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28 February 2011

Letter from Denis Lillie

Dear Members

I had promised to get back to you following my trip to the Berlin Film Festival.

The trip was very eventful and worthwhile. On the way to Berlin through London I met with BBC Sport. The BBC had a legacy component built into our agreement with them for the 2010 World Cup. The Head of BBC Sport and Head of Production have agreed to return to Cape Town to give a Master Class on the broadcasting of an event of this magnitude around the world. They have also agreed to incorporate into this presentation on the broadcasting of Formula 1 motor racing both street and circuit races. This will hopefully take place in early May.
I was privileged to be invited to a screening of Mama Africa, a documentary on the life of the late Miriam Makeba. The film received an ovation from the 1000+ audience and there are plans to release it with Zulu and Xhosa sub-titles. The CFC is in dialogue with the Producers on how best to show this film locally.

Many meeting were held with my counterparts from France, Germany, UK and Italy amongst other countries. Lessons were learnt and ideas exchanged, some of which have already been shared with Cape Town Film Permit Office for adoption.

As a direct result of a meeting with the British Film Council I was put in touch with Ealing Studios in London. I met with them on my way back through. They have secured the film rights of three “thriller” novels written by a South African. They are hoping to go into production and film in and around Cape Town later this year. They have already secured a Cape Town based production party and are looking at the viability of filming here. The CFC has offered assistance to the studios and we will advise you in due course what is required locally. In the meantime I am sure you can drop them a line through their web-site.

I also met with our representatives at the South African Embassy in Berlin. We have agreed that for next years’ festival we will co-host a South Africa evening in partnership with the festival organisers. This will include showing a couple of local and Co-production films followed by a networking session sponsored by the embassy.

MEC Alan Winde is especially excited by this prospect and commented “ This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the Western Capes’ film industry. It will also give us the opportunity to further develop our relationships with our German Co-production partners. We will be supporting this and look forward to becoming involved once the details have been ironed out”.


I am pleased to report that Mr Mansoor Mohammed of the City of Cape Town has committed to increasing the resourcing of the CTFPO and is reviewing and streamlining the process as I write. He is also looking into the possibility of extending the working hours of the team there. The additional resourcing will hopefully be in place for next week.

This will lead to an immediate benefit to our members. The proposals is as a direct result of our engagements earlier this month with MEC Winde, Ald. Purchase, Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism and Mr Mohammed from the City.

The Permit office has also begun the conversion of the permit issue from fax to e-mail. This I understand from members has already proved to be very successful and efficient.

I attended a strategic planning session with the City and the Permit office this afternoon. The meeting was extremely productive, the outcomes of which will be announced in more detail next Friday through a joint statement to our members from Mr Mohammed and myself.

In the meantime we are beginning to develop in earnest a proposal for Micro shoot permits.

Many thanks to all concerned


The CFC is currently reviewing its structures and Corporate Governance matters, this includes the structure of the Board going forward.

This review is to improve the running of the CFC and the services we offer to our Members. The implementation of improved and increased Corporate Governance will also lead to more compliant systems and controls leading to better functional management of our office environment.

As part of this improvement process we have identified a couple of clauses within the Articles of Association of the CFC which require review. Once these have been commented on with legal opinion, we will advise the Members and request discussion and comments prior to inclusive consultation and implementation.

One of the key areas that is being reviewed is the structure of the Board as referred to above. The principal area for discussion being the representation of industry on the CFC Board. It was noted that both the SAAPS and CPA appear to have had representation on the Board for longer than a 2 year period. The Articles state that no organisation or person can have a seat on the board for more than 2 consecutive years. This would be avoided under the proposed changes we are looking to implement in the Articles.

I can also advise you that as of this week the CPA and SAAPS and two of their associated members and one of our SMME directors have resigned from the CFC Board.

Also at the CFC Board meeting earlier this week, a motion was tabled that the Documentary Film Makers Association should be offered a co-opted seat on the Board. This motion was accepted and they will be invited to join the Board with immediate effect

The filling of the vacated seats on the Board is also being reviewed in tandem with legal opinion on the structure of the Board moving forward. Ultimately any decision made will lead to a more balanced and streamlined Board for the future.


The CFC have been sponsoring the Design Indaba Film Festival, limited complimentary tickets are available for some of the remaining films such as the Oscar nominated “ Exit through the Gift Shop”. We also have a limited number of complimentary tickets for the Design Indaba main event.

Both are available through the web-site.

We have had very successful follow up meetings with the NFVF, DTI, National Department of Art and Culture and with MEC Winde and Ald. Purchase. All of these meetings were related to the on-going support for the industry and the CFC. We would like to take this opportunity for the support shown by these agencies and individuals and I look forward to sharing further information on these engagements next month.

In the meantime, go out there and make some great films and make some money. We are here to assist and support, please contact us anytime.

All the Best
Denis Lillie

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