Unlike the national rugby squad, which mowed down competitors with cohesive confidence at the recent World Cup, South Africa's film industry is a mixed bag: on the one hand, it is an increasingly sought-after destination for international productions ranging from the minute to the mammoth; on the other, the local industry could be accused of failing to capitalise on the global interest that followed the 2005 foreign-language Oscar triumph for Gavin Hood's Tsotsi.

There is a sense of a country playing catch-up with the rest of the world with its native film industry.

But high-budget productions continue to make use of its widely praised facilities, skills base and breathtakingly varied terrain, including Rogue Pictures' Doomsday, Roland Emmerich's 10,000 B.C. and HBO's showpiece Gulf War series Generation Kill. And with the Department of Trade and Industry expected to announce the extension of its successful tax rebate scheme before the end of the year, the picture is very buoyant for the service side of the industry (see below).

Although public funding was slashed in 2006, South African producers are anticipating a mini-boom in indigenous films as the taps reopen.

It is not all good news though. Last November, the combined Sithengi South African Film & TV Market and Cape Town World Cinema Festival announced it was moving to March 2008 and now its future is in doubt.

'We are in discussion about the continuance of Sithengi,' admits Eddie Mbalo, CEO of funding body the National Film & Video Foundation. A new board will be elected in mid-November to decide the market's fate.

The government has also granted five new pay-TV licences, which will boost South Africa from three to eight broadcasters and have a radical impact on the local production scene.

'From a commercial point of view, it is an interesting time here after a gap post-Tsotsi, when we went into a kind of funding hole,' says Ross Garland, founder of Rogue Star Films.

The South African industry is still a white-dominated preserve that needs to cultivate more black talent to reflect the Rainbow Nation's multicultural make-up. According to most producers, the situation is improving all the time and with the 2010 football World Cup set to boost South Africa's profile to a global zenith, now is the time for its film industry to keep its eye on the prize.