South Africa’s two-tier Department of Trade and Industry rebate system for filmmakers has received a major boost with the approval last week of proposals to extend the “cap” for the system.
The rebate was capped at 10 million rand ($1.45m). That has now been doubled to 20m rand ($2.9 million.)
Among the first big international projects that will benefit from the enhanced rebate is DNA Films’ 3D live-action Judge Dredd, currently in production at the new Cape Town Film Studios (CFTS).
“It is a very challenging film. This kind of film has never been done before in South Africa,” commented CTFS CEO Nico Dekker. He added that Judge Dredd will “benefit greatly” from the extension of the rebate system.
The South African press has reported that the South African expenditure on Judge Dredd could be “in the region of $20 million.”
“With the raising of the cap, I think we’ll be able to attract more production. We already see that people are becoming more comfortable with the international incentive and that we are becoming more known out there in the international market,” said Julia Teboho Nzimande, the official responsible for Creative industries at The Department of Trade and Industry (which administers the rebate system.)
Industry figures are now pressing for the rebate to be extended yet further.
Karin Liebenberg, Director: Film, BPO & SIP incentives at the DTI, said that the next goal is to provide an incentive targeted specifically at post-production.
“That’s the area where we can improve,” she said.
The rebate for international filmmakers is open to productions with a qualifying South African production expenditure of 12 million rand ($1.7m). If producers meet that target, they will be given a rebate of 15%. Feature films, TV films and dramas, documentaries and animation are all eligible. The South African Film and Television Production and CoProduction incentive is aimed at local producers and coproductions involving South Africa. A rebate is available to these South African productions and coproductions with a minimum value of 2.5 million rand. There’s a rebate of 35% on the first 6 million of the budget and 25 percent on the remainder.