×

South Africa’s Black Production Service Sector Makes Push for Projects at AFM

Number 37,” a Hitchcockian crime thriller set in the gritty Cape Flats outside Cape Town, hits U.S. theaters Nov. 2, opening in New York and L.A. ahead of a wider theatrical release.

For producer Bradley Joshua, who’s part of a delegation of filmmakers brought by South Africa’s Dept. of Trade & Industry (DTI) to the AFM this week, the movie’s North American rollout wouldn’t have been possible without the support of a government body widely considered to be the lifeblood of the local industry.

“Without [the DTI], it would have been infinitely more difficult to even get this project off the ground,” said Joshua. Dark Star Pictures is distributing; XYZ Films is handling sales.

South Africa’s incentive schemes have helped the country become a global player in the production services industry and offered vital support to local producers. But the DTI has put special emphasis on the emerging black filmmakers incentive, which was introduced in 2014 to promote diversity in the film biz. The scheme offers a 50% rebate on all qualifying local spend, with the DTI removing the cap earlier this year in an effort to bring even more support to black filmmakers.

That support extends to overseas missions like the DTI’s delegation to L.A., which will be comprised of emerging black production and service companies. Along with bringing a slate of fresh South African content to the AFM, the group will visit Hollywood studios and meet with potential co-production partners.

Such missions are vital to plugging emerging black filmmakers into the global marketplace. According to Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry Bulelani Magwanishe, the delegation will also look to attract more foreign investment into the South African film and TV industries while showcasing the country’s infrastructure and service offerings for foreign shoots.

“The AFM is a great networking platform for South Africa to … foster closer ties with partner countries we have co-production treaties with, and garner increased involvement from large film markets such as the United States of America,” said Magwanishe. “We feel that the revised incentive, compounded by excellent film servicing experience, will make it more attractive to film in South Africa.”

According to the DTI, 99 film and TV productions were approved under a range of incentive schemes for the 2017-18 fiscal year, which are projected to create more than 9,000 jobs while injecting nearly R2.9 billion (around $198 million) into the economy.

That will certainly give a boost to a country that’s been grappling with recession in recent years. But the broader task of leveling the economic playing field nearly a quarter-century since the end of apartheid remains a challenge.

“The reality is that the industry is not transformed as we would expect,” said Joshua. “When you take into consideration [we’re] almost 25 years since our freedom, the [talent] pool is not big enough.”

Still, he credits the DTI with “pushing this transformation agenda” and creating a roadmap that can help to propel the South African creative sector forward. “As an organization, the DTI is putting their money where their mouth is,” he said.

More Film

  • Unathi Malonga

    Report Urges South African Media to ‘Step Up’ Against Gender Violence

    DURBAN–In a country with some of the highest rates of sexual and gender-based violence in the world, South African media must step up and play a greater role in the fight against gender inequality and gender-based violence. That was the conclusion of a report, “Gender, Diversity and Gender-based Violence in South African TV,” that was [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby, A.J. Eaton.

    Cameron Crowe on Why He Loved Leaving David Crosby Doc on a CSNY Question Mark

    David Crosby may or may not have stuck a joint in Cameron Crowe’s mouth the first time he ever met the future filmmaker, when Crosby was peaking with Crosby Stills Nash & Young and his interviewer was a precocious 15-year-old Rolling Stone correspondent. As Crowe said to Jimmy Kimmel the other night, “I remember it [...]

  • Mokalik

    Nigeria’s Kunle Afolayan: African Audiences Shouldn’t Be ‘Second-Class’

    DURBAN–A young boy from a middle-class home gets an unconventional schooling in the ways of the world when he’s forced to apprentice at a mechanic’s workshop in a rough-and-tumble section of Lagos. “Mokalik” is the latest feature from Kunle Afolayan, a leading figure in the wave of filmmakers revitalizing the Nigerian film industry. The film [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • The Lion King

    Box Office: 'The Lion King' Roars Overseas With Mighty $269 Million

    Disney’s “The Lion King” certainly felt the love this weekend, generating $269 million at the international box office. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the classic Disney cartoon now holds the eighth-biggest debut of all time overseas, and that’s not including the film’s early opening in China last weekend. Combined with a stellar $185 million start [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content