Film and Production Locations

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Long regarded as a prime location for feature films, TV series, telefilms, commercials and stills shoots, SOUTH AFRICA combines a solid film infrastructure and attractive financial incentives with a favourable exchange rate, sunny climate and a wide diversity of spectacular locations that can double for anywhere in the world.

In 2009 The History Channel chose to shoot the majority of its seminal series about the history of America almost entirely in South Africa. For America The Story of Us, The History Channel did dramatic re-constructions for the first time ever, which were shot in and around Cape Town.

In this instance Cape Town and its surrounds doubled for Utah, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Great Plains, prairies, the Rocky Mountains, the Niagara escarpment and sites of battles with the Native American Indians through the Civil War and World War II. Even the recreation of the bombing of Pearl Harbour was shot in South Africa, utilising local crew.

Last year Clint Eastwood shot the Oscar-nominated Invictus (starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon) in South Africa. Some scenes for Mira Nair’s Hilary Swank/Richard Gere starrer, Amelia, were shot here in 2009, as was the major television series The Philanthropist.

Previously Roland Emmerich chose to shoot much of his big budget, visual effects heavy 10,000 BC in the Cape. Other major productions to have filmed in South Africa are Blood Diamond, Lord of War, Ask The Dust, Hotel Rwanda, Man to Man, To The Ends of the Earth, Racing Stripes, The Flood and To Catch A Fire.

A number of Bollywood films are now being shot in South Africa, many of them in the scenic seaside city of Durban, which has a large local Indian community.

Each summer large numbers of foreign commercials producers descend upon South Africa to film commercials for overseas markets. While Cape Town has traditionally been a popular production hot spot for international commercials and long form projects, filmic activity in Johannesburg and Durban increases every year.



South Africa’s nine provinces (Gauteng, Eastern Cape,Free State,
Kwa-Zulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga,Northern, North West and
Western Cape) offer a wide variety of locations, from rural and
underdeveloped landscapes to big bustling modern cities.

Filmmakers have an array of desert landscapes, denserainforests,
snowcapped rugged mountains, wild unspoilt beaches, commercial
beaches and African bush to choose from, as well as a range of
different architectural styles, from Victorian to French, to turn of the
20th century to modern space age.

Vegetation ranges from desert and semi-desert (west coast
Namaqualand and the Karoo); Mediterranean(south western and
southern Cape); bushveld (north, north-west and east) ;forests
(southern and eastern coastal belts); and grasslands (most of the
central interior).

South Africa has talented location scouts who can source the most
unusual or unlikely locations or
“lookalikes”.

When shooting on location, permission must be obtained from local
authorities for filming on any civic or municipal property.

Local production/service companies and location scouts will be
able to advise visiting filmmakers, as can the film
commissions/offices mentioned earlier.

Weather

While South Africa’s climate varies from region to region, one
characteristic is common to all – sunny days all year round.
The country’s south west coast enjoys a Mediterranean climate
(ie. winter rainfall), while the south and east coast have humid,
sub-tropical weather.

The north eastern Highveld is characterised by a savannah climate
(ie. summer rainfall) and semi-desert
or desert conditions prevail in the north west of the
country.

For accurate weather forecasts log onto the South African Weather
Service website (www.weathersa.co.za).

Entering South Africa

Foreigners entering South Africa require a visa unless they are from
visa exempt countries as listed on www.home-affairs.gov.za. Any
queries relating to visas are handled by the South African missions
or representatives in your country or the nearest one situated to you.

Visas are processed by the South African missions abroad and must
be affixed in the applicants’ passports before departing to the
Republic of South Africa. Visas are NOT issued on arrival at South
African ports of entry.

Applicants arriving without visas will be refusedentry and placed
on return flights in terms of legislation.