Dancing with the Diaspora
                                                                                                   

Cape Town International Film Festival and Market

Interview Jehad Kasu

Two years ago I was running a different company, Rafik Sampson current executive chairman of the Cape Town International Film Market Festival. We met at a film industry event. In our discussions we talked about a film festival that has been happening in Cape Town for a number of years and it has potential to do a lot better. And that is when Rafik invited me to meet the founder of the CTIFM to unpack what it is that he has been doing. And for us to explore what more it can become.

It has been taking place in Stellenbosch. The shift that we are looking at is not necessarily a location shift. It is the global positioning of the festival in the bigger scheme of things in terms of film in South Africa. Cape Town, didn't have any overarching film market for the past 11 years, since the demise of Sithengi. We saw the opportunity to present a platform to aid the ambition we all have to see the Cape Town film industry move from a services industry to a content producing industry.

And that is by re-establishing and opening a film market where we are inviting local and international stake-holders to procure content from South Africa and Cape Town and for projects and co-production opportunities to be identified here. It is a global positioning of the festival. And Cape Town is a brand in its own right. People love to come here. And film makers who never had a professional reason to come here, now they do.

Largely CT is not the bread winner in terms of productions taking place. We do lots of commercials. But Gauteng is the hub from a travel perspective with airlines and there are good facilities in the Gauteng region for productions to be shot and post production to happen. What counts against the Western Cape region is we don't have a film fund or film commission that is actively driving and supporting the growth and development of the film and television services industry, not from a services perspective but from a content producing perspective, that is where the real money is. It is not that beneficial for a production company to come here and shoot their foreign film in our territory and then do the post production at their respective bases. We need companies to come and do co-productions here. That is when the real revenue breaks down into royalties. And those are the opportunities that are embellished when actual content is produced in a territory rather than just using the location.

Our focus this year strategically is China. We have got a 5 year partnership with the Global MM Group (GMMG) which is the largest Chinese Media company based in Gaberone Botswana. Why this is important for the festival or market delegates is because a lot of the local content that we produce here doesn't particularly thrive in local cinema, besides the Afrikaans genre. And if it does do well it barely covers costs. And one of the profitable ways for local content is to have it exported into other territories that can relate to that content. The Chinese and the African markets are ripe for our content but there just has not been the channel for us to push the content through. GMMG is present in 26 countries around the world and they have got media platforms across all channels, television, radio, print and digital. Through this relationship apart from looking at co-production opportunities between China and South Africa we are trying to push South African stories into China as well as pushing the Chinese story into the rest of Africa. This is a very exciting story for local content producers especially because of the sheer scale of the Chinese market. The amount of cinemas in China far outweighs the number in South Africa. They will come to Cape Town to engage with our established and emerging content producers. As they have a strong presence throughout Africa it would become easier for us to push some of our local content into the rest of Africa based on the same partnership. That is one of the best value propositions we have to push local content. The opportunity is open to everyone.

This is an industry event. Cape Town is premiere d as a destination for locations and also talent and producing quality content. Our theme is collaboration. The industry shouldn't be competing against each other. The collaboration with DISCOP is one such. This year it was a late discussion, so we are doing a cross collaboration where we are encouraging our festival delegates to continue their journey from CTIFF&M to DISCOP and the other way round.

Interview Lance Greyling

“The City of Cape Town is a proud supporter of the film industry and the Cape Town Film Market event, largely because of the industry's long value chain.When compared to other cities, Cape Town comes in as the single cheapest destination in terms of production, set, site, utilities and labour costs (FDI Intelligence, 2015). The city also has the perfect climate and good lighting conditions for eight months of the year, making it a compelling location.

It has been estimated that the global film industry revenue was expected to grow annually by 4,5% from US$ 90,9 billion in 2014, to US$ 110,1 billion in 2018. Based on these global forecasts, filming in Cape Town and the Western Cape is expected to continue to be a growth industry for the region. The film production sector adds value to a wide range of additional sectors in the local economy by creating a demand for products and services - with links to the tourism sector being particularly strong.

The industry also showcases Cape Town, its diversity of locations, technical film capacity and talent, and provides value-added marketing and investment collateral for the City.It is one of the best forms of promotion for our city. The Cape Town Film Market is also a welcome addition to our events calendar and will bring the necessary international focus and prestige to this industry in Cape Town. It will also hopefully inspire our own film-makers to tell more of our own stories for an international market and provide another avenue for those stories to be recognised.”

The film and media industry in Cape Town impacts other sectors significantly that include among others: tourism (accommodation, vehicles & restaurants); manufacturing (set builders, plumbers & electricians); electronics (camera, sound & lighting equipment) and IT (animation & software) . In addition, the film and media industry positively impacts job creation, poverty alleviation, transformation, skills development and reduction in inequalities. This is in line with the City of Cape Town's imperative in terms of economic growth and development .

Interview Patrick Zuchowicki, owner of DISCOP :

Basic Lead is a B2B trade-show organiser with offices in Abidjan, Johannesburg and Los Angeles. BL owns the DISCOP entertainment content market franchise and operates it. Founded in 1991, DISCOP markets target dynamic world regions where growth is fueled by modern infrastructures and technologies, young demographics and rising disposable income.  DISCOP staged its first market in Africa in 2008 awhen Sub-Sharan Africa's entertainment content marketplace generated less than US$1 BIL in consumer and advertising revenues. Today, DISCOP is the Continent's #1 destination for content business. Two annual markets are held in Abidjan and Johannesburg. They enjoy a 92% industry recognition  and in 2017, will welcome 1,500+ delegates from 1,200+ companies and 70+ countries. In a move to accompany the expansion of the Sub-Saharan African entertainment content marketplace, two new markets will be added: DISCOP Zanzibar (11|13 July 2018) and DISCOP Lagos (1|3 May 2019).

We cover the entertainment content industry at large. DISCOP services the film, television, online, music, gaming and animation industries and helps talents, producers, sellers and buyers, connect, pitch projects and close deals. Our markets deliver database and market intelligence as well as face-to-face meetings with key plyers

“The growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, the world's fastest-growing entertainment marketplace, is set to expand by 30% in the next five years, delivering close to US$10 billion in consumer revenues by 2021. The number of Pay-Tv subscribers is also set to virtually double  in five years , alongside the rise of OTT video services. Untapped advertising revenues also represents a source of potential growth for Sub-Saharan Africa.”

This growth will be driven by homegrown content and intra-regional trade. The hundreds of talents, storytellers, comic book publishers, content buyers and producers who will comprise the entertainment content industry in sub-Saharan Africa will NOT travel to industry gatherings outside of Africa to improve their expertise, pitch projects, source innovative ideas and close deals: They will remain in Africa to develop, acquire, coproduce and distribute content Made in Africa.  


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