Cape Town beach film shoots a shore success

23 December 2020

The City of Cape Town has assured filmmakers that its coastline is open for any beach film productions.

This follows a week of chaos in which a film shoot on Camp’s Beach was shut down by Police Minister Bheki Cele.

The Red Petal Productions shoot was interrupted by police for two days on 16 and 17 December 2020.

The crew had been preparing for a three-day shoot when the Minister shut them down citing new national state of disaster regulations.

The City of Cape Town, which permitted the shoot, pointed out to Cele the regulations did not preclude the Film Permit Office from issuing permits on public spaces including on the beach.

Out of court settlement

Despite contestations, the police were unmoved resulting in the City approaching the court for an interdict.

Before the matter could be heard the Police Minister’s legal team asked to settle the matter out of court.

In the out of court settlement with the City of Cape Town, Cele confirmed the municipality was not in breach of national state of disaster regulations.

He also admitted filming on the beach is not in contravention of the lockdown regulations as part of the national state of disaster.

Cele also undertook there will be no interference on legally permitted film shoots.

“Thank you so much to the City of Cape Town for their phenomenal support. Leonora (de Souza-Zilwa), Anton (Smith) and Daniel (Razant)…Thank you to the amazing teams for all their support and patience! South African crew, talent and suppliers pull together in the face of any adversity,” Red Petal wrote on its Facebook page.

The company also confirmed it was fully compliant with COVID-19 regulations and had employed three compliance officers on set to screened, tagged and monitor crew.

Six other production companies wrapped on beach shoots in Gordon’s Bay, Glen Beach, Clifton, Mouille Point, Simon’s Town and Muizenberg the same week.

Film industry recovery

“It is now vital to ensure that this industry, which has suffered immense loses due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, be allowed to work towards recovery during its busiest time of the year without any impediments,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith.

He also highlighted that film sets and other production workspaces within Cape Town are bound by strict COVID-19 protocols as contained in the Film Permit Office’s Standard Operating Procedures.

  • In order for a permit to be granted, production companies have to ensure that:
  • A COVID-19 Compliance Officer is employed to enforce health and safety protocols
  • Number of people on set should not exceed 75 people as directed by the Arts and Culture Minister
  • Regular disinfection of production sets/workspaces before and after filming
  • All crew and cast are provided 2 compliant masks or face shields to be worn at all times on set.