South Africa wants to ensure that its country is a popular location for foreign artists and cultural icons, which is why is created the Foreign Film and Television Production and Post Production Incentive Scheme (FFTPPIS). This was originally designed to be an innovative and intelligent way to encourage foreign visitors to boost local film and television industries, but initial problems with the implementation meant that the government was obliged to create an amendment which offered rebates to some foreign investment. This amendment was designed to start operating in April of 2012, and will take around three years to be completely implemented.
Big-budget films such as Invictus and Safe House had already been made before the amendment was created, and the government hopes to bring in more film makers of the same calibre, and with the same budget, as these blockbuster films. The amendments are intended to cover between a fifth and a quarter of the total spend in South African -based films, but qualification will depend upon a number of different requirements, including the use of post-production teams in South Africa, and on-location filming. By ensuring that film companies who apply for the grants are actually spending big money in South Africa, the government could easily recoup the rebates through taxation, and by the growth of South Africa’s film industry.
The intention of this amendment is to bring in foreign film makers and TV productions with large budgets, and also to encourage these film-makers to do their post-production work in South Africa. By providing rebates which will encourage the visitors, the department of trade and industry believes that it will actually be helping to create jobs and increase the skills and creativity within South Africa itself, as well as improving the country’s profile on the international stage. All of these rebates, then, are designed to raise South Africa, and make it a real competitor in global culture and politics.
The biggest beneficiary of the rebates could be the South African film industry, but it will also provide money to connected industries, such as tourism, insurers and caterers, alongside those working in skilled technical crafts such as set builders and costume designers. In particular, post-production companies are hoping for an extra boost, with the potential that some film makers will send already-finished films to be completed in South Africa. In addition to the rebates, there are also other reasons to make a film in the country, such as the low cost of production, and a good exchange rate which makes South Africa a potentially cheaper place to make and edit a film than in Europe or North America.
With all of these rebates, and the potential increase in knowledge for South African film companies and post-production teams, it is a good time to be moving to the country if you have a transferable film-based career. South Africa wants to promote its own local film companies, as well as encouraging its population to learn film-making skills, so immigrants are likely to be welcomed if they have these skills.