP South Africa’. Angus has filmed the children every seven years since: first for ‘14UP’, then ‘21UP’, and now, as adults, for ‘28UP’, which premiered on Al Jazeera English late last year. The South African show is a spinoff from British director Michael Apted’s multiaward-winning ‘UP’ series, which is on The British Film Institute’s list of The Greatest British TV Shows. “The premise of the series is taken from the Jesuit motto, ‘Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man,’ says Paul Eedle, director of programming at Al Jazeera English. “The South African version is fascinating, because it shows the country’s transformation as well as the children’s.” The series follows the children’s lives from 1992, two years after Nelson Mandela
on Al Jazeera
was released from prison and two years before he became South Africa’s first democratically-elected president. “In the first film, ‘7UP’, apartheid still defined the country’s social divisions,” says Angus. “The children only understood life from the perspective of their own segregated part of society, So Patrick in an affluent suburb of Cape Town could know nothing of Thembisile’s life in Soweto. Seven years later, when the film crew returned, they were teenagers in a new South Africa. At 21, the political struggle had given them chances their parents were denied but the biggest battle was the war against AIDS – and not all of them have survived. Now at 28 they have entered the adult world and one of them has even become a Springbok rugby player.” Al Jazeera has acquired all previous ‘South Africa: UP’ programmes and has created an eight-episode series following the group from their seventh year through to the present, three-episode ‘28UP’ production. This retrospective will include never-seenbefore footage from the earlier shoots.
The series follows the children’s lives from 1992, two years after Nelson Mandela was released from prison and two years before he became South Africa’s first democraticallyelected president.
Executive produced by ITV’s Jonathan Levi and Al Jazeera English’s Ingrid Falck, with Jemma Jupp as the series producer and co-director, ‘28UP South Africa’ is a coproduction between The Shiver, ITV Studios, and Al Jazeera English.
06 | NEWS
AFRICAN FILMS Featured at Sundance
Main Street Atmosphere , Courtesy of Sundance Institute © Jonathan Hickerson
he 2014 Sundance Film Festival will be attracting industry players from around the globe between 16-26 January in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. African films will be featured at the event in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world will be shown in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, which is meant to offer “fresh perspectives and inventive styles”. ‘Difret’ an Ethiopian film from Director and Screenwriter Zeresenay Berhane Mehari will have its world premiere at Sundance. ‘Difret’ is about a young lawyer who operates under the government’s radar helping women and children until one young girl’s legal case exposes everything, threatening not only her career but her survival. The cast includes Meron Getnet, and Tizita Hagere. ‘White Shadow’, a Tanzanian, Italian, and German film from Director: Noaz Deshe with Screenwriters Noaz and James Masson will be having its international premiere at the festival. ‘White Shadow’ is about a young albino boy on the run. His mother has sent him away to find refuge in the city after witnessing his father’s murder. Over time, the city becomes no different than the bush - wherever he travels, the same rules
of survival apply. The cast includes Hamisi Bazili, James Gayo, Glory Mbayuwayu, and Salum Abdallah. Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, said, “We are energized by the rich diversity of voices, characters and places represented in the films selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Independent filmmakers continue to engage us with stories from worlds both intimately familiar and unknown.” John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival, said, “The films selected for our 2014 Festival show that filmmakers are empowered and emboldened by the 30-year legacy of the independent film movement. The confidence to play with the medium and to surprise audiences indicates the vital role independent film has come to serve in the cultural landscape.” For the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected, representing 37 countries and 54 first-time filmmakers, including 34 in competition. These films were selected from 12,218 submissions (72 more than for 2013), including 4,057 feature-length films and 8,161 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,014 were from the U.S. and 2,043 were international. 97 feature films at the Festival will be world premieres.
We are energized by the rich diversity of voices, characters and places represented in the ﬁlms selected for our 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Independent ﬁlmmakers continue to engage us with stories from worlds both intimately familiar and unknown.
NEWS | 07
Film Banned by Apartheid Government is Being Digitally Remastered
Joe Bullet’, a 1971 film banned by the Apartheid Government, is being digitally re-mastered by the Gravel Road African Film Legacy Initiative. It was one of the first South African films featuring an all-African cast, starring Ken Gampu – one of the first South African actors to appear in Hollywood productions. ‘Joe Bullet’ was independently released in 1972 by the Eyethu Cinema in Soweto, but after a mere two screenings, was shut down by the government. It was later unbanned after a special appeal and a personal screening for the Minister of Communications. Sadly, it was never released again and simply disappeared. The film tells the story of a local soccer team, The Eagles, who are attacked by a mysterious gangster. Only a week before their championship final, they turn to the one man they believe can help them win – Joe Bullet (Ken Gampu). From villainous henchmen and boobytrapped bombs to assassins and martial arts, this film has it all. Renowned singer, songwriter, musical arranger and actress Abigail Kubeka plays Joe Bullet’s love interest, Beauty, in one of her first on-screen roles. Kubeka went on to become a pivotal part of South Africa’s music industry and was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver in 2006 by the Presidency for excellent achievement in and contribution to the art of music. Ben Cowley of Gravel Road believes that ‘Joe Bullet’ is a valuable part of South Africa’s film heritage. “It can be considered as one of
South Africa’s first Blaxploitation films and the historical value of it having been banned, essentially for portraying an African man wielding a gun and fighting corruption in the criminal underworld of soccer, made it an intriguing story.” It is a pre-subsidy production, which makes it that much more interesting, says Ben. “The producers, filmmakers and actors at the time took an enormous risk to make a film of this nature, despite it being pure entertainment. When you look at the value they pumped on the screen for this film – the cost of which was never recovered – it matches anything out of Hollywood at the time.” Ben first got involved with ‘Joe Bullet’ by accident. “I was approached by the original producer, Tonie van der Merwe, to see if I could assist him in funding his latest film venture. I didn’t know anything about Tonie at the time and during our first meeting I discovered that this is probably one of the prolific filmmakers in South African history. He was part of an era of filmmakers that no-one talks about anymore – not even publicly acknowledges. Yes, during the subsidy era there was a lot of corruption, but by the same token there was a heck of a lot of production happening. And there were those filmmakers who simply made movies by the dozens, if not hundreds over that period.” After hearing about these forgotten films, Ben decided that “these movies HAVE to get seen by audiences today”.
Joe Bullet’ was independently released in 1972 by the Eyethu Cinema in Soweto, but after a mere two screenings, was shut down by the government.
The film reportedly has a sequel, which Ben and his colleagues have recently located and will begin restoring early next year. ‘Joe Bullet is scheduled to have a theatrical premier in March 2014, with television rights licensed to SABC at the end of 2014. The premier will also mark the launch of the Gravel Road African Film Legacy initiative.
08 | NEWS
LOERIES Official Rankings
he Loeries Official Rankings for 2013 are available, offering a transparent oversight of the awards as well as promote creativity and innovation as primary business tools in the brand communication industry. Andrew Human, Loeries CEO, says, “The Official Rankings are a good indicator of the best work produced in our region – brands, agencies and individuals. I’d say there’s no better resource for evaluating who’s who in our brand communications industry.”
Television, Film & Video – Television, Film & Video – Overall Ranking By Film Production Company Recording Studio Agency 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Egg Films Velocity Films Bouffant Hey! Fever Giant Films
1. 2. 3. 4.
Freq’ncy We Love Jam Sterling Sound Zef Recordz
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Deliverance Upstairs Post Production Left Post Production Hey! Fever Priest
2. iKineo 3. Hellocomputer 4. Flow Communications 5. Gloo *Note: Compiled using only the Interactive and Digital Communications category.
Digital Production Television, Film & Video – Company* Editing Company 1. OgilvyOne Cape Town
Television, Film & Video – Post Production Animation Company 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Bladeworks BlackGinger Sinister Post Production Left Post Production Deliverance
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
iKineo Gloo R.E.C. Cape Town Sinister Post Production BlackGinger
Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town maintains the number one position for the second year in a row, followed by TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg (10th in 2012), FoxP2 (8th in 2012) and Net#work BBDO (3rd in 2012). 1. Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town 2. TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg 3. FoxP2 4. Net#work BBDO 5. iKineo 6. Y&R South Africa 7. Draftfcb Cape Town 8. DDB South Africa 9. Ogilvy & Mather Nairobi 10. The Jupiter Drawing Room (South Africa) Cape Town
NEWS | 09
Behind the Ad Star Sat
ou may have seen the ad – a moving launch commercial for Star Sat – previously known as TopTV. Directed by Egg Films’ Slim, ‘Change Your View’, Shift Joe Public’s commercial demonstrates the power of a change in perspective. The ad features the reactions of 60 Clarens locals who were taken on their first ride in a hot air balloon. Their reactions were documented in the commercial. “What you see, we did for real,” says Slim. “We took people who otherwise wouldn’t get the opportunity to experience being in a hot air balloon and just let them enjoy themselves.” Slim took a documentary approach, relying on the cast’s genuine reactions. The result is an emotional journey that the viewer experiences along with characters, heightened by the beautiful track from Christoffer of Red Moth Music. The spot was conceptualized by Shift Joe Public’s creative team of Xolisa Dysehana, Machiek Michalski, Jeanine Vermaak, Christo Kruger and Freda Raubenheimer, shot by DOP Werner Maritz, and edited by Left’s Saki Bergh. Egg Films was the number-one ranked production house in South Africa in 2013. Watch ‘Change Your View’ at www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-2D0beHOYU
The ad features the reactions of 60 Clarens locals who were taken on their first ride in a hot air balloon. Their reactions were documented in the commercial.
10 | “PRO” SPECTIVE
NICO DEKKER Moulding Africa's Film Destiny
friendly face with a charming disposition, Cape Town Film Studios’ CEO Nico Dekker is a strong and determined man who hides his huge ambitions beneath a broad, welcoming smile. Anyone who has taken a trip out of the city on South Africa’s National Road, the N2, will have seen two enormous pirate ships emerging from the swamps. But Cape Town Film Studios (CTFS) is so much more than just a film location where the latest Hollywood stars converge. The three year old CTFS is now a “world class” studio with so much to offer, says Nico. “When I started, it was very clear to me that you have in principle three big choices and those are being extremely affordable, having a
very specific niche, or being high tech cutting edge. I chose cutting edge and said let’s go for world-class. That’s the only way to set ourselves apart.” The general consensus for the studio’s direction was for it to be as cheap as possible, but Nico analysed that and came to the conclusion that it simply would not be a unique enough selling point. “That was the tipping point. I was so thankful to have the support of my shareholders.” Nico said that the Studio could never have happened without the incredible belief, support and long-term vision of Marcel Golding’s Sabido Investments and Anant Singh’s Videovision who are the main shareholders of the Studio. Nico emphasised that Sabido Investments and Videovision drove the Studio dream since 2003 and had to finance the Studio largely from their own pockets. The Studio also received financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the City of Cape Town. The Provincial Government of the Western Cape holds a 10% share in the Studio through WESGRO. The studio consists of 17000 m2 of in door production facilities, including five hectares of
back lots as well as four stages with two more in the pipeline. CTFS also have fully equipped production offices, art departments, workshops and two and two specially constructed sea and beach tanks –the first of their kind to ever have been built. It also includes various storage facilities, a chiller plant, data processing systems and much more. Productions that have passed through it since its official opening in December 2010 have spent in excess of R1.6 billion and have employed about 30,000 people throughout South Africa according to the DTI. This, of course, has had a ripple effect on the film industry and has helped to further cement its reputation. “These are the only custom-built, high-end studios of its kind in Africa,” says Nico. “And it created an incredible name in a short space of time among the decision makers across the world. Also, the way we’ve managed it has said to people that we can handle complex demands.” It is the first studio of its kind in Southern Africa that has invested heavily in infrastructure for exterior sets. “It was quite a big step to realise that we needed this. We’ve got enough space here, but in order to use the
“PRO” SPECTIVE | 11
space effectively we’ve had to invest not only in interior but also in exterior infrastructure so that people can build the worlds that they need. The Labyrinth project of Scott Free (Ridley Scott) together with Tandem and South Africa’s Film Afrika was an important turning point for the exterior back lot sets. We were required to build a hill for a 13th century village in France and we managed to create the infrastructure for the hill and the water elements within nine days – the engineers initially reckoned it would take 3-4 months.” According to Nico, this set the tone for all their future back lot productions. “People were saying, ‘Wow, this studio is willing to go the extra mile’. I actually said to the film industry and filmmakers that we are willing to meet your expectations. Show us your creative input and maybe we can help by creating some infrastructure for it.” CTFS housed an impressive number of largescale productions. The latest was ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’, with iconic places like Vilakazi Street and Robben Island replicated to perfection. These back lot sets will become available to other productions in April 2014. Throughout the latter part of the year, the studio housed ‘Black Sails’ Season 2, which is set to continue into 2014. The intricate construction work on these sets is impeccable and idyllic, transporting one far away from the marshes surrounding the studio. “We weren’t sure if it was going to work but we went on under the guidance of Film Afrika who is the local facilitation production company for ‘Black Sails’,” he says. Starz Entertainment from Los Angeles is the broadcaster and producer of the series. Nina Heyns is the South African Producer and Line Producer and the series is designed by the internationally acclaimed Wolf Kroeger (‘Prince Of Persia’, ‘Enemy At The Gate’, ‘Last of the Mohicans’). Nico also mentioned that the South African Head of
Construction, Clive Pollick of Bull’s Eye was instrumental in the building of the ships, sets and exterior world. “The international film world is now discovering the incredible value for money that can be achieved through local heads of departments, crew and production facilitators.” he said. “The studio has, in three years, already become a symbol of professionalism and of what is possible in Africa,” says Nico. He is no stranger to this kind of success, it seems, having started a number of companies which all became profitable within 24 months. But things weren’t always this easy for him. After he left South Africa for Germany during the apartheid years, he initially worked as a lumber jack and fell into freelance journalism, documentary film-making and later scriptwriting, which was how he became involved in the film industry. He returned from exile to the country in 1991 and began working for the “alternative press” but shortly afterwards; he went on to co-found “The Editing Café”, “Cine Gate Africa” and then “Table Mountain Motion Picture Studios. “Although I wasn’t really interested in business, the companies were all quite successful. And I thought, I seem to have a fairly good talent to resolve complex challenges and discovered a gift for management and financial controls, which is something I never wanted to know anything about before.” Nico says that this and his creative thinking is what helped him develop Cape Town Film Studios into the powerhouse that it is today. “You can look at CTFS as a little piece of swamp land next to Khayelitsha that has very little around it and wonder why anybody in their right minds would come all the way from Europe or America to shoot here. This studio is bringing all the energy and creative powers of our country together with internationals. Already some of the greatest actors of our
time have worked here – Karl Urban, Stephen Fry, Ryan Reynolds, Hillary Swank, Denzel Washington, Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy and others. They’ve fought here, they’ve made love, they laughed, cried and died – all in a place that could have been seen as a wasteland. And that’s why perspective is very important.” Nico believes that there are certain things holding the South African film industry back which need to change. “We’ve had investors who were burnt in the past who have lost all their money, but on projects that also were not commercially viable. So we have a problem now trying to get investment in the right things,” he says. “It’s almost as if we’re caught between the niche films, culturally specific projects and ethnically orientated films.” Print and advertising (P&A) overheads can be almost as expensive as the production budget and are often incorporated into distribution costs. Investing in our own P&A would be crucial for the future and Nico believes that if South Africa wants to break out of the mould it would have to aim at creating partnerships with the big six major studios – Sony, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Walt Disney Pictures, Universal and Paramount – but make sure that we control and separate the P&A spending from the normal distribution budgets. He said the same applies to minor studios and independents.” He hopes to eventually replicate this model throughout the continent, where CTFS can refer international filmmakers to affiliates in other parts of the Country and Continent. “What we have is very precious – that the studio has created a reputation. It’s a relatively small set up, compared to the 100-year-old studios elsewhere, only four stages, but it has got a big reputation for delivery and quality. And we could play a major role to combine the facilities and places across Africa.” For now, though, he will settle on expanding the studio facilities, which are at capacity and in need of an upgrade. “We want to build at least two more stages and these will be in the form of a single stage separated by a massive, 20-tonne sound wall. The idea is that you have one large studio and the sound wall to close it. Then you can manufacture on one side and work on set on other. We’d like to have this kind of flexibility.” And the studio’s plans for the new year? Will Nico be taking on any of the productions he’s had to turn down so far? “It all depends on how the future develops. We would love to, but it’s certainly dependent on Black Sails. And we really love the Black Sails production.”
12 | SPOTLIGHT
How to Become
EXPORT-READY The global appetite for African content is growing. Mike Dearham, SVP Cote Ouest Audiovisuel Group, knows first-hand what it takes to be “export-ready” and how Africa can put its positive attributes - people, partnerships, places, and new perspectives to work. The following are Mike’s tips for becoming ready to enter the international market.
Paradigm Shift Required The first step to exporting is for management to overcome the reluctance to export – this requires a strategic shift in managerial mind-set
Organisational Factor Building an international sales and marketing programme involves SME & HR to: • Identify market opportunities, • Develop working relationships with overseas partners, and • Develop long-term goals and objectives, whereas short-term gains and profitability will not be an immediate reality
Enhance Competitiveness • •
Participate in the international marketplace Gain insights into customer requirements, competitor activity and different ways of doing business Exposure to new technologies, and new ideas for products, as well as partnerships
Research, Research & More Research • • • •
Contact Country Analysis Client Information Industry Trends
Financing Businesses that want to break into exporting will need funds for working capital, product modification, medium-term credits to foreign customers, and operations such as staffing, communications and travel budgets
Production Capability Selling a product internationally (as well as domestically) requires the capacity manufacture and adapt product. Export readiness also requires you to ensure • Copyright clearance • Performance rights • Music rights • Mechanical rights • Rights to create foreign version
Mike Dearham Mike started his career in radio communications and political science. Former head of M-Net’s Sales and Library Acquisition Department, Mike is a film industry veteran, credited with a string of leadership positions within various Pan-African media initiatives. In 2005, he received the prestigious Prince Claus Award for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of the African film industry. His principal mandate at Cote Ouest is to oversee with full authority the English Programming part of the business and to shape the strategic growth and development of the Group as a whole. He also oversees all Cote Ouest production and coproduction activities. According to him, Cote Ouest offers a unique opportunity to apply his experience toward the further growth and development of the African film and television sector.
SPOTLIGHT | 13
14 | SPOTLIGHT
Diesel + EDUN: Pantsula vs. Puppets, directed by Fly On The Wall’s Sean Metelerkamp © Filipa Domingues
TALENT AND EXPERIENCE Crews in Africa
ravelling with key and support crew may be a first option when shooting on location, but it’s definitely not a financially viable one. Not only does the producer need to foot the airline bill, but accommodation, food and many other dayto-day expenses. This is the main reason why, more and more often, filmmakers choose to source their crews in the places closest to their shoot location. Africa – South Africa and Kenya in particular – has, over the years, trained and developed talented local crews in order to bring the international market to its doorstep. Nowadays the perfect crew is at your fingertips. Most companies have fully functional websites that provide contact details and crew specs. From directors, DOPs and lesser camera operators, technicians and assistants to make-
up, wardrobe, storyboard artists and location scouts, these firms have it all readily available at the click of a button or a simple telephone call. Other websites like Filmcontact.com or LinkedIn provide extra info and credibility for filmmakers and crews alike. According to Allan Glogauer, Executive Producer of Glo Films, good crews are in high demand. “With so many more feature films and international TV series being shot in South Africa, there is a more consistent – rather than a strictly seasonal – demand for good crew,” he says. “Local crew are as good as any others from around the world,” he continues, “so there’s no need to spend extra money on airfares, accommodation, per diems and other sundry expenses that foreign crew
attract. And this applies to the entire crew, not just the support teams – notably to local DOPs, who impress foreign directors time and again with their ability, knowledge and creative contribution to each project.” Karen Lightbody, Co-Owner of Nautilus Film Crew, says, “Our crew are acknowledged internationally for their high level of technical expertise and creativity. They have the knowledge and experience to equal that of their international peers and have an excellent track record to prove this. There really is no reason to import crew other than to fulfil a Directors historically based preference.” Film commissions throughout Africa encourage movie-makers to come to their respective regions and help provide both information and contacts for finding
SPOTLIGHT | 15
Local crew are as good as any others from around the world so there’s no need to spend extra money on airfares, accommodation, per diems and other sundry expenses that foreign crew attract.
crews. In Morocco, the Ouarzazate Film Commission has seen names like Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, Ridley Scott, Steven Sommers, and many others bring their productions into the country. Karen believes that when booking local crews, “the proven credibility of the individual or of the crewing agency should be a prerequisite”. She goes on to say, “Knowledge of crew rates, the booking process and the local working guidelines would all be considered equally as important.” Call a Crew has the largest listing of freelance crew in Southern Africa and has been in the business for over 30 years. The company was initially set up to provide crew for the local market shortly after the advent of television in South Africa. They have since grown “tenfold” and supply very experienced professionals to the industry. Their crew often brush shoulders
On Set Marple, Simonstown, Cape Town © Joe Alblas
with international film stars when working on the sets of features like ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’, ‘The Giver’ and ‘Invictus’. Jan Bowden, CEO and part owner of Call a Crew says that South African crew are provisionally booked some time in advance. “European shoots tend to book with a much shorter lead time. We work on a pencil system of bookings in this country and prior pencils take priority. In order to get the preferred crew, it is advisable to try and book as far in advance as possible.” She echoes Allan Glogauer’s words, saying that there was once a tendency to bring foreign DOPs to South Africa. “South Africa has some of the finest DP’s with a range of experience in all genres available. This results in a huge saving on the costs of bringing in outsiders. It has often been noted by production companies from both Europe and the US, that SA DOP’s don’t specialize in specific genres and that their reels have a much broader spectrum of work. Most companies who use local DOP’s are ‘sold’ and don’t consider bringing in their own DOP’s after working with local people.” Karen says that in contrast to the past,
many international commercial clients are now proactive in the selection of crew. “This has occurred naturally with the accessibility of online portfolios and show reels,” she says. “With this in view, along with our crewing an ever increasing volume of features, I have purchased the word ‘crew’ from Kemps International for a year. Anyone searching the site for crew in SA or for anywhere in the world, will find Nautilus Film Crew as one of their first selection options. The idea [is] to be pre-emptive, increase the exposure of our crew internationally and to establish a spring board for the future.” Jan expects a great deal of growth in the coming year. “We are seeing more and more international companies returning to our shores after successfully shooting their product. They often comment on the fact that South Africa is able to compete globally in terms of crew, equipment and facilities. We are currently quoting on several international features and looking at an ever-growing international commercial industry. South African is known for its hospitality and its eagerness to please and we all go the extra mile to make shooting in our country a worthwhile experience.”
LOCATIONS South Africa Has What You Need in 2014 By Kevin Kreidemann
SAF3 TV series ÂŠ Kalahari Pictures, Image by Jasyn Howes
16 | FEATURE
FEATURE | 17
More Water-Based Shoots Cape Town, South Africa has been attracting a regular flow of water-based shoots over the last few years, like pirate series ‘Black Sails,’ rescue series ‘SAF3,’ family film ‘Free Willy: Escape From Pirate’s Cove’; and BAFTA-nominated series like ‘Sinking of the Laconia’ and ‘To The Ends of the Earth.’ Cape Town now offers two dedicated water tanks for filming. Thanks to ‘Black Sails,’ Cape Town Film Studios now has a 75x50m water tank, which is 1.2m deep, with an inner pool that is 20x10m and 4.8m deep. ‘SAF3’ has also left a legacy: a permanent, heated, 30x15m, 3m-deep tank at The Ottery Youth Centre. With both shows expected to return in 2014, expect more water-based shoots than ever. “It’s been fantastic. We finally have film-friendly, specially-adapted, controlled locations to film all sorts of underwater sequences,” says Michèle Spooner of
Marine Scene, a comprehensive marine support services company.
More Studio Space Cape Town Film Studios is expected to announce an ambitious studio expansion plan in the near future to keep up with demand, while Anant Singh also has plans for a similar studio to be built in Durban. Okuhle Media has also invested in Cape Town’s first full HD live studio facility, with a 270m2 stage area in a 700m2 studio complex in Observatory. They’re shooting their popular youth show ‘Hectic Nine-9’ there, but are also renting the space to the broader industry.
South Africa Starring As Itself ‘Safe House’ changed its location to Cape Town and topped the international box office in 2012. Similarly, last year, ‘SAF3’ not only doubled Cape Town as Malibu but gave the
South Africa will remain a costeﬀective location for 2014, especially now that the Department of Trade and Industry rebates have been extended until March 2017.
It’s been fantastic. We ﬁnally have ﬁlmfriendly, speciallyadapted, controlled locations to ﬁlm all sorts of underwater sequences.
city its own multi-episode arc. In 2013, Cape Town was voted The Telegraph Travel Awards Favourite City for the second year running, while Lonely Planet named Cape Town the third best city to visit in 2014, saying, “In recent years, the city has received a deluge of accolades paying homage to its undeniable natural beauty. This year the city is destined to get even prettier as it takes on the title of World
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Design Capital for 12 inspirational months.” So expect Cape Town to increasingly cameo as itself in international projects shooting here.
In October, Bloomberg wrote that they expected the rand to be “tumbling during most of 2014.” So South Africa will remain a costeffective location for 2014, especially now that the Department of Trade and Industry rebates have been extended until March 2017.
Weak Exchange Rate
Shooting Beyond South Africa
The exchange rate is currently at around R10.3 to the dollar, having depreciated by 17% against the US dollar during 2013, according to the South African Government News Agency.
In additing to being the ideal location to shoot Africa in Africa, South Africa is increasingly acting as a gateway to the continent, serving as a base for crew and gear for shoots elsewhere
20 | FEATURE
in Africa. For example, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ shot in both South Africa and Namibia, while ‘A Good Lie’ shot in both South Africa and Kenya. South African companies are even servicing internationally: for example, Juice Film helped 2013 Oscar and Golden Globe nominee ‘Kon Tiki’ shoot in the Maldives.
A Film Industry Without SA Locations Historically, South Africa’s film industry has revolved around its locations. This is changing. The Deparment of Trade and Industry’s PostProduction incentive is available to foreignowned qualifying productions with Qualifying South African Post-Production Expenditure (QSAPPE) of R1.5 million and above, whether or not they shoot in South Africa. In 2012/103, they only approved one post-production, but the number of post-production-only projects should rise in 2014. Similarly, the animation sector seems set for further growth after Triggerfish cracked the international box office with ‘Adventures in Zambezia,’ which made over $30m at the global box office, the most money for an African-owned film internationally since Jamie Uys’ The Gods Must be Crazy’ in 1980.
The Place To Bring Complicated Shoots Three of Shots’ 12 Ad of the Year nominees were filmed in South Africa: Guinness ‘Cloud,’ Samsung ‘King of TV’ and Virgin ‘Flying in the Face of Ordinary.’ In ‘King of TV,’ Stink’s Adam Berg brought a herd of wildebeest, tyrannosuaras rex and an alien invasion to Cape Town city centre to showcase the new Samsung TV, which can be controlled with voice recognition and motion sensors. It’s the sort of complex job that top international directors have been bringing to South Africa for peace-of-mind for years.
Guerrila Filmmaking In 2013, South African Johnny Barbuzano directed ‘Shotgun Garfunkel,’ now in the Guiness Book of Records World as the fastest film ever made, in just 10 days and 12 hours. With the 48 Hour Film Project growing from strength to strength, guerrila filmmaking is catching on in an industry with more ambition than it has film financing.
A Centralised Industry In the Department of Trade and Industry’s 2012/2013 report on their rebate spend,
they noted that the Western Cape had 296 shooting weeks, compared to 133 in Gauteng, 20 in Limpopo, 13 in the Northern Cape and less than 10 shooting weeks in the rest of the country. This was a growth of 186 weeks for the Western Cape, compared to decrease of 59 weeks in Mpumalanga, 16 in Gauteng and 13 in KwaZulu-Natal. So the South African film industry is increasingly centralised in Cape Town and Johannesburg. That said, there was a distinct trend towards shooting at South African ‘dorps’ in 2014, especially for period and science fiction films like ‘The Salvation’ (Cullinan and Rayton in Gauteng), ‘The Giver’ (Wellington in The Western Cape) and ‘Young Ones’ (Springbok in the Northern Cape).
More Local TV Work Despite being in ‘the golden age of TV’ internationally, the South African industry has yet to completely recover from the protracted crises at both the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s public broadcaster, and The Department of Communications, which has only just set a new digital migration switch on date of 1 April 2014-six years behind schedule. But this is all changing, with digital terrestrial television (DTT) expected to lead to more channels, and therefore less reliance on the SABC for work. Last year saw the launch of OpenView, a new, pay-once, HD satellite platform; Mzansi Bioskop, Telemundo, True Movies1 and SABC’s 24-hour news channel on DSTV; and four new e.tv channels: eKasi+, eAfrica+, eMovies+, and eToonz. Africa News Network 7 also launched, although the less said about that, the better. Okuhle’s Louise van Hoff hopes that DTT – when it finally arrives – will be a gamechanger “as long as the broadcasters actually commission and spend money, unlike TopTV.”
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Africaâ€™s Best Studios
Cape Town Film Studios
22 | SPOTLIGHT
SPOTLIGHT | 23
Cape Town Film Studios – Attracting International Conglomerates Headed by Nico Dekker, a man breathing life into the company, Cape Town Film Studios (CTFS) in Cape Town, South Africa, is, in a word, thriving. From the immense backlots to the massive stages – each one bigger than the last – this is a defining moment in the development of Africa’s film industry. Not only is the studio doing exceptionally well with the filming of ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ and seasons 1 and 2 of ‘Black Sails’, but it has also been attracting attention from international conglomerates. CTFS has received requests from each of the ‘big six’ – the major film studios in the world. CTFS has four stages as well as a main data centre, two fully-functional workshops where sets are built in sections, fully equipped production offices, art departments, and medieval and contemporary backlot villages. The studio also holds a hazardous waste facility, an energy centre, tented areas and a chiller plant incorporated in 17,000 square metres of production services. Its world class facilities are cutting edge, and although it is not marketed as affordable, it offers competitive value for money on a global level. Since its official opening in December 2010, productions using the studio have spent over R1.6 billion in the last three years and have employed over 30,000 people throughout South Africa. CTFS is “the only custom-built, highend studio of its kind in Africa, and the first investment in permanent film infrastructure in South Africa’s history,” according to CEO Nico Dekker. This has given it a strong reputation in a short space of time among decision-makers across the world. The company regularly handles complex demands, which have set the tone for the future. The productions using the studio offer unique opportunities to carpenters, builders, artisans and other workers because of the “manufacturing style” of filmmaking. Most recently, CTFS has further invested in infrastructure, creating semi-permanent sets. ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ was based at the studio and some of the sets built for it will become available to other filmmakers from April next year. The studio has also created intricate sea and beach tanks complete with filtration systems that to date have not been built anywhere else in the world. Cape Town Film Studios plans to expand in the second half of 2014, after completing
work on the second season of ‘Black Sails’. Construction will begin on two additional studios separated by a 20 tonne sound wall. This should be completed by mid-2015.
Atlas Corporation Studios – Colossal and Captivating Although this studio is hidden from the rest of the world, Atlas Corporation Studios (ACS) is epic and iconic, spanning over 20 hectares. It is located near Ouarzazate, Morocco, in the Sahara Desert and caters mainly to period films or similar productions – but is by no means strangers to the stars. Episodes of television series ‘Game of Thrones’ were recently filmed at ACS, as well as blockbusters like ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ ‘Gladiator,’ ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, ‘The Passion of the Christ’, ‘Sahara’, ‘Babel’, ‘The Prince of Persia’ and James Bond classic, ‘The Living Daylights’. Some of the sets include a Tibetan temple, a market place, a Bible-era stage, a synagogue, medinas or old cities, Egyptian houses, and Caesar’s Palace. Production teams can stay on location in the Oscar Hotel, which has 63 rooms including 8 suites, a swimming pool, a bar and a restaurant. These mammoth
studios also have 11 offices and an open office space as well as plenty of large workshops for costumes, props, special effects, carpentry, plaster and painting. ACS also has stables with horses, camels and other specially-trained animals for films. In addition to the immense facilities, Atlas Corporation Studios also offer tours through their sets and caters to special events like team-building, cocktails or dinners, and film shooting workshops.
Roodebloem Studios – Unique Studios for Film and Stills Roodebloem Studios is Cape Town, South Africa’s original one-stop photographic studios and gear rental company. It is the ultimate location for the film and stills industry, with four large studios and several smaller ones. The iconic Church Studio has beautiful, high ceilings, wooden floors and stain glass windows giving it instant character. Roodebloem also boasts a modern Daylight Building, which is Africa’s only daylight Drive-In Studio – perfect for automotive shoots. There is also a rooftop terrace with
24 | SPOTLIGHT
uninterrupted views of the city, modern kitchen studios and an in-house equipment rental business that caters to all lighting and digital requirements. From Profoto and Briese light shapers to a wide range of digital gear including Hasselblad, Phase One, Canon, Nikon and Apple, Roodebloem has it all. And if not, they will happily source it for you from one of their preferred suppliers. More than just photographic or film studios, Roodebloem is also an ideal place for product launches, workshops, exhibitions and other events. The friendly studio team is experienced in handling large productions, and catering and photography can be arranged. Cape Town’s MyCiTi bus stops right outside the studios so it’s that much easier for models, cast and crew to get to set. The studios worked on a number of projects in 2013, including an original concept show called ‘Tale From The Edge’, directed by Valentina Leo (Mrs Love) and produced by Shereen Amos of Sugarbird Studios. SircuSynergy artists have also filmed and performed in the Church Studio. In 2014, Roodebloem looks forward to hosting its regular stills photographers and film production companies, as well as welcoming international teams in season and staging some more imaginative events in the studio spaces.
Waterfront Film Studios – Changes on the Horizon Waterfront Film Studios is one of South Africa’s most vibrant post-production, film and audio studio facilities. Situated at the
classy V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, it consists of three large sound-proofed film studios which are supported with the latest technological systems. Formerly Collective Dream Studios, the company is going through some massive changes and will be supplementing the studios with three sound stages in early 2014. Waterfront Film Studios also offers several audio suites with audio booths and has the first Dolby Atmos system in South Africa. The postproduction facilities are supported by a talented and dynamic team of professionals and provide high-end digital post-production for local and international commercials and features.
Quickly becoming one of the major players in the media field, Waterfront Film Studios is no stranger to big names. The company has worked on productions like ‘Safe House’, ‘District 9’, ‘Machine Gun Preacher’, ‘Chronicle’ and Leon Schuster’s ‘Mad Buddies’ under the Collective Dream name, as well as SABC children’s show, ‘Hectic Nine 9’.
Sasani Studios – Broadcasting in HD for Southern Africa Based in Johannesburg, this broadcasting and post-production studio has a depth of knowledge and experience going back to the
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1980’s. Sasani Studios has, over the years, recorded some remarkable achievements including the construction in record time of two studios for e.tv’s daily soap operas – ‘Scandal ’ and ‘Rhythm City’. Constantly keeping up with international technical trends is one of its main focuses. Sasani is currently expanding to include a new, 900 square metre, live broadcast and events studio, which should reach completion in early 2014. The studio now facilitates four of South Africa’s top daily dramas for three broadcasters, but with the new studio, it will be able to offer clients additional sets, storage, dressing rooms and production offices. Connected to this new studio space is a fully equipped HD control room and Sasani has already booked their first two major productions into the facility. Sasani noticed a few years ago that the demand for HD facilities had increased and had become a norm. They then began investing and upgrading the entire broadcast station, which led to the replacement of, “all analogue cabling and analogue infrastructure with the latest HD shared
storage systems. This included the latest fibre optic equipment and reticulation to ensure that the high throughput demand of HD signals and media are catered for when doing multiple camera live HD broadcasts or when recording HD LIVE to drive for HD post production”, according to Operations Manager Neil Van Heerden. Their foresight in making the changeover from analogue to digital has certainly paid off, and the studio now focuses on HD deliverables for broadcasters. Their extensive and experienced technical and operational expertise coupled with multiple top-of-the-range HD AVID Media Composer suites, as well as multiple HD FCP suites all working off integrated shared storage enables Sasani to tackle the most mediaintensive projects with ease.
Foghound Studios – Reaching Television & Radio through Commercials Foghound Studios offers a complete onestop solution for television production. The company has its own studio complex,
production staff, camera and lighting equipment and post-production facilities. There are two studios available for use, as well as a generator on standby for location shoots. In addition to this, the studio also offers a variety of broadcast-quality camera kits, a range of tungsten studio lights, location lights and sound rigs. Foghound embraced HD technology early in the game and the post-production editing facilities now include two HD Avid DS suites, a Final Cut Pro suite, a Protools audio suite and an Avid offline suite. An added advantage to clients is that if they want to test their shots, footage or key during the shoot, Foghound is always able to assist. They are also able to duplicate most digital and analogue formats and house a comprehensive music library. Foghound has been involved in a number of television and radio commercials in this past year including Kenwood, Scooters, Makro, Ultramel and Canola. The company has also produced corporate videos for Nike and also has a number of events, graphics, podcasts and vodcasts under their belt.
26 | COUNTRY SPOTLIGHT
THE SEYCHELLES ISLANDS
Crown Jewels of the Indian Ocean
Shutterstock © Oleg Znamenskiy
n archipelago of 115 islands located in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is world-famous for its pristine, white sand beaches, turquoise waters and lush hills. The three main islands are granitic – they are the tips of mountains – and are surrounded by coral reefs which are perfect for underwater photography. The Seychelles is a melting pot of races, religions and traditions, and with these come a number of events that celebrate its rich and vibrant heritage. Filming in this beautiful location is not difficult, though the local industry is still relatively undeveloped.
Despite costs being based on the Euro, the Seychelles remains relatively cost competitive.
COUNTRY SPOTLIGHT | 27
Shutterstock © Dmitry Laudin
cable platform Intelvision for carriage of its Zuku channels, taking them outside of the borders of East Africa for the first time. The licensing deal, which began late last year, spans three years and is the first of its kind for Zuku. It incorporates a number of Zuku’s channels - Zuku Life, all four Zuku Movies channels and Zuku Swahili Movies. The selected Zuku channels will be available to Intelvision subscribers in Seychelles, bringing Zuku’s channels to a whole new region of viewers, , and are part of Intelvision’s strategy to start reaching out to English viewers.
Aldabra - World’s Second Largest Atoll
Filming in Seychelles Although the archipelago has almost no filming infrastructure, it is indeed an island paradise with sublime locations. Despite costs being based on the Euro, the Seychelles remains relatively cost competitive. Film location permits are easy to obtain, and most locations are possible given time. Almost all crews, talent and equipment need to be brought from abroad.
What’s Happening Now Zuku, the Wananchi Group’s triple play and paytv business, has secured a deal with Seychelles
This magnificent island is the second largest coral atoll in the world and is located in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. It consists of four islets around a large, shallow lagoon fringed by the largest raised coral reef on earth. Aldabra holds about two thirds of the world’s population of Giant Tortoises – about 100,000 of 150,000 – and is a habitat for the coconut crab. David Attenborough called the atoll “one of the wonders of the world” and it also is known as one of the “Crown Jewels of the Indian Ocean”.
Getting to the Seychelles by Air Air Seychelles, the national carrier, operates non-stop scheduled flights from Mauritius and Johannesburg, South Africa into Mahe
International Airport. Other carriers like Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates provide flights to various other destinations via their national hubs. Air Seychelles’ domestic fleet offer flights between the islands, while their international fleet have most recently announced a significant expansion to their international schedule.
Population 90,846 according to the CIA World Factbook (July 2013)
Climate The islands enjoy a consistently warm, tropical climate all year round, making them ideal for holiday makers and filmmakers alike. The warm, rainy season is from November to March, while the dry, cool season is from May to September. The coastal regions are generally more humid, but become considerably cooler and wetter towards the mountainous interior. March to May and September to November offer the best clarity for underwater photography.
Did You Know? Roman Polanski’s 1986 film ‘Pirates’ was shot in the Seychelles. Despite the adventure comedy being a tremendous flop in the box office, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
28 | IN PRODUCTION
IN PRODUCTION 2014 Predictions Thanks to ever-present confidentiality clauses, no one is ever allowed to oﬃcially talk about what’s in production in Africa, so this monthly section is an unoﬃcial overview of the industry’s worst-kept secrets.
‘Black Sails’ is back at Cape Town Film Studios for a second season shooting with Film Afrika. The first season premieres on Starz this month, and IGN recently billed it as ‘Pirates, ‘Deadwood’style.’ Jon Steinberg (‘Jericho,’ ‘Human Target’) is the showrunner, while Michael Bay (‘Transformers’) is executive producer. ‘Black Sails’ is the story of Captain Flint and his pirates, twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic ‘Treasure Island.’
In August, ‘Variety’ reported that John Moore (‘A Good Day To Die Hard’, ‘Behind Enemy Lines’) is expected to direct ‘The Englishman’ in South Africa in early-2014. The screenplay by William Wisher (‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day’) is based on Will Scully’s book ‘Once a Pilgrim: The True Story of One Man’s Coverage Under Rebel Fire,’ about a Special Air Service regiment evacuating civilians during a military coup in Sierra Leone.
‘Children of the Gun’ Deadline says award-winning Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz is directing ‘Children of the Gun,’ an action film “set in a desolate near future, where two survivors must unite, using their urban athleticism and a weapon from the past to escape their crumbling world, ruthless pursuers, and their own violent history.”
‘Dominion’ After shooting its pilot last year, ‘Dominion’ has a full-season order from Syfy and will be shooting in Cape Town, South Africa with Film Afrika. Deadline says, “Based on characters from the 2010 feature ‘Legion,’ ‘Dominion’ is an epic supernatural drama set in the year 25 A.E. when an army of lower angels, assembled by the archangel Gabriel, has waged a war of possession against mankind. The archangel Michael, turning against his own kind, has chosen to side with humanity against Gabriel.”
‘Momentum’ Morgan Freeman, Vincent Cassel, and Olga Kurlyenko are attached to star in ‘Momentum,’ to be directed by longtime Clint Eastwood camera operator Stephen Campanelli. Anton Ernst (‘Little One’) is the South African producer. Variety says production starts in January on the film, which is about a thief (Kurlyenko) on the run from both the law and Cassell’s assassin gang.
‘Spinback’ Moonlighting is rumoured to be in pre-production on ‘Spinback,’ which Deadline says is about an ex-Afghanistan war-vet who must infiltrate the EDM dance music scene to find out who killed his brother, a prominent DJ. Deadline says Scott Speer (‘Step Up Revolution’) is attached to direct.
SAF3 TV series ÂŠ Kalahari Pictures, Image by Jasyn Howes
IN PRODUCTION | 29 www.filmmakerafrica.co.za
30 | INDUSTRY MOVES
Wins Two Gold Pandas Triggerfish’s second animated film ‘Khumba’ has won two “Gold Panda’” awards at an international festival in China. The film, about a zebra from the Karoo who searches for his missing stripes, took home Best Overseas Animated Feature as well as the Grand Prize for animation in a ceremony held in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. The Gold Panda awards, which are part of the Sichuan TV festival, were established in 1991. The animation category was launched in 2005. The awards encourage China’s animation production and promotes communication between Chinese and overseas animation. The Director, Anthony Silverston, was not present to collect the awards, but said, “We are extremely grateful that ‘Khumba’ has been recognised for this prestigious award. It is a wonderful recognition for the whole team who made the movie. We never imagined our zebra from the Karoo, South Africa would meet a Gold Panda in Sichaun, China - let alone two!” In total, 682 entries were received from 42 nations and regions. ‘Khumba’ opened in South African cinemas in October and held the number one position for two weeks. The film opened for an Oscar-qualifying run in the US in December and will continue to roll out throughout the rest of the world in 2014. For more information please visit: www.triggerfishstudios.com and www. khumbamovie.com
Khumba © Triggerfish
Nominated by IPA for Award ‘Four Corners’, South Africa’s official Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film, received a nomination for Best International Film from the International Press Academy (IPA) in December. It is the only nominee from Africa in a group of ten international films competing in the “Motion Picture, International Film” category for the prestigious IPA Satellite Awards. The film is about a boy coming of age in the tumultuous world of the Cape Flats. It was completed only twelve weeks ago and is a newcomer in a field of well-established competitors in the International Film category. Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution (the distributors of the film for South Africa) said in a recent statement that the nomination by the “influential IPA” is considered a boost to the country’s Oscar ambitions. “This comes only days before the official screening of the film to the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Committee.” She went on to say that it places the film “alongside the most frequently tipped 2013 Oscar Best Foreign Language film contenders”. “The IPA is a global association of professional entertainment journalists who reach millions worldwide via print, television, radio, and the internet,” Helen added. Many of the Satellite Award nominees over its 17-year history went on to become Oscar Best Picture nominees, while some Satellite Award winners have gone on to win Oscars Best Pictures. The Satellite Awards ceremony will be held one week after the Oscars, on 9 March, 2014 in Los Angeles. ‘Four Corners’ will be released on the South African theatrical circuit on 7 February, 2014.
IPA International Film Nominees: ‘Bethlehem’ – Israel ‘Blue Is the Warmest Colour – France ‘The Broken Circle Breakdown’ – Belgium ‘Circles’ – Serbia ‘Four Corners’ – South Africa ‘The Great Beauty’ – Italy ‘The Hunt’ – Denmark ‘Metro Manila’ – United Kingdom ‘The Past’ – Iran ‘Wadjda’ – Saudi Arabia
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Spitfire Films wins Two Gold Awards at PromaxBDA Africa Visual content creation studio Spitfire Films has announced that its Fox International Channels cinema activation, directed by Andrew Kyriakou (AK), won two Gold awards at the PromaxBDA Africa 2013. Walking away with Gold in the Best Special Event Promo and Most Outstanding Promo of the Year, Spitfire Films says that proves it can deliver exceptional visual content both on- and off-screen. Executive producer Liesl Karpinski is pleased that her team had the opportunity to take part in this campaign created by Ireland Davenport. “The idea was to captivate, engage and surprise the audience,” she explains. “We shot a 90 second crime scene resembling a blockbuster movie trailer and then created an invisible crime scene inside the cinema. At the end of the trailer, one of the characters shone a UV light at the scene, effectively making the actual cinema the crime scene. Hidden cameras were set up inside the cinema capturing the unsuspecting audience’s reactions.” The project presented some challenges because the work had to be planned in reverse order and involved a live audience. Says AK, “The project was a multi-phased operation. First we had to produce a Hollywood-like movie trailer that would surprise the audience with an interactive experience or ‘activation’. Secondly we had to capture their reactions as it played out in the cinema with a live audience. The shoot involved a long single take, which combined careful choreography of performance, camera movement and lighting effects. All these elements had to be perfectly timed.” “The result – the viewers were dumbfounded by the fact that what they were seeing on screen appeared to be in the room with them, they were now part of the movie. It was very enjoyable to see their reactions.” The on-screen activation was shot using the latest Sony F5, mounted on a steadicam, in RAW mode shooting in straight and UV spectrum light. “We love testing technical boundaries and discovering new approaches. It’s really what drives us,” AK adds. Ireland Davenport creative director Anthea Weber says working with AK on the Fox Crime cinema activation was “a rewarding
experience”.” His interpretation was spoton and he went above and beyond what was expected in bringing this script to life.” Composer Fabian Sing and his Tigerfight Music team brought the movie soundtrack to life. “When you are composing to picture, it is much easier as there is a definite emotion you are trying to convey,” says Fabian. “The mood and tone of the activation needed to be very specific and the great job already done by the production team on the story made it a pleasure composing the music.” Thandi Davids, regional director at Fox
International Channels, says the activation has been viewed within the Fox global marketing network as “best practice”. “We try and work closely with the agency to deliver marketing tactics that are world firsts and have the ability to deliver massive word-of-mouth exposure,” she explains. “As a client, we are extremely happy with the execution and general response from those who have engaged and viewed activation.” Throughout the world the PromaxBDA Awards competitions stand for marketing excellence in the media marketing space.
AFDA Durban Lecturer and Student Films Win at eThekwini Filmmakers Association Awards
AFDA lecturer and filmmaker, Janet van Eeden and AFDA first year student Matthew Couperthwaite received awards for Best Cinematographer and Best Editor respectively for their films A Shot at the Big Time and Lucky Legs at the second Annual eThekwini Filmmakers Association Awards held at the Durban Manor late last year. ‘A Shot at the Big Time’ is a film inspired by the true story of Janet van Eeden’s brother, Jimmy. He died after just three days on the Border in mysterious circumstances. The film was nominated in three categories: Best Short Film, directed by Stephen de Villers, Best Cinematography by Luke Pallett and Scriptwriting & Production by Janet van Eeden. The film scooped the Best Cinematography Award, which was handed to Janet by the Durban Film Office’s, Toni Monty and eThekwini Filmmakers Association Chairperson, Andile Buwa. “Thank you very much for this award. This film is very close to me as it is about my brother who walked a different path from the mainstream and lived his life according to what he believed. This is the first film I’ve produced and to win this award is a huge honour.” said van Eeden on receiving the award. Student director Matthew Couperthwaite’s ‘Lucky Legs’ received the award for Best Editor with editing by Temara Prem, and was also nominated in the categories Best Editor and Best Student Film. The film follows the lives of two homeless characters Bergie and Skolli whose differences end up being the toast of their success in making money in an oddly peculiar and embarrassing manner. Commenting on the award, Couperthwaite said, “As a first year student at AFDA it was a true honour to be nominated alongside some of the top Film Makers in Durban (some of whom are my lecturers!) and I am so happy for the amazing Temara Prem, she really deserves the accolades.” Keynote speaker at the event representing the City, Deputy Mayor Cllr Nomvuzo Tshabalala emphasised that the City was extremely proud of the crop of filmmakers. Toni Monty emphasized that plans were in place to grow the industry within Durban and bring back Durban talent from Gauteng. “The blueprint that is the eThekwini Filmmakers Association has been highly appreciated by local government.”
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CEO of TBWA\Hunt\ Lascaris, Named Chairman of the Brand Council of South Africa
The election of Ivan Moroke, CEO of TBWA\ Hunt\Lascaris, as chairman of the Brand Council of South Africa (BCSA), will mark a new drive for the body to position itself as a primary player that is adding value, educating and connecting people across all sectors involved in creating and building brands. Moroke, who joined the BCSA board as a co-opted member in March 2013, assumed the position of chairman last year. He will hold the position for two years and brings to the position 20 years of experience within marketing, client and agency advertising, marketing consulting, branding, and brand leadership. Moroke is also currently Vice Chairperson of the ACA and Vice Chairperson of the APEX awards. Dr. Carla Enslin, Academic Head at The Independent Institute of Education’s Vega School of Brand Leadership, and a Teaching Fellow at UCT’s Graduate School of Business, was appointed Deputy Chair, a role to which she will bring to bear many years of experience in identity design and contact strategy to support Moroke’s introduction of the strategy to broaden the influence of the BCSA. “I am honoured to be a member of a council that upholds and promotes this goal and will support my council portfolio on education to create awareness and better recognition for all the educational players in the South African brand space. By doing so, we will be able to spotlight rewarding careers open to our talented young professionals,” said Enslin. Moroke said that the role of the Brand Council of South Africa is to place brands, as well as the art and science of branding in its broadest sense, at the centre of all industry activities surrounding brands across South Africa. “BCSA’s core belief is that brands have the ability to create value. To live up to this belief and work towards our objective of making brands the core for the creation of value meant devising a unifying strategy that
took into account the ‘branding status quo’ in existence so that we could build a new platform going forward,” said Moroke. “To achieve this, BCSA undertook an all-inclusive survey to inform our strategic deliberations. The comprehensive Brand Barometer Survey involved more than 300 senior executives in the brand marketing industry and a sample of brand owners responsible for an estimated R8 billion in marketing spend. “The survey revealed that focused activities were urgently required to keep brand issues at the centre of all industry deliberations. Four pillars were identified for action, said Moroke. These were based on the belief that: • There was a need for connecting and collaborating with other brand related disciplines across the branding value chain such as brand research, brand communication, brand design and brand strategists as well as ‘non-brand’ related stakeholders; • BCSA should endorse relevant educational programmes and share tools and information to expand educational offerings and attract new talent to the broader branding industry; • Building value for branding as a discipline should be encouraged by promoting the ‘language of Return On Investment’ within the branding industry as a whole, by sharing successful case studies and measuring the industry’s performance; • Inspiration should play a major part in encouraging awareness and activity around brands by using forward thinking and sharing innovative practices and content to create visible thought leadership for the overall benefit of the industry;
Ivan Moroke and Carla Enslin
“I am grateful that the board of BCSA has entrusted me with the leadership of the organisation at this critical phase of its development. I am confident that we have set a solid strategic base for the future and must now concentrate on action and delivery. There is no doubt that by using the resources available, and also by co-opting people from across the various disciplines within the industry, that we will be able to deliver on our promise- namely using the central role of branding and building brands as a rallying point for the industry. There are exciting times ahead for the BCSA and those involved in all facets of branding and brand building in South Africa,” said Moroke.
Fellow board members elected include: • • • • • • •
Switch - Gaby de Abreu The Brand Union - Janet Kinghorn Yellowwood - David Blyth ACA – Odette van der Haar Brand Leadership - Thebe Ikalafeng HKLM – Sean McCoy Xfacta – Nick Schilperoort (new member) • Interbrand Sampson De Villiers – Anton Krugel (new member) • Grid – Paul Hinch (new member) • Columinate – Henk Pretorius (new member) • GIBS – Nicola Kleyn (new member) • Donald Liphoko - GCIS (new member) For more information on the Brand Council of South Africa, go to www. brandcouncilsa.org or contact us via Twitter: @BrandCouncilSA
INDUSTRY MOVES | 33
New Interim CEO Appointed to Manage
Ettiene van den Berg
SAARF has announced that, “Following the announcement in July this year that the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) would withdraw from SAARF by the end of 2014, the future of joint-industry media audience research has hung in the balance. After months of consulting with stakeholders, the SAARF Board has now taken the next step towards clarifying the future of the industry body.” The Board has appointed a new interim CEO, Ettiene van den Berg, who is tasked with ushering in the next chapter of media audience research in South Africa, in whatever form this may take. Van den Berg, currently MD of collaborative marketing intelligence firm, BrandFusion, joins SAARF from 1 December 2013, until the end of 2014. Dr Paul Haupt, who retires at the end of March 2014, took on the title of executive advisor from December 2013. “Ettiene is well known in the industry, especially in agency circles, for being a highly experienced Mr Fixit,” says Virginia
Hollis, acting chairperson of the SAARF Board. “The SAARF Board has every confidence that he is the ideal change facilitator for this complex task.” Van Den Berg says he comes at this challenge from a fresh perspective. “I am not a researcher, but rather a research user,” he says. “Having spent years in a number of industry environments, including broadcasting, marketing and advertising, I’ve used the SAARF products intensively, and so can bring a user-centric perspective to the current industry debate.” While Van den Berg’s mandate has yet to be finalised by the SAARF Board, he says the first step in his role as change agent will be to engage intensively with stakeholders to clearly understand the business case for change, and the extent thereof. The second step will be to create a new vision and business model for the new envisioned SAARF, in whatever form it might take. Once this is done, Van den Berg will put together a representative group of stakeholders to form a guiding coalition willing to effect this change. “This is the start of a new era for all of us, and we encourage the industry to get involved in this process,” says Hollis.
About Ettiene van den Berg As a seasoned marketing professional, Van den Berg has dedicated 25 years to refining his diverse skills set. Various senior executive leadership positions within corporate media have allowed him to transact business dealings with most sectors of top South African businesses, international brands and government. A client-centric turnaround strategist at heart, Ettiene has built up a wealth of experience in the fields of strategy, branding, media, advertising and production. It is his experience as a change facilitation specialist, as well as a transformational and business coach, that has special relevance to the process of transforming SAARF.
Gearhouse Increases AV Projection Stockholding
Gearhouse Group, South Africa’s largest rental staging company, has increased their Audio Visual projection stockholding with the recent purchase of sixteen 20K projectors - eight Christie Roadster HD20K-J 3-chip DLP® and eight Panasonic PT-DZ21K 3-chip DLP® units. The Group services a very wide range of event types from a 50 pax conference in a hotel boardroom to a globally-broadcast closing ceremony in a stadium and the Group stocks an equally diverse range of brands to meet client preferences and service the various applications using the most suitable product. Although there are already more than 50 HD projection systems in operation around the Group, these two machines are the latest arrivals within their particular fields of application.
34 | EVENTS
COLOURS OF THE NILE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 5-9 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
OSCARS 2 Los Angeles, U.S.A.
PAN-AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL 6-17 Hollywood, U.S.A.
CAPE TOWN FILMMART 7-9 Cape Town, South Africa
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL 6-16 Berlin, Germany
CAPE WINELANDS FILM FESTIVAL 6-16 Cape Town, South Africa
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF ROTTERDAM 22 Jan-2 Feb Rotterdam, Netherlands
EUROPEAN FILM MARKET 6-16 Berlin, Germany
LUXOR AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL 16-24 Luxor, Egypt
SAN DIEGO BLACK FILM FESTIVAL 30 Jan-2 Feb San Diego, U.S. A.
JOZI FILM FESTIVAL 21-23 Johannesburg, South Africa
AFCI LOCATIONS SHOW 27-29 Los Angeles, U.S.A.
JANUARY SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 16-26 Park City, U.S.A.
EVENTS | 35 www.filmmakerafrica.co.za
Fly on the Wall shooting on location in Katutura, Namibia. DOP, Mike Snyman, lines up the final shot for Bryan Little’s MTC “Hugs” campaign © Filipa Domingues
36 | OPPORTUNITIES
DURBAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Calls for Entries for 2014
DIFF Team 2013
he Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) will celebrate its 35th edition from 17th to 27th July 2014 with over 250 screenings of cutting-edge cinema from around the world with a special focus on films from South Africa and Africa. The largest of Southern Africa’s film festivals, and the most important film festival in Africa, DIFF has a film competition component and also presents screenings in township areas where cinemas are non-existent. The festival will consider films completed in 2013 and 2014, and there is no charge for entry. All submissions must be entered via the Eventival online system at http:// vp.eventival.eu/cca/diff2014. In order to submit a film you will need to create a free visitor account (if you have not already done so in previous years), then follow the online process. Finally, send us your DVD screener
before the deadline. We are accepting submissions of both short and feature length fiction and documentary films. The deadline for all entries is 28th March 2014. “We look forward to once again receiving a wealth of top quality films from around the globe,” says festival manager Peter Machen. “We also welcome input from and engagement with current and potential partners who support the development of the film industry on the continent. It is through collaboration that we can offer film-makers and the public a festival of brilliant film and a worthwhile industry development programme.” Specific streams of programming for 2014 will include a focus on 20 years of democracy in South Africa, as well as films that explore architecture in various ways. This latter stream of programming acknowledges the World Congress of Architects, which will take place in Durban in
2014 the week after DIFF. DIFF 2014 will also offer extensive seminar and workshop programmes, which will feature local and international filmmakers and industry professionals. These include the 7th Berlinale Talents Durban (18th to 22nd July), in cooperation with Berlinale Talents, and the 5th Durban FilmMart (18th to 21st July), in partnership with Durban Film Office. For more information visit: www. durbanfilmfest.co.za or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The festival is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and is supported by the National Film and Video Foundation, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the City of Durban and other valued funders and partners. The CCA is a special project of the Deputy ViceChancellor, Professor Cheryl Potgieter, in the College of Humanities at UKZN.
OPPORTUNITIES | 37
Calls for Entries
he organisers of Encounters are calling for entries from South African and international filmmakers for the 2014 edition of the festival. Due to the extraordinary number of entries, Encounters has decided to charge a nominal submission fee of USD15. African filmmakers are exempt. Encounters is the only South African distributor dedicated to distributing documentaries to the South African public. Encounters makes sales of films to television, theatrically and on DVD. The Village Under The Forest
Submission Guidelines Encounters South African International Documentary Festival accepts South African, African and International documentary films of all lengths and subject matter. The festival’s selection committee reviews submitted films and all films are viewed and considered. Encounters is looking for shorts of 30 minutes or less; medium-length documentaries of 3159 minutes; and feature length documentaries of 60 minutes or longer.
Entry Fees All South African and African filmmakers are exempt from having to pay the entry fee. For all other nationals, the entry fee is $15USD (non-refundable), payable through PayPal.
Documentary Submission Regulations The deadline for documentary submissions to arrive at the festival offices is 5pm, 25 March 2014. Encounters encourages filmmakers to submit films completed after July 2013, although films made before are also eligible for consideration into the festival. Encounters does not accept films that have been broadcast on South African television before the festival.
Enter Your Film • •
Submitted films should either be in English or have English subtitles Encounters accepts submissions on DVD, YouTube and Vimeo. Please note, should you choose to send a Vimeo link and your film gets accepted, we will require a DVD screener
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
All DVDs and covers have to be clearly labelled with the film title, contact information and year of completion All DVD submissions should include a full submission form If posting outside of South Africa, please mark your package to read “NO COMMERCIAL VALUE; FOR CULTURAL PURPOSES ONLY.” Encounters will not accept the package if there are custom fees that need to be paid and will not accept responsibility for any lost or damaged DVDs for selection All preview DVD screeners can be submitted in PAL or NTSC The holder of copyright authorises the festival to make excerpts, of a maximum of three minutes, available for use on television channels, the Encounters’ website, and the festival’s YouTube channel for the promotion of
the film and the festival Screeners and any promotional material submitted will not be returned to the sender.
Documentary Awards The Encounters Festival presents an Audience Award, which is awarded to Best South African Film and Best International Film at the end of the festival. We will be introducing a jury award in the near future.
38 | ASSOCIATIONS
Dates for the 8th Annual SAFTAs Announced South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) has announced that the 8th Annual South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) will take place on 5 and 6 April 2014, in Johannesburg. The nominations for the awards will take place in February on a date still to be announced. The filtration phase of the judging process has already been completed. The judges met for a briefing session in November, which also marked the beginning of the final judging process to select the nominees. The judges pledged to uphold the integrity of the SAFTAs, as the primary stage for the recognition of excellence in the South African film and television industry. “The judges understand the critical nature of the process and we are committed to do everything in our power to ensure that the integrity of the SAFTAs is not compromised in any way. Our role is to ensure that the awards deliver on what they stand for, that is to recognise and celebrate excellence in the industry. We are very honoured to have been entrusted with such responsibility and we can assure the industry as well as the SAFTAs committee
that this is one responsibility we will carry with so much diligence,” said Overall Judges Chairperson Jerry Mofokeng, who is also a SAFTAs Lifetime Achievement award recipient. Roberta Durrant, who is also a SAFTAs Lifetime Achievement award recipient, joins Jerry Mofokeng as the Overall Judging Co-Chairperson. The SAFTAs are organized under the custodianship of the NFVF, the statutory body mandated to spearhead the development of the country’s film industry. The NFVF’s CEO, Zama Mkosi, who is also the SAFTAs Chairperson, expressed her satisfaction with the progress so far. “I am very happy with the manner in which things are coming together. The final judging process commences at the same time as we announce the dates for the awards ceremonies next year and I think that is a clear indication that the countdown has begun. We are calling upon the industry as well as the nation as a whole to save the dates and look forward to another prestigious industry showpiece,” says Mkosi.
ASSOCIATIONS | 39
SAARF Announces a New Way Forward
Ubuntu B-Boy crew, image taken from Bryan Little’s award winning documentary “The African Cypher” © Filipa Domingues
Following the announcement this week of Ettiene van den Berg’s appointment as the new interim CEO for the South African Audience Research Foundation (SAARF), the SAARF Board has stated that the industry body is now firmly on the road to transformation. Bruce Williamson, MD of UM South Africa and the ACA representative on the SAARF Board, explains, “There is a clear route into the future now. Our vital research currencies will not be disrupted, just improved. After the shock of the NAB’s resignation, things are now moving forward in a very positive way.” The research currencies as they exist now will therefore continue to be delivered, unaffected by change, throughout 2014. Numerous parties have been cooperating and talking to devise a plan for the industry currencies come 2015. In a bid to expedite the process of transition, the NAB and PDMSA have put together a way forward which they are sharing with industry stakeholders. The proposed collaborative model will see the launch of an Establishment Survey which will cover information such as geographic and
demographic information and top-line media consumption data. The media currencies – both established ones like TAMS and RAMS, and new sector-specific ones like the PDMSA’s print currency, PAMS, and the DMMA’s digital currency – will hook into this survey, fusing their data with the Establishment Survey to allow for intramedia comparisons. This will be a seamless transition according to Peter Langschmidt, MD of Echo and SAARF board member. This model will have a number of benefits for individual media, “For print, for example, the creation of a separate ‘PAMS’ means the medium will be able to control its own destiny by doing its own research,” he says. “We will be able to give users new and better insights into how people interact with print and digital by providing data that covers more than just readership.” Whatever research model is eventually decided on, the data produced will still adhere to the high standards of quality and credibility to which the South African market is accustomed. Marketer and SAARF board member, Brenda Koornneef, of Tiger Brands’ group marketing and corporate strategy division, says that there remains a clear requirement for a media research body that will manage and administrate the research requirements of stakeholders. “There is a commitment from all stakeholders to develop a model that will be sustainable and meet all stakeholder requirements in the rapidly changing media environment of the future.” “The NAB has been the catalyst for much-needed change in our industry,” says Langschmidt. “The new research landscape will be bigger, better and more representative; this is definitely a good news story for media audience research in South Africa.”
40 | DIRECTORY LISTINGS
Budget Van & Truck Rental
+27 21 510 8602
+27 21 529 4200
+27 21 410 5000
Fog Hound Studios
+27 11 541 0000
+27 11 314 5700
+27 72 765 7201
Media Film Services
+27 21 511 3300
+27 21 555 1780
+27 11 345 0700
+44 20 8659 2300
The South African Tax Company
+27 861 370 007
+27 21 465 8262
+27 21 461 9334
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Film & Event Media bring you 2014’s first issue of The Callsheet. Read all about Locations in South Africa and some of the continent’s Top S...