The Large Budget Film and Television Production Rebate Scheme, administered by the Dept. of Trade and Industry, was introduced in August 2004. South African films and co-production treaty movies (German, Canadian, Italian, U.K.) can qualify for a 25% rebate, and foreign films for a 15% rebate of their South African spend if 50% of principal photography is done in South Africa over a minimum of four weeks.
Expenditure must be R25 million ($3.5 million) or more, and the rebate is capped at $1.5 million for a single production for both local and foreign films. There is a provision that allows one applicant to bundle three productions together over one year to reach the minimum expenditure. Eligible formats are feature films, telepics, television drama series or miniseries, documentaries and animation.
To access the rebate, producers must apply for a provisional rebate certificate from the DTI by supplying details of budgeted expenditure. A final application must be submitted within the first three months after completion of the film, with an audited expenditure statement and sample footage for the rebate to be paid out.
After many teething problems with the implementation of the rebate program, leaders at local production companies now report it is running smoothly with a streamlined application process that makes both provisional certificates and payouts efficient and timely. Foreign producers are increasingly accessing the rebates, often with the support of a local production partner familiar with the application procedure.
- Film Afrika: Web: filmafrika.com; Contact: David Wicht (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Moonlighting Films: Web: moonlighting.co.za; Contact: Genevieve Hofmeyr (email@example.com)
- DV8 Films: Web: dv8.co.za; Contact: Joel Phiri (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Local co-producer Film Afrika helped secure a production rebate for “The Breed,” the directorial debut of Nick Mastandrea, a protege of horror-genre master Wes Craven. The thriller, starring Michelle Rodriguez and Taryn Manning, is exec produced by Craven and tells the story of friends who encounter intelligent, genetically altered dogs roaming wild on a deserted island they visit. David Lancaster, Marianne Maddalena and Apollo Media produce, and First Look Media and DEJ Prods. have signed for worldwide rights. “The Breed” had its world premiere at Cannes this year, and is scheduled to be released in the U.S. in November.