Written by on Jan 26, 2011. Posted in Interviews

Denis Lillie appointed new CEO of Cape Film Commission in South Africa

With South Africa well on the way to establishing itself as one of the world’s leading production hubs, newly-appointed Film Commissioner Denis Lillie has assumed the responsibility of forging the future of Cape Town’s wider film industry.

A Brit by birth, Lillie developed a love of cinema before the age of ten by checking out limited-release films being screened at the University of Leeds Cinema Club. He went on to study the medium in London. On relocating to South Africa, he was Project Director on the FIFA 2010 World Cup before joining the Cape Film Commission.

The qualities I believe I bring to the role are a passion for film and associated media, drive and determination to make the South African industry one of the most progressive and well respected in the international arena.

He adds: "I am also passionate about the opportunities film and the industry brings to investment in the area and the direct opportunity to allow those from previously disadvantaged communities to excel by learning new skills and job creation.”

South Africa is already in a strong position internationally. While the country is routinely placed on the shortlist of potential shoot locations for productions around the world, the World Cup helped reinforce the nation’s technical credentials as well. In addition, the Cape Town Film Studios are attracting high-profile projects such as the new Judge Dredd feature, being filmed in 3D.

Lillie highlights South Africa’s bandwidth availability and online services as being one of his immediate focuses: “[I’ll be specifically looking] to improve an already film-friendly environment through supporting an on-line permitting and location system. Improve member services to reflect the needs of most filmmakers, especially the international companies wanting to do business here.”

He adds: “One key challenge we have here is to increase and improve bandwidth capacity. In my opinion, once that is addressed there is no holding the industry back from being one of the world’s leading film production centres.”


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