South Coast on the screen

2015-05-21 06:00

UGU South Coast Tourism recently hosted a journalist from the publication Screen Africa and from his comments he was blown away as the variety of filming options here in our district.

Our built, natural, sea and cultural landscapes abound and with our climate being very film friendly, I am sure that our organisation, in collaboration with the KZN Film Commission, will do our utmost to facilitate more interest from film producers in the year ahead.

I have reviewed a draft document titled “Development of a Film Induced Strategy for KwaZulu-Natal” (February) within which come key considerations pertinent to a destination like ours are indicated. In order to induce film industry interest in a location there should be the element of reputation based on primary travel stimuli, consumer confidence on tourism products and services, knowledge of risks and knowledge of what the destination has to offer.

If these are met, then there is a “selling” aspect that needs to marry the film setting to the storyline to maximise visual impact for the film per se or outstanding scenes within it (preferably with mention of the destination within the script).

Not only does film benefit tourism via the pre to post-filming phases, but the impact of a movie may cause many thousands of tourists to the area to see for themselves. Think of Braveheart (Scotland) and Lord of the Rings (New Zealand), which resulted in massive increases in tourism because of the resultant publicity value and visual exposure.

It is for this reason that governments have entities such as film commissions who are in a position to drive the recruitment of movies to a country or destination. Because tourism goes hand in hand with the entertainment industry, we are hoping that the MEC Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs will facilitate a process whereby our district municipality may grant Ugu South Coast Tourism to act as the film office for this beautiful part of our province.

I look forward to this prospect but in the meantime we are using our own initiative and working with our commission and also taking promotional advertisements in media such as Screen Africa.

May the stars (and their mega dollars) come out to our paradise and once word gets out as to our film potentials, a trickle becomes a regular flow - this is a massive opportunity to activate our out of season months.

Now off to Indaba 2015 to continue our promotional campaigns.

NOT ONLY DOES FILM BENEFIT TOURISM VIA

THE PRE TO POST-FILMING PHASES BUT THE

IMPACT OF A MOVIE MAY CAUSE MANY

THOUSANDS OF TOURISTS TO THE AREA TO

SEE FOR THEMSELVES

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