Treaty is the eighth co-production treaty that South Africa has signed.

The long-awaited co-production treaty between South Africa and Ireland was signed in Cannes.

“It’s something that has been a long time coming. We are all very excited by it,” commented Thandeka Zwana, Production & Development Executive at the Johannesburg-based National Film And Video Foundation (NFVF).

This will mark the eighth coproduction treaty that the South Africans have signed.

Why Ireland? “Shared passions, shared struggles. We’ve both been through struggles. We’ve both been through hardships,” Zwana said.

The Irish have their Section 481 scheme while the South Africans have recently revised their own film tax rebate, which is now uncapped. Both soft money schemes should be able to work together. Zwaka said that as soon as the Treaty is signed, there is expected to be an immediate boom in South African/Irish co-productions.

Zwana also pointed to a shift in the types of films currently being made in South Africa: “South African filmmaking is beginning to get a lot more adventurous with genres. For a long time, we’ve been associated with political films. Now, there is a whole host of exciting new films.”

Here in Cannes, the NFVF will be showcasing 11 new films including John Barker’s heist drama 31 Million Reasons To Die [pictured], action comedy The Adventures Of Supermama and romantic comedy My Zulu Promise.

A South African co-production forum will be held in Cannes tomorrow.