Time is flying and I want to use this opportunity to share a few words with you before I leave for this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

As you know, Cape Town Film Studios started operating in September last year. The pre-production of Judge Dredd, now called “Dredd”, started in September at a time when the construction process was not even completed. Principal photography kicked off in November and continued into this year. The last crew members of “Dredd” left the studio only a few weeks ago. And what an incredible experience it was - hosting the first 3D action film to be shot on African soil! At the height of the production 450 people worked here every day of which 50 were top international experts and 400 South Africans.

Dredd” under the guidance of Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich from DNA Films, provided a unique opportunity for skills transfer through the discovery of the world of 3D action filmmaking. I’m pleased to report that the international production team were happy with the Studios and our services, the South African crew and with the overall experience of shooting in South Africa.

No time was lost on the production and Andrew Macdonald said in an interview with Time Magazine (please read the Time Magazine article here): “There are only a few places in the world that can have this kind of production”; ”Something that will look like a $100 million for less than half that figure”.

Alex Garland, writer and a producer of “Dredd” wrote after the production: “We had an excellent experience working at Cape Town Film Studios. Nico, Monique and their team were immensely helpful to the production and provided a superb and highly efficient studio environment in which to shoot. In addition, the local South African crew were first-rate. The whole experience was extremely positive and we would readily do it again.”

In the meantime two new films have moved into the Studios. A smaller Hollywood Studio production and a UK independent film production are busy prepping, building and will be shooting till July this year. I’ll release the names of these productions in due time. I can say though that some of the world’s most well-known film stars have visited the Studios to work here and were “delighted” and “surprised” by the “quality of the studio set-up”.

Cape Town Film Studios now also offer:

  • the largest permanently installed green screen in Africa
  • a 2D/3D grading cinema with 37 seats for viewing
  • unique ultra-modern localised air-conditioning solutions
  • internal grid systems for specialised grip solutions able to accommodate fly cameras and flying scenes
  • 1 MVA backup generators, making the studio independent of power cuts
  • 24/7 security with high-end detection systems including camera and fibre optic recording
  • fibre optic network connectivity and the ability to transfer dailies from the studio to any part of the world at affordable rates

The Studios actually offer a kind of one-stop shop, with fully furnished boardrooms, art departments, offices, workshops, star rooms and whatever it takes to make a high-end production successful.

CTFS also forms part of a bigger network, able to assist you with any aspect of filmmaking including financing, production, support services and distribution.

But back to my real reason for this letter: I’m visiting the Cannes Film Festival from Wednesday, the 11th till Friday, the 20th of May. If you have a production that you would like to bring to Cape Town Film Studios and South Africa and want to discuss possibilities, you are welcome to contact me in Cannes. You can reach me on my Cannes mobile number: +33 644 271 747 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. but if you want to make an appointment, it might be easier to go via my PA in South Africa, Chantal Oliver, whose email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You can also leave a message for me at the International Village, South African Pavilion Stand No. 121, in Cannes.

The CTFS management team has now matured and the “magnificent seven” will take care of all your needs: Ross Rayners as General Manager, Monique Leendertz as Studio Manager, Adri Johnson as Procurement and Inventory Manager, Jacques Botha as ICT Manager, Fadiel Martin as Accountant, Ricardo Weppenaar as Maintenance and Technical Manager and Chantal Oliver as HR Manager. For quotations and a first analysis of possibilities, please contact Ross Rayners at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You might remember I promised you around three years ago that we would create the first high-end, state of the art, custom-built film studio complex in Africa. The first six months of operations and the wonderful input and patience from Andrew Macdonald and his “Dredd” team helped us to iron out many of the typical start-up challenges. I don’t think something like this can ever be 100% perfect, but our team is eager to learn and hungry for new experiences and we can’t wait to welcome you to this new, exciting production hub in South Africa.

With kind regards

Nico Dekker