So today I’m heading off on a mission with Leonie Berning, who’s the manager of the revitalised Zululand Film Office. As the website blurb says: “The Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal Film Office’s objective is to promote and market the Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal District as a prime location for Stills and Film Production companies…… from the bustle of Ballito in the south to the harbour city of Richards Bay and the open wilderness areas of the north, the Zululand and Ilembe North Coast regions offer creative visual practitioners a scenic diversity and multi-cultural heritage not easily found elsewhere….The Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal Film Office vision is to position NORTHERN KWA-ZULU NATAL in the global spotlight as prime film destination, thus creating sustainable employment opportunities, develop skills within the related market as well as promoting local and international tourism.”
Northern KZN is already in some demand as a tropical production destination, but we’re going to be doing a rapid introduction to some of the production companies and other film practitioners in Cape Town – those businesses that are most likely to actually bring productions to KZN – putting faces to names, and starting on the road towards relationships of trust that are so important for film commissions and offices. We’ll also be brainstorming some of the options available to the region, and generally just finding answers to all sorts of questions. We’re also going to Cape Town Film Studios for a tour, which will be a first for me. I’ve never met Leonie, but since we started chatting in November, I’ve been impressed by her energy, her enthusiasm, and her whacky sense of humour. So I’m looking forward to it.