Incentive Scheme to Grow SA Film Industry while US film dudes cry foul
On the same day that allAfrica.com said that the South African film industry is set for a boom, following the introduction of an incentive scheme to foreign and local filmmakers, U.S. cinematographers and other film industry workers have asked the Bush administration to take action against Canadian, Australian and other government filmmaking subsidies that they say have lured away tens of thousands of jobs.
The South African 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.
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.
Unfortunately it seems as if the scheme will only benefit very large productions, most of them being made for external consumption, while some have been arguing that small budget movies made for the local market Nollywood style is what is needed to boost South African film.