South Africa’s film and television industry, one of the continent’s oldest and most established, is still thriving and has a lot of potential to become an economically viable creative hub. International filmmakers have long benefited from South Africa’s diverse and unusual locations, coupled with lower production costs than the United States and Europe.
The country has earned a reputation for having top-notch film crews that have worked on successful international films, including Fury Road, the fourth instalment of the Mad Max franchise, Blood Diamond, and The Avengers. Facilitation has shown to be the most profitable production in South Africa, with many South African producers specialising in providing crews, finding locations, and casting extras for international film and television productions.
The government has highlighted the local film industry as having excellent growth potential and a driver for direct and indirect job creation. A report was released by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), which the Department of Arts and Culture established to facilitate the equitable growth of South Africa’s film and video industry. Stating that the direct impact of the US$ 298.9 million generated by the South African film industry on economic production in 2017 could lead to a rise in total economic output of around US$ 829 million in the near term, implying an economic multiplier of US$ 0.33 for every UD$ 0.068 spent.
Making a film, according to experts, isn’t enough because distribution is crucial to commercial success. Unfortunately, this has been the most challenging task for local producers, as South Africa cannot develop sufficient scale on its own; generating content that appeals to a worldwide market is critical to the industry’s financial viability.
South Africa’s film and video industry, which employees an estimated 25 000 people, made only 14 of the 102 films released in the country in 2019. The country consuming more content is ideal ground for the next generation of filmmakers to develop broad appeal films with a global audience in mind.