This week Wesgro’s Chief Business Officer, Yaw Peprah, and Head of Film and Media Promotion, Monica Rorvik, will – on behalf of the agency – attend the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to market Cape Town and the Western Cape to the international film industry.
While there, they will also collaborate with the Consul General of South Africa to provide strategic support to a delegation of nearly 40 South African companies and national agencies, including the Department of Trade and Industry and the Industrial Development Corporation, with further logistics and collaborative events.
“It’s been a great year for co-production, with the Canada150 celebrations highlighting the years of co-production between Canada and South Africa. TIFF is one of the world’s leading film platforms and is a prime opportunity to attract investment and production into Cape Town and the Western Cape” said Wesgro CEO Tim Harris.
Wesgro is ecstatic that there are three South African feature films in selection at this year's festival.
Jenna Bass brings her second feature High Fantasy, shot on her iPhone, and Khalo Matabane, returning to TIFF for his second time, brings a real life drama The Number, that is certain to enthrall audiences. Michael Matthews’ directorial debut, Five Fingers For Marseilles is based on a true South African story, told in the style of a western, and has already been making pre-festival buzz for its style and prominence in the official TIFF trailer. These films will help cement the South African auteurs’ relationship with TIFF.
These independent features are produced by many local companies but it is notable that Cape Town’s Big World Cinema helped produce the feature High Fantasy and Silas, a documentary feature film directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman. This shows the diverse and pan-Africa reach by South African producers.
City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said: “We are indeed excited about this mission which seeks to expand the reach of our growing, vibrant film industry. In affirming our status as the film hub of Africa it is essential that we reach all corners of the global to promote Cape Town as the ideal film destination and showcase our talent to the rest of the world. In doing so we can grow the success of the film industry in Cape Town and create even more skills development and job opportunities.”
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities said: “The Western Cape is a leading film destination, and key to further growing this sector is showcasing our province to strategic markets. Wesgro and the local municipalities across the province are doing an excellent job in attracting investment into our film industry. We have a successful partnership with Canada, and the TIFF is one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. I am confident Wesgro will use this platform to promote our offering. I would also like to wish the local filmmakers, whose productions are featured at the event, well.”