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No 1 Afrikaans TV Show “Ouma Sarie” visits George Mayor

Caption: Marius Wannenburg, Garden Route Media, Executive Mayor Leon van Wyk and “Ouma Sarie” aka Moses Williams.

Executive Mayor of George, Leon Van Wyk was honoured to receive a visit from creator of, and actor “Ouma Sarie” aka Moses Williams and Marius Wannenburg, owner of Garden Route Media recently. Ouma Sarie started out as a character in comedian Moses William’s repertoire during lockdown and is based on his grandmother, who was known for “calling a spade a spade” and being hilarious because she was just so downright honest. The idea for the television show started in 2022 and was commissioned by ETV in early 2023. The show which is now the No 1 Afrikaans show on TV with almost 2 million viewers over a weekend is filmed and produced at the Garden Route Media studio in George with local actors and local production staff.

Ald Van Wyk who has officially been invited to visit Ouma Sarie at the production studios soon, noted how the production of this show which continues to grow is expanding economic activity within the creative film sector. “With the Ouma Sarie television series being produced locally, with local actors and production company, this augurs well for the future. The municipality continues to explore how light industry can be attracted to George to provide much needed employment opportunities.”

Marius Wannenburg who has years of experience as a producer, editor and cameraman has a passion for developing people through not only training them but by also creating job opportunities through his company Garden Route Media which he started in 2020. He continues to work hard to attract quality television and film production products to George. “Ouma Sarie was one of those homegrown products that just took off with a three-year signing by ETV in 2023 and the youngsters I trained a few years ago and who had no formal qualifications are now working as fully fledged production crew on this project. We have had 27 30-minute episodes broadcast already and the current viewer figures are at approximately 2 million over a weekend, which is phenomenal for this homegrown production that has clearly struck a chord with the viewers of South Africa.” Marius added that the success of Ouma Sarie is absolutely repeatable, and he thanked George Municipality for the role played in expediting the administration that takes place in the background to approve filming permits.

“Just as George is becoming a highly sought-after destination for events, similarly the filming industry is increasingly choosing George as a destination of choice. In 2021 Council approved a Filming Policy to establish a framework for filming within municipal boundaries. The policy sets out the processes and responsibilities of the municipality to expedite filming authorisations and permitting. Our beautiful City offers a wide variety of location offerings. The natural surrounding from ocean to mountain, forests, rivers, lakes as well as the built environment, are ideal for many different film shoots, from basic social media videos to advertisements, films and drone shots,” said Lauren Waring, George Municipal Director for Planning and Development

Besides the destination offering, George also offers producers with the facilities and service providers required by production companies. George has a strong support base of businesses to the industry, and provides easy access by road or air, to easily bring in any service or equipment that is not currently in George. Film also offers an opportunity for job seekers and SMME’s in the industry to learn and grow the industry in the area and various filmmakers and producers present training and funding opportunities within the municipal area for creative residents of George and surrounds.