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The South African Film industry is growing at a competitively exceptional rate. The industry competes internationally in areas such as providers of quality content, creative workmanship, and as a service region. South Africa has a long history of film production and is therefore among the oldest film industries in the world. Over the past ten years the industry has produced an array of award winning films, television series, documentaries and commercial. As it stands the commercial industry is booming ahead of its peers and has received favourable acclamation.
Some of the best local and international films to be shot out of South Africa include: Yesterday, Tsotsi, UCarmen Ekhayelitsha, Hotel Rwanda, Catch a Fire, Lord of War, Blood Diamond, District 9, Invictus, and many others that have gone on to hit international screens.
Some facts about the film industry
- There are 750 screens available over 125 cinemas.
- Local movies grossed in the region of R87 million at the box office in 2010.
- In the same year (2010) South Africa's highest grossing movie, Shucks Shabalala's Guide to S.A accumulated R38 million at the box office.
- There were 17 co-production projects produced in 2011 with a total budget contribution of more than 706 million. These projects consisted of 7 feature films, 8 television series, 1 documentary and one once off project.
- To date, South Africa has 8 co-production treaties with Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, France and Ireland.
- Germany has been the leading co-producing partner. Between 2010 and 2011 a total of 18 films were co-produced by South Africa and Germany.
Great movies like Skin, Goodbye Bafana, Scorpion King, Ghost Son and many others have emanated from the co-production treaties. With the success of the audiovisual projects, South Africa has forged a strong reputation as a capable hub for film production and has raised its recognition on the global market.
International films are still the most popular and relevantly successful at the local box office, as is the trend in most other ‘westernised’ countries. The NFVF intends to improve the appreciation of locally produced films by engaging in a number of audience development activities as part of our strategic goal which is “Taking the NFVF to the people”.
South African audiences have come to have a healthy demand for good quality local content as has been noted in television trends. Some of the most popular television shows are locally produced programs which regularly enjoy the bulk of the audience share over their international counterparts. The contradiction here is where local productions are released on the big screen. In 2008, local features secured a market share of a paltry 4% at the box office.
The local industry was also given a boost with the establishment of a R500 million film studio on just under 200ha of land in Cape Town just outside Somerset West. The studio is anticipated to reduce production costs for both local and international film productions. It is scheduled for completion in the first half of 2010.