One of the world’s leading hubs for international film and television shoots, South Africa had been riding high before the coronavirus pandemic arrived on its shores, interrupting what was shaping up to be a busy year and halting production on shoots including the David Tennant drama “Around the World in 80 Days.”
While local bizzers assess the damage — and offer up assets including artist trailers for the government’s COVID-19 mobile-testing
units — the struggling rand could add to the appeal of what was already one of the world’s best value-for-money destinations.
South Africa offers foreign productions a 25% rebate on all qualifying local spend, rising to 30% if some post-production is done in the country using a black-owned company. The rebate for South African co-productions starts at 35% on all qualifying local spend, with an additional 5% available to productions that meet certain requirements for hiring black department heads and procuring from black-owned service companies. Both incentives are capped at 50 million rand ($2.8 million). For productions that meet the requirements for the emerging black filmmakers incentive, the rebate rises to 50%.
The world-class facilities at Cape Town Film Studios include five state-of-the-art soundstages covering more than 90,000 square-feet, as well as three water tanks and four custom-built, 18th-century sailing ships. Studio backlots include standing sets for historical Europe, 18th-century America, and modern-day Africa and the Caribbean.
Skilled, English-speaking film crews are abundant. Companies such as Moonlighting Films, Spier Films and Film Afrika have a long track record of servicing international productions. Recent projects to lens in South Africa include Amazon Studios’ “Good Omens,” Sony Pictures’ superhero movie “Bloodshot,” starring Vin Diesel, and forthcoming fantasy action film “Monster Hunter,” from “Resident Evil” writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson.