Cape Town is an internationally competitive film and media destination. The city boasts a variety of world-class locations, studios, facilitation companies and specialised crew, and has attracted some of the world’s top filmmakers to its shores.
There are approximately 5 000 identified locations in the city and countless privately owned sites available to the Film and Media Sector. These locations vary from city centre locations to mountainous and nature based locations, providing flexibility for filmmakers wishing to shoot a multitude of locations in one destination.
A number of architectural styles also exist in the City. The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), the Cape Town Stadium and Cape Town Civic Centre are all popular locations. The V&A Waterfront, another popular location, has its own permit office.
Cape Nature and SANParks locations are also in close proximity. Between January 2016 and December 2016, a total of 11 691 locations were booked with 6 975 location permits issued during the period. The number of permits issued annually in Cape Town is on par with the number of permits issued in other major film destinations, like Toronto.
While Cape Town has always been a relatively popular shooting location for feature films, the development of the Cape Town Film Studios (CTFS) served as the catalyst for the change in perceptions about Cape Town as a film destination. This in turn, gained the confidence of the international industry which has led to numerous high profile international productions being shot at the studio. In the past five years, the CTFS has hosted more than 20 productions, creating approximately 70 000 annualised Full Time Equivalent (“FTE”) jobs.
In addition to being the country’s leading feature film production destination, Cape Town is also South Africa’s New Media hub, with 57% of all South African gaming studios being located in the city as well as a large proportion of the country’s animation studios.
Competitive advantages of the Film and Media Industry in Cape Town
- The region has a highly diverse landscape with the ability to replicate a multitude of foreign destinations at a lower cost than other destinations.
- Time zone and ease of travel from Europe makes it a convenient destination for European producers.
- Cape Town has the lowest annual operating costs in the film and TV industry benchmarked against Johannesburg, New York, Madrid, Mexico, Paris, Hong Kong and London (FDI Benchmark, 2015).
- The Cape Town Film Studio is rated as one of the top 10 studios globally (Invest in Western Cape, 2013; Mail & Guardian, 2012).
- The film and media industry in Cape Town has an excellent international reputation, with international production companies noting the level of service provided in destination, the quality of local crew and the availability of purpose built infrastructure.
- The Department of Trade and Industry offers incentives for foreign film and television production and post production that takes place in South Africa.
- The city’s expanding broadband infrastructure will gradually remove internet connectivity constraints sometimes faced by the industry.
- There has been an increase in demand for local content within the animation industry as the local market wants to consume their own culture and stories.
The City of Cape Town and the Cape Town film industry have teamed up to create F/LM CAPE TOWN. It’s an initiative designed to make Cape Town Africa’s film and media hub.