South Africa: A Top Film Destination
One of the latest productions confirmed for local shooting is the film 24, based on the award-winning television series of the same name.
24 has won a number of awards, including Emmys for outstanding drama series and outstanding lead actor in a drama, as well as Golden Globes in the same categories. As Agent Jack Bauer, lead actor Kiefer Sutherland has been in the running for an Emmy every year since the show debuted in 2001, and has also won two Screen Actors’ Guild awards for Best Actor.
Sutherland’s character Bauer is head of the counter terrorist unit of the
The two-hour film will be screened in November 2008 and is described as a prequel to the long-awaited seventh season of the show, which was put on hold after the
24 is only one of a growing list of international films scheduled for shooting in
In recent years many high-profile films have been shot in South Africa, among them Blood Diamond, Country of My Skull, The Lord of War, More Than Just a Game, the story of the Makana Football Association of political prisoners held during the apartheid years on Robben Island, and Flashbacks of a Fool starring current James Bond Daniel Craig.
Local film industry is growing
The feature and advertising film industry in
Backed strongly by the national Department of Arts and Culture, which allocated R35 million in 2002 towards the development of film in South Africa, the industry has produced a number of acclaimed documentaries and feature films, several of which have gone on to win top international accolades.
The government has committed itself to assisting with the development of the industry and has put several strategies in place to promote and ensure equitable growth. One of them is the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), a statutory body that was mandated by parliament to spearhead the development process.
The national Department of Trade and Industry has also introduced an incentive scheme that will allow rebates of up to 35% on the cost of films and full-length television programmes to both local and international filmmakers. Local films will get a 35% rebate while foreign productions will get 15%. Both schemes will run until 2014 and are expected to give the local film industry a much-needed boost through foreign investment and job creation.
SA films win international awards
In 2006 the film Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, following on the heels of Darrell Roodt’s Yesterday, which was nominated in the same category the year before but didn’t win. uCarmen e-Khayelitsha, based on Bizet’s opera Carmen, won the top prize, the Golden Bear for best film, at the 2005 Berlin Film Festival. Forgiveness, directed by Ian Gabriel, won nine awards at film festivals around the world.
Other South African films making waves around the world include Drum, directed by Zola Maseko and based on the story of Henry Nxumalo, a journalist working for the activist South African publication of the same name. The film won the Golden Stallion of Yennenga award at the pan-African Fespaco film festival in
Ramadan Suleiman’s 2004 production Zulu Love Letter won the Silver Award at the Carthage Film Festival in
“The creative economy of this country and those of other parts of the continent have great potential,” said arts and culture minister Pallo Jordan, speaking at a function to honour the Tsotsi cast after their Oscar win. “Their growth and development will depend in large measure on the interventions we make. Tsotsi and the other African films that have made a mark internationally demonstrate that African stories have international resonance.”