R84m worth of investments for Eastern Cape film industry
The Mauritius Film Development Corporation (MFDC) seeks to collaborate with the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) to produce and create platforms for international film co-productions.
A delegation from Mauritius, currently in the province, plans to establish a Mauritius Cinema Week, which could possibly be held in the Eastern Cape. They also embarked on a tour to scout venues in Port Elizabeth, Elandskloof Ranch, Graaf Reinet and the Karoo.
Proposed projects are part of the economic spin-offs of the exposure garnered by local film production Knuckle City, shot in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. The R11 million production is due to show in cinemas on December 27, 2019.
“In the 2018/19 financial year, the ECDC invested R12.7 million into six film projects which will be shot in the Eastern Cape in 2019. These film projects will in total attract R84 million worth of investments into the province. Research shows that the multiplier effect of film investments means for every rand spent on a film there is a R4.20 return. The economic multiplier effect of the R12,7 million is estimated at R295 million,” said Thabo Shenxane, ECDC Head of Trade, Investment and Innovation.
Mauritius has, over the last four years, produced an average of 90 films, feature and documentary projects a year. Shenxane believes that we can learn a lot of lessons on how Mauritius has been able to grow its film industry in such a short space of time.
“We are actively promoting the Eastern Cape as a destination for film for production companies to use our locations. Eventually we hope this visit by the MFDC will culminate in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between ECDC and MDFC on collaboration on a number of film projects that are to come in the future” he said.
The province has secured a co-production with Canada to shoot a film in Port St John’s. To qualify for ECDC support, a co-production must commit to shoot at least 50% of its production in the province and to use a local cast and extras.
Headed by its General Manager, Sachin Jootun said Mauritius started investing into its film sector four years ago by giving platforms to their local film makers, by hosting competitions, international film festivals to ensure that locals understand what is happening around the globe so that they could maintain the standard and quality of film productions.
“Cinema is emerging in every country across the globe and we don’t want to lag behind. We want to develop an exciting film industry for countries located along the Indian Ocean belt and this region must make the most of the opportunities in film that we are neglecting,” said Jootun.