Recent amendments to the foreign film and television incentive scheme - which will benefit foreign film makers through government rebates - will not only result in a positive boost for the South African film industry, but will also benefit related industries such as specialised local insurers, tourism, and catering, helping to stimulate job growth.
This is according to Clive Shelver, Managing Director at Film & Entertainment Underwriters, a specialist insurance underwriter underwritten by Compass Insurance, who says the new incentives make it far more attractive for foreign filmmakers to conduct film and post-production activities in South Africa. “As a result, South Africa’s growing reputation as a desired filming destination will bring with it many advantages of becoming a global filming hotspot.”
“This recognition is likely to have a positive impact on job creation, as more filming companies and their teams of people visit South Africa to reap the benefits of filming in a unique location that provides a variety of settings in one country, at low production costs and good exchange rates,” said Shelver.
He said the local niche insurance industry is also set to benefit, as local insurers are far more familiar with the specific risks - including location and seasonal changes - facing film makers and post production companies. “Each region has its own range of specific issues. For example, Cape Town is prone to extreme winds while Gauteng can be subject to electrical storms, so it is always best to source a local insurance company that understands the risks facing the local market.”
Furthermore, the Government dispensation may also bolster the commercial filming industry in Cape Town, which typically runs from October – April. Shelver says that while this is already well utilised by foreigners, it has become more appealing with the incentive scheme.
“Specialised insurers are also able to write tailored policies that will better protect the film producers and further encourage filming in an unfamiliar location as the risk is covered financially,” said Shelver.
He said that dealing with specialists when it comes to cover for public liability damage during the shooting process is also essential as filmmakers cannot shoot without this type of cover. “It is far easier to deal with insurers who are aware of local rules and regulations as they deal with it on a regular basis.”
“Specialist insurers can also offer options to assist foreign filmmakers when it comes to equipment and vehicle rental insurance.”
“The new film and television incentives will do much to promote the local film industry; however it is also important to encourage the use of local resources to overcome any unforeseen difficulties. By using companies that provide specifically tailored solutions, filmmakers will better ensure that if anything does go wrong, they will be comprehensively covered,” concluded Shelver.
Issued by Rene Engelbrecht