Western Cape to see economy boost as international blockbuster movies get ready to arrive

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Western Cape to see economy boost as international blockbuster movies get ready to arrive
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Cape Town – The economy is set to receive a boost this year with blockbuster international movies and television series being shot in and around the city.

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Sources in the movie industry can reveal that Mission Impossible 8 is one of the international films expected to be filmed in Cape Town and Durban next month.

The City said there were 1 017 film shoot permits that were already authorised, 181 for January alone.

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Cape Town Tourism and the Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier said international travel which had decreased due to the Omicron variant now saw a steep increase which would boost the economy.

Wesgro said the province would be receiving an economic injection with a buzz of international movies which were blockbusters and TV series on the cards for the year.

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Wrenelle Stander, CEO of Wesgro said they were delighted to invite international filmmakers in Cape Town and that such productions were on the cards for the province but that they could not comment due to privacy agreements.

“The Western Cape is an inspiring place to create, and we invite filmmakers from around the globe to come to our diverse region and engage our local creative industry.

“Wesgro is unable to comment on projects in production due to privacy agreements with production houses, however, we are aware that major blockbusters and TV series are being shot here this year. Whilst we can’t mention names, we can say that through these international productions and the local industry, the province’s creative economy is helping overall economic recovery.”

She said locally they would also be supporting festivals which saw more business for Cape Town and bring about hundreds of jobs.

“In the upcoming months, Wesgro will be supporting the following local key festivals: Silwerskerm International Film Festival; Wavescape Film Festival; and Africa Games Week. We will also attend the Berlinale Film Market virtually to help attract more business to the Cape,” she added.

“Our local film industry is strengthening. We are excited that Both World’s Karoo-based TV series Recipes for Love and Murder (based on the best-selling books) has made it into the prestigious Berlinale Series Market. To add to this, the largest thriller ever shot in South Africa, called Indemnity by Gambit Films, is being released in the US in February.

“Also worth noting is the fact that Triggerfish and E4D have partnered to develop more capacity in the industry through a three-year partnership between the two studios. The result is that 10 000 learners are being identified, 6 000 creatives are being empowered, and 200 jobs are being created.”

Makkie Slamong, CEO of Cape Town Film Studios, said they too had signed a non-disclosure agreement with an international studio and was not in a position to comment.

Sources close to the production team and organisers said that Hollywood star Tom Cruise and his cast are set to hit South African soil and begin filming in Durban for a few months.

“We are set to be in Durban for three months as from February 6 for Mission Impossible and possibly a week in Cape Town,” said the source who cannot be identified due to a non-disclosure agreement.

Another source said they had heard about the movie but was not informed of when production was set to begin.

The movie is expected to be released in July 2023.

Premier Alan Winde said he did not receive any information about the film but confirmed that bookings had doubled which included big international projects and multiple local TV series.

Winde said he was aware of big international projects but did not specify what they were.

“Despite the pandemic, Wesgro, the tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for the Western Cape, highlighted that Cape Town Film Studios is on track to being fully booked for the next two years. This is good news for both the film and tourism industries which have suffered immensely seeing thousands battling during the global pandemic which saw travel ban in close to 15 countries when the new variant Omicron was detected late last year.”

Winde added he was happy to note that the demand for the Cape to be used for film settings had increased.

“It is encouraging to see our province’s economy and its key sectors including tourism and hospitality, as well as film, picking up,” said Winde.

“Last year, Wesgro supported many amazing projects that came out of the Cape Town International Animation Festival hosted in October 2021.

“Cape Town and the Western Cape is an inspiring place to create, and our region’s world-class skill set has been in high demand and will continue to be.”

Cape Town Tourism noted they had seen an increase in international visitors with 66% for domestic and 29 percent for international.

Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism, said: “We’re delighted to see recovery in our visitor economy, with domestic and international tourists injecting some sorely needed capital into the city.

“We do understand than recovery will take a little longer than we had hoped but we are optimistic that this trend towards recovery continues in February, as we enter our ‘second’ peak season. While the numbers look better, we need sustained tourism to really impact our local small business sector and start turning the devastating blows dealt by Omicron-linked travel bans around.”

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