Welcome to the new world of Cape Town Film Studios. This innovative portal was created by Adriaan van Zyl from AVZ Web and Multimedia.

The new website is our interface with you. It will grow and develop, just like the studios. Construction has started and those who pass on the N2 and the R310 will notice the incredible hive of activity as bulldozers and workers toil away in the dust. You might also see some cattle:

Cows at the Cape Town Film Studios building site
Let’s just say we are very innovative business people and are keeping our options open!

You can also meet the new team here. Diana Jane Weaver, my trusted PA of many years, has left us to fulfil a lifelong ambition to work for a church organisation. Her place will be filled by Kim Perumal, with Adri Johnson joining us on reception. The core management team consists of Rashay Magan, Ross Rayners and Fadiel Martin. I truly believe that our talented management team has the ability and drive to meet all future challenges (and, let’s face it, they will be big). We are guided and supported by our highly competent team of directors led by Anant Singh of Videovision Entertainment and Marcel Golding from Sabido Investments (e.tv). Read more about them under the “About us” tab. A formidable technical and project management team has been formed - have a look under the “Concept and Design” tab.

Together, our goal is for Cape Town Film Studios to become the filmmaking gateway between Africa and the international world.

This website is your invitation to interact with us; to share your insights, ideas and opinions. Future filmmakers – have a look at the “Film World” section and the “Creative Platform” where you can showcase your work. We hope to act as a bridge and promoter to international distributors, buyers and broadcasters.

Use the “Forum” to start discussions that are important to the film industry, be it on a national or international level. We also intend using the “Forum” to discuss issues that are important to us and look forward to doing so.

The website has many surprises, such as extracts and photos from our event on the 1st of December 2008. View clips of the hilarious Riaad Moosa and listen to the beautiful voice of Golda Schultz by going to the “Creative Platform” under the “Film World” tab. If photo captions need to be corrected, please let us know. 

Detailed information and progress reports in the form of photographs will be uploaded regularly as the studios grow. We invite you to join us in creating the first holistic film world of its kind in Africa.

To quote Schiller, a German poet: “Beauty alone confers happiness on all, and under its influence every being forgets that he is limited.”

I believe that a task like this can only be achieved by combining  creativity, competence and playfulness with a powerful vision. It is our dream to create something of beauty - something that will inspire everybody to believe in our film industry – a place that will give birth to a vibrant and sustainable filmmaking culture.

As George Bernard Shaw wrote – “Some people look at the world as it is and ask why. I dream of worlds that never were and ask why not”.

Nico Dekker

Try as I may I just couldn’t decipher the handwritten letters on the A4 size piece of paper stuck to my bicycle. I had locked the bicycle to the stairs in the foyer of the apartment building and somebody clamped it with a big chain. The only word that looked familiar was “Interdit”. My daughter, Nina, would have been disappointed especially after I claimed proudly that I can help myself with basic French and she really loves her French classes at school. The Concierge released a barrage of strict French words. His sign language was unmistakable: “Never bicycle inside – bicycle outside –humans inside”. Coming from South Africa, I’ve been taught, “bicycle outside” means not having bicycle anymore... But fine, I was in France and tried to beat the system.

With all the roads around La Croisette blocked, I thought the best thing one could do was move around with a rented bicycle, while my colleagues were dragging their sore feet from meeting to parties to boats to screenings to functions.

A fresh breeze lifted the spirits on the beaches of the Croisette. The Americans were back in full force. People trampled each other to see Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Penelope Cruz, Jody Foster, Owen Wilson, Woody Allen and many more of the mystical figures that normally only appear on the silver screen. Even Lady Gaga happened like a Fata Morgana... The black hole that normally swallows everything, this time released a flurry of light. Deals happened, sales were made and in some cases prices were doubled and tripled. Buyers were falling over each other to secure territories for films that would normally receive a yawn at most.

Cannes 2011 made us feel that the recession is finally over and the good times are back. Let’s hope it is more than a Prague Spring.

But the emergence of Cape Town Film Studios as a topic in the talk shops around the Grand Lumière was no illusion. Even the Hollywood Reporter rated the new Studios built at the southernmost part of Africa as “one of the 7 emerging state-of-the-art studios in the world” that gives the old guard a run for their money.

For the first time we introduced South African wine during two events at the South African Pavilion. The wine was hailed as a major discovery and was lauded in lyrical terms. Admittedly the enthusiasm reached its heights after the first hour of “tasting”. The South African company Distell provided a Fleur du Cap Sauvignon Blanc and a sparkling wine, Pongracz. The latter is made according to the “méthode cap classique”. Vergenoegd, the wine estate on which Cape Town Film Studios was built, made their exclusive red wines available for the first time. I assured the dreamy- eyed tasters that the Vergenoegd wines formed a footnote in the “political miracle of South Africa” at a stage when negotiations between Nelson Mandela’s ANC and F.W. De Klerk’s National Party (NP) collapsed, the chief negotiators for both sides, Cyril Ramaphosa for the ANC and Roelf Meyer for the NP had dinner in an effort to find a way out. It was clear to journalists waiting for the pair outside the restaurant that they had made a breakthrough based on their body language. Both were tight-lipped until a journalist asked them what wine they drank. Cyril beamed “Buitenverwachting” (the name of a wine meaning “beyond expectation”). Roelf Meyer speaking on behalf of the then-ruling party quickly countered: “But we finished with a bottle of “Vergenoegd” (meaning “far enough”).

Filmmakers ranging from first-timers to serious big-time producers approached me with projects for the Studios with budgets from US$200k to $20m and more. The reputation of the Studios after hosting the 3D action film “Dredd” seemed to open the way. In this regard it is important to remember the contribution of Michael Murphy from Kalahari Pictures, who was the Co-Producer on “Dredd” and the first one to fully believe in CTFS. Michael was convinced that we could handle the demanding production and his trust in our team and set-up has unlocked the production pipeline that has started to flow through CTFS.

On Tuesday, I will be on my way to Los Angeles (if the volcanic ash cloud allows) to attend the Locations Expo that has for the first time been combined with the “Produced by” Conference.

Producers and filmmakers in Los Angeles interested in meeting to discuss projects can contact me on:

My US number +1 (0) 310 309 7888 between 01 – 10 June or email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact my PA, Chantal Oliver, in South Africa to set up a meeting on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Nico Dekker