South Africa: opportunities in the Brazilian film industry


Members of the South African film industry have been gearing up to take advantage of opportunities in the Brazilian film industry.

Forty film industry players in Cape Town attended an export market readiness workshop held by The Association for Transformation in Film and Television (ATFT) and Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape. The workshop was one of four held around the country and comes in the wake of The National Film and Video Foundation’s work in bringing together the Brazilian and South African film industries with an official treaty.

“The opportunities for South Africans in official co-production for export to the Brazilian market will make this treaty most welcome,” said Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten. But, as workshop participants learnt, there are already opportunities for South Africans to partner with Brazilian producers due to the Pay TV “law” – effectively a quota system – with its funding schemes designed to support the rapid need for Brazilian content. Since the passing of this law, small Brazilian media companies experienced rapid growth.

The workshop was split into two parts with the first session introducing the Rio Content Market, as well as the international television, feature film and entertainment market. The afternoon session was an advanced financing, sales, distribution and co-production session on how to make the most of the Rio Content Market and attract investment to a film project.

Facilitator Pascal Schmitz is a founding director at ATFT, a not-for-profit company encouraging real transformation in the South African Film and Television Industry. “We aim to empower, develop and inspire black females, physically impaired and black individuals, as well as black-owned companies, and grow South African content on local and international platforms by 200% by the end of 2018,” Schmitz said.

Wesgro is proud to be associated with the ATFT trade missions to Berlin Film Festival and Rio Content market. “All filmmakers can take advantage of the ATFT SA-Indies stand and marketing at the festivals if the filmmaker becomes a transformation champion,” said Monica Rorvik, Wesgro’s International Trade and Development Manager: Film and Production.

The AFTF workshop’s Brazilian market experts included Mary Morita who is currently international coordinator at Brazilian TV Producers, the export program created by the Brazilian Independent TV Producers Association in partnership with Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency; and lawyer Raphael Crescente who is experienced in the legal and regulatory aspects of the Brazilian entertainment market, having worked with local and foreign producers, distributors and broadcasters, as well as Pay television programming and distribution companies.

The national workshops were essential for delegates attending the Rio Content Market in March – one of the fastest growing Markets in the world. Brazil is the world’s fifth largest economy and offers excellent incentives for filmmakers.

ATFT is registered as an exhibitor at the Rio Content Market and have taken an umbrella stand with the dti support, at the market under the SA Indies brand for South Africans attending the market to use from 12-14 March, 2014.