Cape Town’s Film Permit Office has received 11 726 film bookings in the first nine months of the current financial year (July 2018 to March 2019), compared with 11 350 in the previous financial year.

Of the 11 726 bookings made on the online Film Permit System, the office issued 6 906 permits for a variety of locations across the city, preferred by local and international producers.

Between January and March this year alone, the office issued 3 059 permits – a significant increase in comparison to the equivalent quarter last year, where 2 663 permits were issued.

“A study commissioned by the City shows that the film industry contributes approximately R5bn (€301.7m) to the local economy annually, and has created more than 35 000 jobs over a three-year period,” said the city’s Executive Mayor, Alderman Dan Plato.

He said the goal was to bolster a flourishing and resilient industry. “At the City-owned Good Hope Centre, there are at least 400 people employed at the studio. Making the location available is one of the ways we ensure that filmmakers have a variety of locations to choose from for their production.”

Plato made the statement following a visit with Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith, to the film studio as the production team were preparing for an international production.

Cape Town has already attracted some big international productions this current financial year, including Ridley Scott’s ‘Raised by Wolves’, ‘Bloodshot’ starring Vin Diesel and HBO series ‘Warrior’.

“This is because location scouts are spoiled for choice, with a variety of spectacular backdrops in a city so diverse that it offers the world in one location,” said Smith. “The City has undertaken various interventions to assist the film industry, including freezing film tariffs for the 2018/19 season; establishing the Film Cape Town initiative with the local film industry and updating policy to meet the sector’s modern needs.”

The latter initiative aims to promote Cape Town as the premier film and media destination, while also providing prospective clients with tools to make their production a success. They “speak to the City’s commitment to providing an environment conducive to attracting both local and international film productions, by cutting red tape and enhancing the ease of doing business in Cape Town”. “We are also reviewing our film strategy, policy and Film By-law to be aligned with latest developments, trends and international best practice, while also addressing the needs of the industry and those of residents,” added Smith.