The South African Film Industry refers to the broader audio-visual media industry which includes film, television and digital media as defined in the Revised White Paper, 2017. The film industry is one of the oldest in the world having initiated in 1896.
The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) hosted the South African Film Summit on 4-5 February 2019 in Johannesburg at the Skyrink Studios, attracting over 1000 delegates from the audio-visual industry, government, local and international delegates and media.
The Summit had an overarching theme titled, “Transformation and innovation in the South African Film/Audio-Visual Industry and the 4th Industrial Revolution. Are we geared for change?” with the intention to explore critical factors that will distinctly position and brand the South African film industry within the global context. Five sub-themes were used to unpack specific topics on:
- Owning the SA Storyline: Positioning and Branding the SA Storyline in the Global Context, Intellectual Property and Copyright Ownership: Whose story is it? Whose Content is It?
- Policy, Structure and Institutions: Redefining an enabling policy framework and appropriate institutional arrangements. Do Policies and Institutions respond to the 4th Industrial Revolution environment? This sub-theme explored whether the current legislative and policy environment is enabling for the audio-visual industry to participate in the 4th Industrial Revolution by answering key questions.
- Disruption and Innovation in the Value Chain: The changing patterns of Development, Financing, Production, Distribution, Exhibition Models, Content Consumption and Market access. Are we geared for change?
- Funding and Resourcing for growth: How do we improve Funding, Financing and Investment of the South African Audio-visual Industry? Figures from the NFVF’s Economic Impact of the South African Film Industry released in 2017 shows that the industry contributed R3.5 billion and created 21 656 jobs.
- Empowerment, Inclusivity and Capacity Building: Youth Empowerment, Training & Development, Gender Equality and Working Conditions.
In a statement released by the Department of Arts & Culture, Minister Nathi Mthethwa said: “Policy coordination and coherence is important to ensure there are no unnecessary bottlenecks, contradictions and gaps that will negatively impact on the business environment while simultaneously encouraging investment, particularly from the private sector.
Addressing South Africa’s positioning in the film sector, not only in the continent but also globally, is an important one if the country is to compete in the creative economy”.
Katleho Ramaphakela and Rehad Desai represented the IPO on the Reference Group that developed the programme content focus themes and will continue to meet quarterly to ensure that Summit outcomes are implemented.
Key recommendations were presented at plenaries to inform a 5-year Implementation Plan, a blueprint that will provide short, medium- and long-term deliverables for the SA Audiovisual industry. DAC will be responsible for leading the implementation, review and monitoring, while the Summit will become an annual forum for stakeholders from industry, civil society, government and the private sector.
One of the most eagerly-anticipated sessions was the announcement of allocations of funding for the financial year starting 1 April 2019 and ending March 2020:
NFVF – R72 million for research, production, distribution, marketing and distribution
IDC – R329 million – R200 million set aside for black-owned companies, R80 million for women and R29 million for youth with an estimated 4000 jobs created.
National Empowerment Fund – R175 million across the film value chain
DTI – R370 million: new incentive makes provision for producers to buy gear and all international films shot on location in SA must hire black suppliers across the film value chain to qualify.
M-Net – R2.5 billion with the bulk spent on producing reality TV shows and telenovelas. There are models that allow producers to retain IP