South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa Visits Netflix Project Panda, 17 Mar

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Thursday, 17 March 2022, visit Project Panda – the working title for Netflix’s live action anime series, One Piece, which is currently shooting on location at the Cape Town Film Studios.

The visit by the President allows Netflix, as the world’s leading global streaming service, and its local partners Film Afrika to showcase the Project Panda production and its contribution to South Africa’s creative industry.

The visit follows the announcement by Netflix six months ago of funding that will go towards film & television scholarships and canceling student debts, and will support the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective.

In September 2021, Netflix announced a commitment of US $400 000 (approximately R5.5 million) to support black creatives in the South African film and television industry.

The Netflix Black Creatives Empowerment Fund will be implemented in a two-pronged approach: the first being a grant of around R1.4 million to the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective and the second of more than R4m designated for fully-funded scholarships and student debt relief at higher education institutions in South Africa.

Project Panda is in production at the internationally renowned Cape Town Film Studios., which represents an investment since 2010 of over R1 billion to create a state-of-the-art film studio complex.

The studios are the premier film production destination in the southern hemisphere.

The complex has enabled more than 100 productions, with a collective budget of over US$2 billion to anchor their productions.

These productions include blockbuster films and popular series on local and global platforms. The studios have had a positive impact on the economy since its opening, with more than 100 000 people being able to work on various productions over the years.

Cape Town Film Studios has been the catalyst over the past 12 years for the Western Cape to benefit from the significant multiplier offered by the film industry, generating an estimated R7 billion per year and totaling more than R100 billion to the region over this period.

Similar facilities are envisaged with the development of eThekwini Film City in Durban later this year.

The visit by the President will highlight the impact of this venture on the local economy.

The President will be guided on an interactive tour that will include visual effects & stunt demonstrations and a conversation with four (of the more than 30) trainees who are part of the massive project.

The aim is to give President Ramaphosa a deeper understanding of the impact of Netflix’s investments in the creative industries and adjacent industries, including tourism, small business, and supply chain economies.

The President will be hosted by the Netflix team and Film Afrika during the hour-long set tour.

One Piece is Netflix’s biggest production project in Africa to date – both in terms of scale and budget, covering South African labour, infrastructure and suppliers.

One Piece, which is set in Cape Town, involves more than 50 South African cast members; more than 1 000 crew member jobs (consisting of 67% previously disadvantaged individuals and 46% youth employees), as well an Academy of Creative Excellence (ACE) mentorship programme for more than 30 young creatives and technicians in collaboration with the SA Film Academy during 2022.

ABOUT ONE PIECE: One Piece is a live-action pirate adventure series, based on one of the best-selling manga series of all time. One Piece is executive produced by Steven Maeda, Matt Owens, Marty Adelstein, Becky Clements and Eiichiro Oda, and stars Iñaki Godoy, Mackenyu, Emily Rudd, Jacob Romero Gibson, Taz Skylar, Morgan Davies, Ilia Isorelýs Paulino, Aidan Scott, Jeff Ward, McKinley Belcher III and Vincent Regan, among others to be announced.

ABOUT FILM AFRIKA ENTERTAINMENT: Film Afrika is the African continent’s leading producer of international films and television series, providing world-class production services to the international film & tv community. The business brings together the country’s most experienced and sought-after creative talent, production personnel, technical, legal, business, and financial personnel to provide a fully integrated infrastructure on par with the best in the world. Film Afrika manages all local production, legal, corporate, compliance and financial matters for our international clients.

ABOUT NETFLIX: Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with 222 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, feature films and mobile games across a wide variety of genres and languages.

(Media will not be allowed to join this brief visit but GCIS will distribute audiovisual content.)

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