Image: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The highly anticipated Cape Town International Film Market & Festival (CTIFMF) is gearing up for its opening night at the iconic V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on October 12.

CTIFMF marketing director, Jehad Kasu said that the film economy already boasts R5.3bn worth of economic activity for South Africa “and we are proud to announce an African partnership that aims to catalyse further growth and development of the African film and television industries”.

“We have just concluded a strategic partnership with What’s Good Studios (WGS) based in Nairobi Kenya. WGS is an accomplished studio that boasts clients such as OLX, Distell, Red Bull, KFC and Maybelline New York amongst others,” said Kasu.

WGS CEO Tilomai Ponder Blyth said “we are delighted to be named as the East Africa Digital Studio partner to the CTIFMF. As young audiences increasingly consume media from mobile devices, festivals like the CTIFMF are valuable platforms for Africa’s storytellers to reach new audiences and WGS is uniquely poised to bridge these communities”.

Blyth added that WGS works in partnership with East African filmmaking organizations such as Slum Film Festival, The Nest, and DocuBox, ensuring that WGS will showcase the best content from the region.

“WGS looks forward to partnering with the CTIFMF to develop the festival experience into a multi-media extravaganza of film and content innovators who will connect with global distributors also seeking the best content Africa has to offer,” said Blyth.

Kasu added that “a minority of local industry stakeholders continue to question the relevance of a film market and festival in Cape Town, while African, Asian, American and European stakeholders continue to congratulate us for establishing a platform they believe is long overdue. Their leading reasons for participating in the CTIFMF is to establish collaborative opportunities, discover new voices and to broaden their respective landscapes within which they conduct business, and Cape Town is the perfect setting for this”.

He further added that another reason for the inclusion of the African diaspora is to negotiate an African film festival calendar that does not clash with one another, creating an enabling environment for all African film industries to collaborate with non-continental stakeholders “and our collaboration with the Pan-African Film Consortium (AFC) is key to achieving this goal.

City of Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia De Lille said that the City of Cape Town is indeed proud of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival for making strides in developing the film industry in the city.

“We are committed to enhancing this growth by positioning Cape Town as the film hub of Africa and supporting the local film industry as it is a key job creator,” said De Lille.

She further added that “we are determined to work harder so that Cape Town can become even more globally competitive in this important sector by creating an environment that attracts investment and more international film productions”.

“But it is even more encouraging to see the CTIFMF forging partnerships on the African continent and we welcome these efforts.
We have a clear bias towards Africa as we have recently partnered with a number of African cities to advance trade and investment between our respective regions,” De Lille said. “This is in line with our goals in pursuing our Enhanced African Agenda to further strengthen ties between Cape Town and our African counterparts.”