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TO EMPOWER and expose young previously disadvantaged filmmakers to the business of location scouting, the Durban Film Office introduced SCOUT, a location scouting and management training programme in 2014, which has grown in leaps and bounds and is now yielding positive results. One of the beneficiaries of the three-week practical training programme, Sindisiwe Mngadi, 28, grabbed the opportunity with both hands and is now making waves locally and nationally in the male-dominated filmmaking industry. 

 SCOUT is an intensive programme developed to professionally expose filmmakers to the business of location scouting which is very profitable. Determined to grow her business and make a name for herself in the film making industry, Mngadi, founder of Lopper Media based in Musgrave said: “The training was very informative and interesting. It opened my eyes to many opportunities within the film industry.”

She said her scout services includes providing cast and locations for production companies doing shoots in Durban. “This means I have to liaise with location owners and hold interviews for required cast.” Mngadi said locations that are in demand and frequently requested include beaches, historical buildings as well as houses, tidal pools and game drives.

 The young go-getter who is currently finalising three new short film deals in Johannesburg said her latest major project includes a Red Bull commercial. She has also done other work with Born Free Media, Natives at Large and Mobile Media. “I have employed two people full time. I am grateful to the Municipality for this programme. I am fast developing a name for myself as a reputable service provider mostly in location scouting and Unit Management as well as providing security services,” she said, adding that her business was now making a profit.

Toni Monty, Head of Durban Film Office said: “We introduce such unique programmes to drive economic development and job creation. I am excited that the programme is gaining momentum and serving its purpose.” She added that Durban has diverse locations to be utilised for film.

“This programme is also playing a crucial role in promoting Durban in filmmaking and actively putting our City in the spotlight, locally and internationally. Location scouting has a vast market with remarkable revenue as it benefits both company owner and the property owner during the shooting. We have two intakes since 2014 and are now in preparation to train both groups in Unit Management training for the first time,” said Monty.  She said Unit Management will serve as a continuity since it will equip trainees on how to go about providing infrastructure during film shoots.



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