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Cannes News Bytes 2009 -
Anant Singh & Marcel Golding Debuts
Cape Town Film Studios To International Film Community

Artist Rendition of Cape Town Film Studios
Producers worldwide from the majors to the independents are seeking financial advantages in the production of films as the cost of A-list talent necessary to maximize world sales shows no signs of abating.

Uppermost is cost effective shooting in locations where the currency ratio is favorable to maximize production spending. Over the last 10 years South Africa has being growing its importance as a production alternative with a number of films locally and internationally, demonstrating that it has all the ingredients on a par with Hollywood and the UK. For some years acclaimed South African movie producer and CEO of Videovision Entertainment, Anant Singh, and Chief Executive of South Africa’s private television station,, Marcel Golding, have being working on building a state-of-the-art production studio in South Africa, The Cape Town Film Studios (CTFS).

The duo announced during Cannes that The Cape Town Film Studios (CTFS), a state-of-the-art studio, is currently under construction outside Cape Town and is due to open in March 2010. CEO of CTFS, Nico Dekker, is in Cannes to introduce the studio to the global film industry.

“Cape Town Film Studios is the first custom-built, Hollywood-style studio complex of its kind in Africa,” says Singh. “South Africa has great potential with filmmakers around the world and we are delighted that we are finally able to give producers and directors the opportunity of a one-stop-shop to maximize everything that South Africa has to offer and to make a complete film in Cape Town. This is a world-class facility and will be among the best on offer anywhere in the world. We believe that it will be the dedicated hub for media, new media, entertainment and film on the continent.”

“The complex will consist of over 75,000 square feet of high-specification soundproof stages, each with a roof height of more than 65 feet, and lighting gantries at almost 40 and 50 feet,” explains Dekker, CEO of CTFS. “With five-foot-wide walkways, a hanging capacity of 150kg/m² and a point load of 1.8 tons, we are confident that we will be able to meet the technical needs of any producer. CTFS will also have the ability to transmit dailies electronically anywhere in the world. In addition, the complex will boast two fully equipped workshops of 31,000 square feet each for set construction, art department, wardrobe and storage, as well as an extensive backlot for exterior set building. Blue screens, water paddocks and super stages are also available,” he adds.

CTFS will offer a cost-effective production environment with no compromise on quality. Savings on stock and processing will be up to 30%; production support and cast costs could be halved. “South African crew, cast and production support are experienced, non-unionized, creative and universally English speaking. In terms of cast, talent deals are done on a buy-out basis with no residual fees,” says Singh.

Dekker added, “In addition, we will have a variety of financial structures in place to aid the financial and commercial success of productions, and will facilitate applications for rebates and refunds, where applicable.” Further financial support is on hand from the South African government, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the South African National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The CTFS will have full AV production services including off- and online digital editing tools; AVID and Lightworks; SFX systems Flame and Henry; high-quality Ursa Diamond and Spirit Digital telecines with Da Vinci grading in PAL and NTSC formats; world-class digital neg-matching systems facilities; and one of only five existing Kodak high-definition lighting transfer systems.

The majority shareholders of CTFS are Videovision Entertainment and Sabido Investments. Anant Singh has produced more than 70 feature films, including the Oscar-nominated Yesterday, and also holds the rights to Long Walk To Freedom (the only authorized feature on Nelson Mandela) which will go into production later this year. Sabido Investments, a media investment holding company headed by Marcel Golding, owns, South Africa’s first, privately owned free-to-air television channel.

“Cape Town is one of the 10 most desirable cities in the world, and when CTFS opens in March 2010, filmmakers from across the globe will be able to make movies in a beautiful location at a fraction of the price,” says Marcel Golding. South Africa’s telecommunications systems are reliable and top-notch and CTFS is just 15 minutes drive from Cape Town International Airport, which has direct flights from London, Frankfurt, the Middle East and Asia.

“Some of the world’s greatest and oldest stories have originated in Africa. Once Cape Town Film Studios open in March 2010, we will be able to produce the world’s new stories from this exciting continent,” continues Golding.

Singh concluded: “Cannes is the perfect opportunity to launch the Cape Town Film Studios as the Festival traverses both the creative and technical areas. Marcel, Nico and I are having meetings with high profile producers and companies.”

The construction of the studio is further bouyed by South Africa’s burgeoning film industry. Many big-budget productions have utilized the favorable exchange rate, specialist creative and technical talents, locations and temperate weather. Recent productions include Clint Eastwood’s The Human Factor, starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman and The Bang Bang Club starring Ryan Phillippe.

South Africa and its creative talents are highly regarded internationally. Gavin Hood, who directed the Oscar awarded Tsotsi, is currently celebrating the release of his film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the number one film at the US box office.

Nico Dekker can be reached at the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) stand at the South African Pavilion.
Product Highlight 2009

Puccini And The Girl
Adriana Chiesa Enterprises
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