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BOOST FOR LOCAL FILM INDUSTRY (article first published : 2004-09-12)

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa, and the Director General of the Department, Dr Alistair Ruiters, with regard to the launch of the incentive packages that would stimulate growth of the South African film industry.

"This is the beginning of a long and very productive journey for the South African film industry. It is a tremendous boost for the expansion of the local film industry. Not only does it offer the local industry potential for progress and growth but it also allows the industry to look at long term planning that could lead to the development of a sustainable film industry in South Africa", said Eddie Mbalo, CEO of the NFVF.

"Most importantly, these incentives will give local producers more bargaining power in negotiations around co-productions. For some time now, whilst we have appealed for co-production treaties with other countries, South Africa has had very little to put on the table. These incentives will further strengthen our hand", said Mr Mbalo.

In December 2003, Cabinet approved the "Strategy for the Development of Content Industries" which included film, broadcast and multimedia content. The aim of the strategy is to expand capacity to promote these industries, institute requisite funding models and introduce incentive programmes.

"The NFVF was widely consulted by the Departments of Trade and Industry and Communications during the drafting of the Cabinet memorandum. Many of our recommendations and ideas pertaining to the growth of the local film sector found expression in the Cabinet memo and today we are excited that Government has launched a programme that will go a long way in meeting the needs of all sectors of the local film industry", added Mr Mbalo.

This is the first incentive programme that allows for the growth in local content development, including production incentives, human capital development initiatives, and increasing the institutional capacities for training. Money spent on training on these productions will be recognized as qualifying South African production expenditure", he said.

The new incentive will encourage large budget productions, including co-productions to shoot in South Africa.

Mr Mbalo noted that these incentives would have significant implications for the local industry.

"There will definitely be an increase in employment and production prospects for professionals within our industry, it will encourage a slate of new projects, it will stimulate the local industry to attract investment, and it will lead to the creation of employment through more production. There is ongoing work in developing further incentives and industry support measures that would address the growing needs present within the industry.

"Furthermore, it will confirm South Africa's position as being a new destination for film investment and production. Mr Mbalo also announced that the NFVF will be part of the implementation process of the incentive programme. Karen Son, the Senior Manager: Finance and Administration in NFVF will be on the panel that will evaluate applications and make final recommendations.

For further information contact Faizal on 083 556 2920.




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