South African Film and Television Production and Co-Production Incentive

Investment

The South African Film and Television Production Incentive is being introduced in order to provide more financial support for locally-owned productions and co-productions.

This component is available to both South African productions and official treaty co-productions with a total production budget of R2,5 million and above. It provides a rebate of 35 per cent for the first R6 million, and 25% for the remainder of the qualifying production expenditure. The following formats are eligible: feature films, telemovies, television drama series, documentaries, animation and short form animations.

The value of the rebate for any qualifying production is capped at a maximum of R10 million.

Effectively, the following key changes are being introduced:

* The reduction of the threshold from R25 million QSAPE for foreign-owned productions to R12 million;

* A differential requirement that local-owned productions and co-productions must have at least R2,5 million of total production budget;

* An increase of the rebate from 25% up to 35% for local productions in order to ensure higher financial support for local productions;

* The reduction of the threshold will make the bundling of productions unnecessary for producers

* The provisions of the incentive will encourage production companies to advance industry transformation through adherence to the requirements of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.

Moreover, the incentive is structured in such a way that it will provide necessary impetus to the growth of the South African film and television production industry thus creating an environment conducive for South African producers to attract investment and develop stable output and sustainable production companies.

All productions approved in terms of the Large Budget Film and Television Production Rebate would still be treated under the rules of that scheme, and will not be able to convert to the new incentive.

In addition to the financial support provided through the new rebate incentives, a number of other measures are being implemented as part of the broader sector development strategy. These include capacity development for emerging production companies, the development of writers and editors through the enterprise development programme and the establishment of five pilot programmes in different locations to address distribution infrastructure, local content and audience expansion.

Leading South African film producer Anant Singh greeted the revisions positively: “We welcome the Revised Film and Television Production Incentive announced by the dti today. It will continue to boost production activities in our country. The 10% increase in the rebate for local productions up to R 6 million, and the reduction in the threshold for local productions and will prove to be very attractive for emerging filmmakers with access to smaller budgets.

Most importantly though, there will be a significant increase in the generation of local content, which is always a good thing.

The reduction of the threshold for foreign-owned productions will give South Africa a competitive edge as a location for international film shoots which will ultimately mean more work for our talented actors and technicians. It will also promote economic development and boost South Africa’s international profile as a desired film destination.

It will also see the transformation of the industry through the requirements of Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment. The Revised Incentive has provided key elements for a vibrant and sustainable film and television industry. We commend the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mandisi Mpahlwa and the Film Sector Team of the DTI for a well designed Revised Incentive scheme.”