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Investing in the economy

Media and motion pictures

Overview

South Africa has a vibrant, growing film industry that is fast gaining recognition on the global stage. Foreign filmmakers are taking advantage of the country's diverse, unique locations – as well as low production costs and favourable exchange rate, which in some cases make it up to 40% cheaper to produce a film in South Africa than in Europe or the US and up to 20% cheaper than in Australia. In addition, South Africa’ unique location, tourism hotspots and attractive landscape have been key to marketing the potential of the local film industry.

Strategy

The Media SBU invests in the production of motion pictures as our primary strategy to develop a sustainable local film industry, while also funding media projects that strengthen the entire value chain. The development of digital cinemas in townships, through pilot projects in Soweto, provides facilities that are sorely lacking, while also giving access to digital media resources to the masses.

Performance

Investments in the local film industry led to the production of the acclaimed film Semi-Soet in 2011, a romantic comedy that grossed more than R9 million at the box office. The SBU further invested in Zambezia, the first locally produced animated 3D feature film as well as Long Walk to Freedom, a film currently in production and based on the biography of former President Nelson Mandela.

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The need for continued IDC involvement within the film industry
With Cape Town fast becoming a preferred destination for foreign movie producers looking to reduce the budget costs for their blockbusters, the Media SBU invested in the Cape Film Studio to strengthen the Western Cape’s growing motion picture value chain. Our media investment’s fair value has reduced, driven primarily by impairments in media companies battling to sustain their revenue momentum. There has not been a major gain recorded in long-term job creation as films generally create only temporary jobs.

Future focus

The SBU will continue to fund the production of high-quality films.