Sunday, July 25, 2004

British industry complained of too many ads shot in SA

The British advertising industry "complained" at the recent International Advertising Festival in Cannes that too many advertisements were shot in South Africa, threatening the future of the UK industry.

According to Cape Film Commission chief operations officer Martin Cuff, the impression gained from his visit to the Cannes festival was that the South African advertising commercial producing industry was starting to lose favour to destinations such as Chilé, Argentina and Eastern Europe. This, he said, was because local productions had become too expensive and local locations too frequently used in advertisements.

One in three advertisements currently shown on British television was shot in and around Cape Town."Commercial producers (in the United Kingdom) feel they have seen all the locations (in the Cape) and there is a real danger of over-exposure," he said.Cuff was speaking ahead of this week's Cape Film Commission Indaba aimed at finding solutions for the dwindling market for commercial features.

The core aim of the commission is to position Cape Town and the Western Cape as a globally competitive film region to boost tourism and job creation.Cuff said that, as opposed to commercials, the production of feature films in the Cape saw "significant" growth in 2004."We must find ways to address all angles of production in the future," Cuff said.

He said the announcement by Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa of a R252 million subsidy for the film industry should boost the features industry and add to the proliferation of local content films on the international market.Mpahlwa's programme will offer a tax rebate if investors spend at least R25m in South Africa on crew, cast and production facilities.

Western Cape Economic Development MEC Lynne Brown said: "The provincial government has long endeavoured to create a competitive enabling environment for the film industry." She said the tax rebates scheme will place South Africa on a par with major international film centres such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand and will encourage the making of both local and international films in the Western Cape.

The City of Cape Town recently moved to reduce the cost of producing commercials in the city by slashing tariffs for using city police as security from R250 a day to R65.The city's safety spokesman Rudi Wolter said: "The politicians asked for an investigation into the tariffs after requests from the film industry ... The investigation looked at other South African cities and found that R65 was competitive."
Source: Cape Times

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