A sagging South African currency may be of concern for the local population, but for international filmmakers it only serves to make South Africa an even more desirable option for film and television production.
As a recent survey conducted by Deutsche Bank suggests, goods and services come at a much cheaper price in South Africa. Part of their study compared the average price of a 500ml beer in a neighbourhood pub in an expat area from various cities around the world. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Johannesburg is listed as the second cheapest city in the world to buy a beer at $1.70 – only Prague is cheaper at $1.30. On the other end of the scale is Oslo, Norway ($9.90), with New York City ($7.40) and Boston ($7.20) not far behind.
But beer is not the only thing that comes cheaper in South Africa, film production services are also far more affordable to overseas companies, allowing them to achieve a much higher production quality for a lower price. South Africa also has a diverse range of location options and skilled English-speaking crews. This, combined with the film incentive programme from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTi), which provides rebates up to 35% of production costs, makes South Africa one of the premier film destinations in the world.
A list of recent foreign productions in South Africa include Homeland, Black Sails, Of Kings and Prophets, The Dark Tower, Eye in the Sky and Avengers: Age of Ultron.