Denis Lillie. Photo: David Ritchie

Regina Graham

CAPETONIAN Denis Lillie’s dreams have finally come true after being elected as a member of the prestigious International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Lillie, the CEO and Film Commissioner of the Cape Film Commission, joins eight South Africans as the newest member of the academy.

“It’s like a dream come true for me, It’s just an enormous honour,” Lillie said.

“From the point of view for Cape Town and the Western Cape, it’s amazing because it really puts us there at the heart of the industry with all the top and key players.”

Lillie will now participate in a number of adjudication sessions, including the International Digital Emmy Awards in Cannes, the International Emmy World Television Festival and the International Emmy Awards Ceremony.

“It’s a really good opportunity for South Africa because I get to vote in the competitions and awards, meaning I can network with all of the international film-makers and television film-makers,” Lillie said.

“Cape Town has been recognised internationally as a major film and television destination and this means I get to really support South African film and television production, so we can put forward nominations for our own.”

The members of the academy are selected from 50 countries and from over 500 media and entertainment industry companies within all sectors of television, including internet, mobile and technology.

With over 550 members in the academy, Lillie is now a part of the largest organisation of global broadcasters. The members come together to exchange ideas, discuss common issues and promote new strategies for the future development of quality global television programming.

Councillor Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, said Lillie’s election to the academy is a major achievement for Cape Town and that the local film and television producers have a supporter of South African content at the academy.

“The global exposure that goes along with the appointment of Mr Lillie to the academy further reinforces Cape Town’s important role in the international film and television industry,” Pascoe said.

“The fact that one of our own has been appointed to the academy shows that our local industry is taken seriously… enhancing our reputation as a place to come and shoot and produce films, which makes it easier to attract international shoots to Cape Town.”

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