In a move designed to promote and grow the film sector in Gauteng, the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) has facilitated the formation of a consultative forum, comprising expertise and resources from key film and audiovisual related organisations and communities, as well as public sector bodies, in the Province.

The Gauteng Film Partnership (GFP), which held its inaugural meeting earlier this month, aims to collectively work at elevating the profile of the audiovisual industry in Gauteng and to ensure that the film industry grows and operates in an integrated manner.

Commenting on the rationale behind the formation of the GFP, Terry Tselane, CEO of the GFC, said it was important to find mechanisms for coherent interaction between the industry and the GFC.

�We consider film a joint responsibility and our Board fully supports and backs the GFP. There is a need to improve both the quantity and quality of local films, and we hope that in this respect, the Partnership can play a meaningful role in ensuring a number of quality projects coming from Gauteng annually.�

The GFP, which will meet quarterly and will be central to informing the future strategies and policies of the GFC and province relating to film, will work with the GFC to drive the positioning of Gauteng as a film friendly province, one where film is �everyone�s business�.

�Through the Partnership, we aim to bring together the resources, energy and creativity of key organisations, groups, communities and individuals in order to meet the development needs of the wider Gauteng audiovisual industry and ensure that Gauteng remains an attractive location for all types of film production,� explains Tselane.

Members of the GFP, who represent their area of expertise, rather than their own organisations or businesses, are tasked with communicating with those involved in their area of representation, while promoting the development of a long-term strategic view of the industry in the Province.

The 11 appointed members are: Richard Nosworthy (Independent Producers Organisation), Dianne Regisford-Gueye (Talawa Communications), Natalie Delport (Animation SA), Bobby Amm (Commercial Producers Association), John Stodel (Scipio Entertainment Group), Kelello Molapo (Efbeeye Technologies) , Melisia Shinners (National Film, Video and Sound Archives of South Africa), Akin Omotoso (T.O.M. pictures), Heather Setzen (Hotshots / Consulting Dynamix), David Heitner (Revolution Film Partners) and Joy Riba (SABC). (See short profiles below)

The GFC is represented by Terry Tselane, as well as Jacques Stolz, Senior Marketing Manager.

Member Profiles: Gauteng Film Partnership

Richard Nosworthy
Producer, director, writer and D.O.P., Richard has shot, directed, written and produced more than 2 000 hours of programming for both South African and International broadcast over the past 30 years. His experience in the industry spans genres that include feature films, television drama, sitcom, theatre, corporate programmes, consumer journalism, variety, sport, travel, children�s programs and magazine programming. He is a member of The Independent Producers Organisation, The Producers Alliance, The South African Scriptwriters Association and The British Kinematograph, Sound and Television Society. As well as being an ex member of the Board of Sithengi, he is also a past Chairman of The South African Film and Television Technicians Association.

Dianne Regisford-Gueye
Dianne is a communications strategist specializing in the cultural industries � and film in particular. She is currently Managing Director of Talawa Communications, a strategic communications consultancy delivering a range of communications services to the cultural and audio-visual industries. Her current client base includes the Film Resources Unit, the NFVF, Department of Arts and Culture, Ster-Kinekor, Nu-Metro, Sithengi, UNICEF, M-Net and Kaya FM.

Natalie Delport
Natalie has extensive experience in training and development in the media industry and she currently runs a training provider company registered with the MAPPP-SETA, where she is a coach, assessor, moderator and SDF. Natalie is involved with many organisations where she promotes equality for women in the film and television sectors. She constantly participates in initiatives where she is able to assist aspiring young producers to develop their careers. Natalie is also a director of Animation SA, a Section 21 company promoting growth and education in the animation industry in South Africa.

Bobby Amm
Bobby is the Executive Officer of the Commercial Producer�s Association, a respected industry body with which she has been involved for more than 10 years. Bobby has extensive experience in collaborative organizations including her experience as Board member of the Cape Film Commission as well as the MAPPP-SETA�s film and electronic media chamber. Bobby also serves on the Board of Sithengi.

John Stodel
With extensive experience as a producer, line producing and production supervision John has extensive production experience in a wide range of genres. Acting on behalf of international clients John brings vast experience to international facilitation. John has furthermore also been instrumental in introducing innovative financing and funding models to the industry. During his tenure at M-Net John created the �M-Net New Directions� TV series which addressed the need to give a voice to South African filmmakers, previously denied access to Media. John is a former CEO of The Southern African International Film & Television Market (SITHENGI) and current member of the Executive Board of The Producers Alliance (TPA).

Kelello Molapo
Kelello is a community and gender activist and manager of her own company which specializes in ICT. She has produced radio and television dramas and is actively involved in community development programmes in particularly through her involvement in scriptwriting and minority language advocacy.

Melisia Shinners
Melisia has been nominated on behalf of the National Film, Video and Sound Archives of South Africa. The NFVSA is actively involved with the preservation and conservation of film and sound archives and plays an instrumental role in promoting SA�s audiovisual heritage. As archivist and activist Melisia has extensive experience in archival policy.

Akin Omotoso
Akin Omotoso won the Standard Bank Artist of the year award 2007. Akin has appeared in productions such as Isidingo on SABC 3, Big Oakes and Generations. In 2000 he wrote, directed and produced his debut feature film God Is African. In 2003 he also co-started T.O.M. pictures and has since Produced and Directed film & television series Nomzamo, Gathering the Scattered Cousins (documentary selected for the Toronto film festival) and Rifle Road (short film selected for the Cannes film festival).

Heather Setzen
Heather has actively lobbied and supported the general health and working conditions of crew whom she also represents through Hotshots � a leading national crewing agency based in Johannesburg. Heather is actively involved in the development of industry standards for the sectoral Standard Generating Body. Heather is an accredited assessor and through her company Consulting Dynamix has implemented numerous training and skills development initiatives in the industry. Heather has many years� working experience in production.

David Heitner
David is a founding member of the Film and Allied Workers' Organisation (FAWO) and the Independent Producers� Organisation (IPO). David was also a past member of the Motion Picture Editors' Guild in the United States, and is a two-times award winner of Vita/MNET Awards for editorial work on feature films The Stick and The Mangler.

As an independent producer, David is at the forefront of film and feature-film related production in South Africa; involved in most of the anti-apartheid films made in the mid-late eighties/early nineties as well as other commercial feature films to have been produced out of the country, including Place of Weeping, Mapantsula, The Stick, Shot Down, Jobman, Sarafina! (The Movie), The Mangler (Stephen King), Fatherhood (for Disney/Hollywood Pictures starring Patrick Sweyze), Cry, The Beloved Country (with James Earl Jones and Richard Harris), Dangerous Ground (New Line Cinema) with Ice-Cube and Elizabeth Hurley, and Pure Blood.

Joy Riba
Joy is currently employed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation as a project manager for SABC Africa. She has extensive production experience having worked for Urban Brew Studios as a production manager for 3Talk with Noeleen. Joy has also worked for the Sithengi/Cape Town World Cinema Festival as a researcher & Festival Programmer.