Immigration relief for Hollywood film producers



Hollywood film makers who regard South Africa as an ‘affordable’ shooting destination should be relieved at the recent agreement that has been reached between Department of Home Affairs and industry bodies – the Commercial Producers Association (CPA), the South African Association of Stills Producers (Saasp) and the National Association of Model Agencies (Nama).

The agreement means that it will be easier for film makers and their crew to come into the country. After the revised immigration regulations, foreign film makers have had to undergo frustrating red tape to get a visa. And this had torurism companies that profited from the lucrative influx of big name movie stars worried.

As a result of the changes, the oversight group from visa exempt countries will now be able to travel to South Africa without having to pre-apply at a South African embassy. They will need to present the relevant form, a copy of their travel itinerary and a letter from the CPA, Saasp or Nama to the immigration officials at the airport, who will then endorse their passports with the relevant authorisation.

The specialist group will still need to apply in advance to the South African embassy, but the requirements have been streamlined to include the relevant form, travel itinerary and a letter from the CPA, Saasp or Nama.

According to Monica Rorvik, head of film promotion at Wesgro, the Western Cape’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency, the agreement takes into consideration two types of travelers to South Africa.

Rorvik explained: “The oversight group, which consists of client, agency and production company personnel and the specialist group which comprises of actors, models, directors, technicians and the art department are the two groups which are impacted by recent developments.”

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