Completion guarantor Film Finances Inc. is launching a South African arm to be headed by longtime local Endemol exec Jane Fry.
Fry, who spent 15 years at Endemol South Africa and also served as an overseas production accountant on several international features, will be based in Johannesburg where the Film Finances office is offering advances against South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) rebates, besides providing its completion bonds locally.
The DTI rebates are worth up to 25 percent of local spend.
Film Finances SA is currently bonding “Elysium” director Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi project “Chappie,” which is in pre-production in Johannesburg.
Their new South African office is also working on mounting two Cape Town-based productions: “The Giver,” starring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges; and TV series “SAF3,” from “Baywatch” writer-producer Greg Bonann.
Film Finances previously bonded locally produced projects including “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” starring Idris Elba, which unspooled in Toronto, and Blomkamp’s hit 2009 breakout pic “District 9,” among others.
Film Finances Inc. co-CEO Kurt Woolner in a statement enthused about the move, noting that South Africa has been an appealing shooting location for some time because of its well-developed infrastructure and growing government backing.