The South African Success Story

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Who ever thought that a nation on the tip of the African continent could become one of the world’s foremost film service destinations? Kim Crowie reports.

In the last decade or two, South Africa has proven itself time and again as a competent film and television location. And in the last five, the international service industry has grown in leaps and bounds, with a range of large-scale feature films, recurring television series and historical epics being shot within its borders.

“It’s no secret anymore to the world and the film industry at large, that South Africa is one of the premier destinations when choosing a diverse, sunny and reliable location to shoot international projects,” explains local director Howard James Fyvie. “As I’m writing this email, I’m actually on set with an American production shooting in Cape Town, and they can’t stop repeating how reliable the crews are down here, how friendly everyone is, and how suitable the autumn climate is to facilitating films.”

SA’s ability to replicate practically anywhere in the world was the country’s first leg up into the international community, but in recent years it has honed its prowess, providing the world with outstanding talent and crew, the latest equipment and technology, and a host of other artistic and creative skills that have grown its reputation. Added to this is the weak Rand, allowing production budgets to stretch, and the cherry on top: a 25% tax incentive through the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

According to Daryne Joshua, Head of Film at Gambit Films, one of the latest trends is definitely the rise of virtual reality content in local circles. “It’s an interesting platform and the need for VR content is on the rise. It really has a lot of potential and could really take storytelling in some wild and wonderful directions.”

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