Anant Singh leads race for film studio bid

Internationally renowned filmmaker Anant Singh’s Dreamworld has been named the preferred bidder for the proposed multi-million rand Cape Town film studio.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by Western Cape economic development MEC Ebrahim Rasool, who said the deal was subject to Dreamworld entering negotiations on cooperation with the other two shortlisted consortia.

This was in order to build partnerships that would “cure shortcomings within and add strength” to the Dreamworld proposal.

“The adjudication team hope to work with the three consortia expeditiously over the next month… so that the final decision can be confirmed,” he said.

Reacting to the announcement, Singh said Dreamworld was passionate about building a stronger film industry in South Africa.

“We are very excited about making the Dreamworld vision a reality and delivering what the industry needs to make this region a global player in the film industry,” he said.

Rasool said he and City of Cape Town exco member for economic development, Clifford Sithonga, had reached agreement with Minister Alec Erwin on how the Department of Trade and Industry would support the film studio.

The Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation had made a commitment to finance the Film City project.

Singh said Dreamworld was “busy clarifying” what was incorporated in the public sector support package.

“This support and any conditions relating to this support obviously need to be fully understood by Dreamworld,” he said.

He said Dreamworld’s proposal represented an investment of more than R426-million at a site at Faure by 2005.

Core components included eight sound stages, production facilities, digital facilities and outdoor back lot areas.

Dreamworld was also committed to developing a complete one-stop production facility which would help local producers clinch deals.

The studio could result in an additional 8 304 employment opportunities “which could be created and sustained during the construction period”.

The key players in Dreamworld’s ownership structure are Singh’s Videovision Entertainment, eTV, and film producer Mike MacCarthy. - Sapa

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