Principal executives from Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros. and the Producers’ Guild embarked on a 10-day tour in South Africa which ended on 1 March, to explore potential locations for future movies and television productions.
Vance van Patten, Executive Director of the Producers’ Guild; Mary Ann Hughes, Vice President of film and television production planning at Disney; Sara Spring, Senior Vice President of feature production at Paramount; and Kate Beyda, Senior Vice President of physical production at Warner Bros. met with government representatives as well as industry professionals and visited local production houses and facilities while in the country.
Van Patten said: “Our visit has been very productive in exploring and analysing benefits of bringing motion picture and TV productions to South Africa.”
Cyril Ndaba, the South African Consul Ggeneral based in Los Angeles, said that South Africa had become an increasingly appealing filmmaking and production destination due to the country’s diverse landscapes, talented and experienced local crews and the fact that South Africa is an English-speaking nation.
“The sights and sounds of South Africa are so rich; the tapestry of culture; and that’s the reason why they (the executives) will be going to see places around the country. South Africa has come of age and it warrants the attention of the whole world,” said Ndaba.
In addition to these features, the South Africa government recognises the potential of a successful film industry to boost its struggling economy, and has introduced a number of incentives aimed at attracting international productions. Foreign productions which are shot on location in the country qualify for an uncapped 20% rebate, as well as a 22.5% reduction if the post-production takes place in South Africa.
Van Patten said that South African government, industry and trade officials had been very interested in discussing these tax incentives as well as the benefits and challenges of producing films in South Africa.