The South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive: How it works

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In a quest to promote filmmaking in South Africa, the department of trade and industry has a come up with a set of financial incentives, to encourage production in the country. One of these incentives is titled: South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive.

short films

It exists alongside the Foreign Film and Television Production and Post-Production incentive, designed to attract foreign-based film productions to shoot and conduct post-production activities in South Africa and the South African Film and Television Production and Co-Production incentive, which aims to assist local film producers in the production of local content.

Here we briefly explain how the South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive works as revised in 2018.

Objective:

The scheme states its objective as nurturing and capacitating emerging black filmmakers to take up big productions and contribute towards employment opportunities.

Benefits:

A rebate of up to 50% for the first R6 million of the Qualifying South African Production Expenditure and 25% thereafter.

Who qualifies:

  • The Qualifying South African Production Expenditure must be: a minimum of R500 000 for all qualifying production formats and a minimum of R500 000 for documentaries.
  • At least 80% of the principal photography must be filmed in South Africa
  • At least 14 calendar days of the principal photography must be filmed in South Africa
  • For productions with a minimum Qualifying South African Production Expenditure of R50 million, the 80% and 14 calendar days requirements may be waived and such discretion will take into account the budgetary implications of the decision made.

Mandatory requirements:

  • The Qualifying South African Production Expenditure must account for at least 75% of the total production budget
  • The majority of intellectual property must be owned by South African citizens
  • The copyright must be registered with Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and the certificate of registration must be provided at claim stage;
  • The Director must be a Black South African citizen who is credited for that role in the production
  • The Producer must be a Black South African citizen who is credited for that role,
  • The top writer and producer credits must include South African citizens either exclusive or shared collaboration credits;
  • The majority of the 5 highest-paid performers must be South African citizens
  • The majority (51%) of heads of departments and key personnel must be black South African citizens;
  • The concern must have been in existence, operational and involved in the film industry for at least six months, with at least a 10-minute trailblazer or short film produced.

Which format qualifies:

  • Feature film
  • Animation
  • Tele-movies
  • Television drama series and mini-series
  • Documentary, documentary series and documentary feature
  • Digital content

What doesn’t qualify:

  • Speculative projects;
  • Bundling projects;
  • Commissioned projects by a broadcaster;
  • SPCV owned and controlled by South African and foreign broadcasters.

 Which format doesn’t qualify:

  • Reality television News
  • Discussion programme
  • Advertising programme or commercial
  • Current affairs
  • Video gaming
  • Panel programme
  • Variety programme
  • Public and sport events
  • Training programme
  • Soapies
  • Pilots

Compliance with Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment  (B-BBEE)

The applicant must register a Special Purpose Corporate Vehicle (SPCV) incorporated in the Republic of South Africa solely dedicated for the production of the film or television project to participate in this incentive programme. The SPCV must comply with B-BBEE requirements and mainly must achieve at least a level two B-BBEE contributor status

For further information visit the relevant corner of the department of trade and industry to be found on this address: website: http://www.thedti.gov.za/financial_assistance/financial_incentive.jsp?id=7&subthemeid=26

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