It’s no secret that South Africa’s film industry is rooted in Johannesburg and Cape Town. But what few people know is that there is a budding industry in the Eastern Cape, with Port Elizabeth establishing itself as a television production and training hub, poised to take on the big boys.
Starting this Saturday, 5 January, 2013, the secret will be out, when a 13-part series showcasing established and emerging filmmakers in Nelson Mandela Bay and surrounds goes on community television channel, BayTV. The series, aptly entitled Film@Bay, will be flighted at 20:00 on Saturdays, with repeat broadcasts at 10:30 on Sundays and 16:00 on Mondays. BayTV is now also available to a national audience on channel 260 on DStv.
Among the established filmmakers featured on Film@Bay are the award-winning film director David Lister and renowned film producer André Scholtz. Other guests interviewed on the show include Andrew Mackenzie, Creative Director at Boomtown Strategic Brand Agency; Richard Ahlfeldt, Managing Director of Rooftop Productions; Mike Vincent of Jasmine Films; Paul Ruschenbaum, owner of 4×4 Adventure Videos; emerging television director, Siviwe Besman, and Prof Jean Greyling and Dr Dieter Vogts of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
The series also features short films produced emerging filmmakers and provides filmmaking tips for those interested in entering the industry.
Film@Bay’s Executive Producer is Denise Roodt, owner of The Media Workshop, a media production and training company based in Port Elizabeth.
“There are so many talented people doing great work in the Eastern Cape, but yet the national perception appears to be that nothing is going on here. I wanted to change that.
“Film@Bay features production companies producing award-winning work of an international standard – from commercials and promotional videos to documentaries and adventure sports programmes. We also highlight ground-breaking animation projects at the NMMU.
“But, for me, the short films produced by students and interns are the most inspiring. They prove that there is a wealth of talent in the Eastern Cape, who, with a bit of spit and polish, can produce work of a professional standard.”
In keeping with The Media Workshop’s mission to include a skills training aspect in all productions, Film@Bay’s core production team includes camera intern, Gqabi Njokweni and film production student, Loréan Swartbooi, as production assistant. The show’s anchor, Busi Nako, is also a film production student.
“All our senior film students are involved in the production in some way or other. We believe in training by doing and Film@Bay serves as an excellent training vehicle,” says Hubert Ngqawana, Training and Development Manager at The Media Workshop.