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The Rise of South African Studios

The Rise of South African Studios

An article on a 2015 film blog, labelled South Africa as “Hollywood’s other studio” and with recent developments in production facilities offered around the country, it looks definitely looks like the label fits.

According to Cape Town Film Studios CEO Nico Dekker, their state of the art production facility is “already booked through next year, and possibly until 2020. It’s remarkable. We’re turning work away again and I never thought that would be possible.”

Such is the demand from overseas production companies to film in South Africa. Producers and performers have praised the studio, with actor and author Stephen Fry tweeting that the Cape Town studio made Britain’s famed Pinewood Studios “look v shabby”.

The 200-hectare studio has become increasingly popular amongst Hollywood circles, as it duplicates the looks of high-tech block blusters at a much lower cost. For example, Fox’s Chronicle earned close to $130 million worldwide, but cost only $10 million to make. The studio’s latest sound stage is the first in Africa, with a double-stage and movable sound wall. Dekker hopes to continue expansion of the studio

In the wake of Cape Town Film Studios success, comes the launch of a filmmaking hub in Johannesburg. Studio Joburg was launched in May this year and hopes to become an “important content and entertainment hub for Gauteng Province”, said Managing Director Eddie Mbalo.

The new studio is based at the Joburg Expo Centre in Nasrec, which is very familiar with film production – having served as the venue for TV series Rockville, BBC’s Undercover and Neill Blomkamp’s District 9.


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“The Expo Centre’s multipurpose facilities includes more than 50 000 square metres of indoor space and double that in versatile outdoor space, as well as a multi-purpose arena with a capacity of up to 20 000.”

Between Cape Town Film Studios, Studio Joburg and the rumoured film studio complex to be developed on the Durban beachfront, South Africa has certainly cemented itself as an important player in the global film business.

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