The provincial government and the National Film and Video Foundation have pumped more than R40m into the Eastern Cape’s budding film industry. The investment, which will see the establishment of a film centre, were announced by finance, economic development, environmental affairs and tourism MEC Oscar Mabuyane.
The provincial government will spend R20m – and for every R1 it spends in the film industry, that will translate to five jobs created, Mabuyane said.
The National Film and Video Foundation will invest another R20m to set up the infrastructure for a film centre.It is yet to be communicated where the centre will be in the province.
Mabuyane said the month of August should mark a defining moment for the future of the film industry in the province.
“For far too long our province has been a ‘sending basket’ of labour in the country – not only for mines, but also for the creative arts. Generation after generation of talented Eastern Cape artists take the long road to Gauteng in search of opportunities to showcase their talents,” he said.
Generation after generation of talented Eastern Cape artists take the long road to Gauteng in search of opportunities to showcase their talents.
MEC Oscar Mabuyane
The investments were initiatives of the Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC) and the Eastern Cape Development Corporation.Speaking to the Daily Dispatch on Sunday, ECPACC CEO Phumeza Skoti welcomed the move, saying the time had come for the province to benefit on the commercial side of the creative arts.
“We are happy that finally there is a recognition that the creative industry can stimulate economic growth in the Eastern Cape. It will stop our actors from leaving the province.”
The investment comes against the backdrop of boxing movie Knuckle City, which is being produced by Yellowbone Entertainment, and shot in East London.Last week, Mabuyane and his entourage paid an unexpected visit to the movie set and met up with Eastern Cape actor Zolisa Xaluva.
“It was heartening to hear actors such as Zolisa Xaluva telling us that ‘we want to do more of these films here in our province because we have the best locations and many stories to share’,” Mabuyane said.
The department will fund eight feature films and one series by the end of August.
“These films are attracting a R25m investment for the province. In addition, another 32 productions will be supported by R8m for research, scriptwriting and pre-production.“
Additional funding for training of local filmmakers will be set aside by the NFVF in partnership with ECPACC,” Mabuyane said.