Business Update

I’m bracing myself for a bit of a week of it……

Firstly, I’m in the closing stages of a comprehensive Economic Impact Assessment of the Durban / KZN film sector – the fourth part of the comprehensive Sector Review that is now hurtling towards the final month of inputs. Next is the Strategic Plan, due May 5th.

Secondly, I’m also full tilt in research for a Sector Plan for the Film Industry on behalf of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation – the organisation that is picking up the mantle of industry growth in that province. First report due end of April.

And thirdly, on Saturday I head of to Santa Monica, Los Angeles for the AFCI Locations Trade Show, a fun, low-key event where film commissions and offices around the world gather to present their offerings to the Hollywood industry. I’m advising the Film in Serbia delegation, a great group of people who are launching their brand at the event and via a snazzy brunch at a famous Serbian restaurant in the city. Can’t wait, it’s going to be a blast.

PS. no this NOT a gratuitous picture of Caspar van Dien (which should probably require him to be shirtless anyway, no?) – but rather it’s his lovely wife, Princess Catherine Oxenberg of Serbia……

Projects & Programmes Update

Quick business update.

Into the detail on the Durban & KZN Film Review project; we’ve issued two more reports including the Review of the Durban Film Office and International Benchmarking, and an Analysis of the Durban Film Sector utilising a Value Chain Approach. The Durban blogsite is on-going and I’m back to KZN next week for a further round of consultation and meetings. Reminder: you can also have your say via the Questionnaires listed at the site.

I’m also back from an extremely successful three week stint in Serbia. An action-packed schedule that included fifteen meetings with key industry stakeholder groups, plus interaction with a number of key Government departments and agencies, as well as supporting a new Film in Serbia website, planning for the Locations Trade Show and drafting the SFC Business Plan and membership materials.

No wonder there’s been no time to watch a movie. (Saw five episodes of House though, on the plane home……)


This month, Martin Cuff Consulting begins the 6-month process of a broad sector review of the Durban and KZN Film Industry on behalf of the Durban Film Office and the KZN Film Commission. The programme will include:

  • Analysis of the structure and depth of the Durban / KZN film industry and its challenges
  • Analysis of the operational strengths and weaknesses of the DFO
  • Identification of key areas for greater involvement by the municipality in the local sector through a process of best practice guidelines.
  • Recommendations for the restructurion of the DFO’s operations with a view to aligning the strategic mandate that suits the needs of industry – including cooperation with the KZN Film Commission
  • Devising tactics and a comprehensive action plan for growth, development and sustainability
  • Providing a structured response to industry development in the local film and media sector through the provision of an industry development programme coordinated by the DFO – defined by the business plan.

Mr. Bones II - Durban's latest success story

Ultimately the project is intended to re-structure the Durban Film Office’s business plan and support a new business model for the film industry of the region as a whole. You can follow the project’s progress at the dedicated blogsite we’ve set up to co-ordinate and communicate with the Durban / KZN stakeholders – DURBANFILMPARTNERSHIP.

Durban Film Studio still on the cards

Durban’s getting a lot of good word-of-mouth as a production location; the Durban Film Office, its staff and its website are well thought of by the SA industry generally.

Blood Diamond

Made in Durban: Blood Diamond

But here’s more good news that I missed late last week, reported in the Natal Mercury on Feb 15th; in the flurry of media surrounding the announcement of city funding for the Dreamworld Studio in Cape Town, Durban-based movie supremo Anant Singh – a key partner in the project – has also reconfirmed his commitment to building a complimentary studio in Durban, on the site of the old Marine Parade Military Base.

Martin Cuff Consulting worked with Videovision on a Feasibility Assessment of the site last year, and we were pretty impressed with the potential of the site. It also bodes well considering the latest tranche of incentives introduced by the Department of Trade and Industry last week.