After the drought, Cape Town’s film industry is booming again

Business Insider SA
  • The Cape Town film industry is “booming” again after a devastating drought, Western Cape’s investment agency Wesgro says.
  • The city's water crisis discouraged big international productions for a time.
  • But big-names series are now being filmed here. 

Cape Town’s film industry is once again “booming” after a servere drought deterred international agencies from shooting in the city, Wesgro, the Western Cape provincial investment agency, said.

HBO’s new series Warrior were filmed here, and Gladiator director Ridley Scott is also heading to South Africa to film his much-anticipated sci-fi series Raised by Wolves.

Vin Diesel and Miley Cyrus have also recently been spotted in the Mother City where they are believed to be working on film and television projects.

While it is not yet able to quantify the uptick in the city’s film industry now that the water crisis has abated, Wesgro's head of film and media promotion Monica Rorvik said the industry has shown a fast recovery. The finalisation of department of trade and industry incentives for the movie industry in September also helped.

Also read: Cape Town may be the only place in SA to have no load-shedding this year – if things don’t get too bad

The film industry is estimated to contribute up to R6 billion to the Western Cape economy, but suffered a downturn in the 2016/2017 season, as a drought saw emergency measures implemented, with the possibility – never realised – of severe water rationing. 

“Cape Town is now a water-resilient city and a world leader in water usage best practice, but that wasn’t the headline over this period and the negative messaging globally put off some of the commercial and stills industries,” Rorvik told Business Insider South Africa.

She said these industries are the “bedrock” of international productions in the city.

“Our rand [also] saw a much-needed strengthening in February this year which was a positive, but had a knock-on effect on the short-term film cycle.”

Rorvik said Cape Town offers many advantages for filmmakers, including a good choice of locations and the availability of trained crew members.

This article has been updated.  

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