Incentive Scheme to Grow Film Industry

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Incentive Scheme to Grow Film Industry

BuaNews (Pretoria)
June 30, 2004
Posted to the web June 30, 2004

By Richard Mantu

The South African film industry is set for a boom, following the introduction of an incentive scheme to foreign and local filmmakers.

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) introduced this scheme in Johannesburg today to enable the filmmakers to develop skills and eventually tell a unique African story.

The Large Budget Film and Television Production Rebate Scheme is intended to give foreign production companies a rebate of 15 percent and local film makers 25 percent for any money spent in the country for producing the film.

The dti has set aside R252 million over a period of three years, as incentive for production companies who want to make a film in South Africa.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa said the incentive would help grow the film industry while addressing skills shortage in the industry.

This, he said, would eventually lead to domestic film production companies, telling unique South African and African stories.

"I believe SA has a unique experience and history and arising from that I believe we got unique stories to tell. The scheme, I believe will fire-up the SA literary work and film industry.

"Jobs will be created for the unemployed, ...this incentive should lead to development of local content films with international appeal, thus ensuring sustainable film industry," said Mr Mpahlwa.

For production companies to qualify, 50 percent of their works must be filmed in the country, while people will also qualify if they shoot feature films, telemovies, television drama series or mini series and documentaries.

Both foreign and domestic film companies who spend R25 million on filming in South Africa will qualify for a R10 million rebate. The rebate is exempt from tax.

National Film and Video Foundation CEO Eddie Mbalo CEO said the incentive also gave an opportunity for local film production companies to form consortiums and operate as businesses, so they ought to grow and produce more local content.

He said local production companies would be able to source funding elsewhere and not depend on funds they obtained when commissioned to do local dramas or films.

Tsepiso Makgothi, the dti senior manager of product and systems development said the department was currently working on an incentive for emerging filmmakers to grow.
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