Every international Service Production that can be persuaded to shoot on location in Africa means a high-profile, low-impact injection of foreign currency that can create brand and positive images to a wider market.
A flourishing film service sector can further benefit participating host countries in a number of additional ways including:
- Improved private sector investment in non-traditional economic sectors; Increased attraction of entrepreneurs into the marketplace to provide services to the sector
- Improved public finance, through increased cash inflow / tax revenues; Improved positioning of the country / region in relation to competitors; Improved business environment created that attracts other investors
- Stronger institutions required to facilitate productions and manage the growth Strong connection to the regions due to highly mobile productions using all parts of the country
- Potential to women’s, poverty-related beneficiaries
- Youth development opportunities; Opportunity to plug into Knowledge and Information Economy
Furthermore there is also significant tourism spin off. Production on location obviously requires the use of tourism infrastructure, from hotels to airlines to car hire companies and restaurants, and crew and talent all spend their salaries and per diems within the local economy. However a relatively new phenomenon, supported by the access to information and the affordability of international travel, is the boost in tourism / visitor numbers following the release of a film.
In many African countries and regions, the ability to attract production-on-location is constrained due a number of reasons including:
- Information about the African film industry, its locations and its service offerings is difficult to find.
- International producers have no easy way to connect with the locations, services, skills and equipment available to them on the continent.
- It is very difficult for African service providers to source international production clients.
- African government agencies have limited information and/or capacity to support the development of their own sectors Local businesses, including production companies, have limited opportunity to acquire the skills to engage proactively with the sector.
Locations Africa has been awarded grant funding by the Department of Arts and Culture’s Mzansi Golden Economy initiative for the specific purpose of supporting improved coordination, networking and marketing of African locations and production services to international film, television and commercial shoots.
The broader goal of the Locations Africa initiative is to create an environment where more productions can be attracted to the African Continent, thereby “growing the pie” of available work, creating jobs, boosting small business activities, driving tourism and supporting transformation.
The Locations Africa initiative aims to:
- Improve the coordination and networking of African film industry bodies
- Stimulate the growth, development and transformation of African economies through harnessing the film service industry
- Drive job creation, small business development and tourism and brand promotion.
- Support the promotion of African locations and make them more readily-available to international productions Increase the number of international productions shot on location across Africa Increase the capacity of African governments and their agencies to support sector development
- Create better linkages between African production service companies to stimulate seamless cross-border production on the continent
- Increase the number of suppliers able to provide quality services to the industry
- Share information on film-related procedures Build a professional and film friendly environment in which to work
- Contribute to the overall development of the African film industry
The overall goal for this first year is to introduce the concept of film service on location on the continent to African Government departments.Through this process we will seek expressions of interest in African Film Commissions Network, and for buy in for future options for the African industry.
Our specific goals include to:
- Create a database of African agencies with responsibility for film sector investment, including Tourism jobs, stimulate small business activity and potentially expose the country’s Organizations and Investment Promotion Agencies.
- Host a “Heads of Industry” event to improve networking and coordinate planning in South and Southern Africa
- Mirror this event in West Africa and East Africa
- Provide skills training for African tourism/investment promotion agencies in film sector planning – in West Africa and East Africa
- Create a Business Case for a African Film Locations Expo
- Seek and coordinate African partners in a Film Commission Association
- Identify other opportunities for cross-promotion.