Farewell to Central Castings…

Today the following press release went out to the film industry in South Africa. After meeting with several potential buyers for my main business Central Castings, I just couldn’t find a good match for the agency. So I decided to sell the agency to my long-standing manager and chief booker Bernie Adams for the princely sum of R 1.  Akhona and I both feel at ease with this decision and we feel it falls very much in line with our philosophy going forward…Bernie has worked for me for 22 years and I am happy to hand her the business which has been so good to me and has put me in the financial position to follow my dream of travelling the word endlessly…

Central Castings has new Empowerment owner!

Central Castings founder Derek Antonio Serra has announced that the well-known talent agency has been acquired by manager Bernie Adams in what he describes as “an exciting empowerment deal which puts South Africa’s oldest casting and talent agency in the hands of a black female owner who is a respected industry professional.”  Bernie Adams joined Central Castings 22 years ago as a booker and has been chief booker and manager at the agency for the past 10 years. As such Serra says she is the ideal person to take over the agency. The deal involves a nominal cash payment for the agency as a going concern, including its massive database, computer infrastructure and office equipment.

Founded in 1991, Central Castings soon emerged as the industry leader in the talent sector and over its 25 years of operation has supplied tens of thousands of background and featured talent on hundreds of TV commercials, TV series and feature films. The agency uses state-of-the-art technology to manage its database of over 5000 artists, including a proprietary cloud-based booking system integrated with bulk SMS messaging capabilities. The beauty of a cloud-based system is that it can be accessed from anywhere, which means that the relocation of the agencies offices will have no impact on the day-to-day running of the agency. So it is business as usual for Central Castings as the seamless change of ownership takes place on 1 July 2017.

Serra says that he is excited to hand over the agency to the hard-working Adams, who joined the agency straight out of high school and who has been an integral part of the agency for so many years. “At last Cape Town has a black-owned, female run talent agency with established ties to all of South Africa’s major production companies and advertising agencies. I’d like to ask all players in the film sector to give Bernie their support as she builds and shapes the agency to make it her own.”

Bernie Adams comments: “When Derek announced his departure from the film industry and in effect, Central Castings, I wrestled with the decision of following suit. In the end I chose to continue in the industry that I’ve grown with and an industry that remains diverse and dynamic. Derek has set the precedent and I hope to not only sustain what he has built up, but to continue to build on this. I’m excited to take up the challenge.”

Derek Serra is keen to thank the South African film industry for its support over the past 25 years, and even though he is retiring from the film industry to pursue a nomadic lifestyle travelling the world as a travel blogger, photographer and filmmaker, he will still advise Bernie via email if and when she needs his input for the next year or so.


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Derek Antonio Serra is a photographer and filmmaker who has run several successful businesses in the film, tourism and advertising industries. He has recently embraced the nomadic lifestyle after selling his businesses and home. His passions are photography, travel and writing.

One thought on “Farewell to Central Castings…

  • 15/06/2017 at 10:59 pm

    Hi Derek and Akhona

    Just read what you did with the business and I think it is a wonderful gesture. Well done.

    It’s also great that you are following your dream. We had an opportunity to do one of our bucket list “things” and moved to New Zealand to experience new things and new cultures… it’s not as easy as it seems but life is short so live every second.

    Best regards

    Greg Van Der Reis
    New Zealand

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