International film productions flocking to Cape Town for the summer shooting season are often amazed by the amount of local talent available in South Africa.
What many people are only just starting to realise is that as well as playing the ideal destination location for big budget movies and commercials from overseas, South Africa also has a flourishing local film industry of its own, which is finally starting to gain international recognition.
Most people cite District 6 as the first home-grown South African movie to become an international blockbuster and indeed, with its previously unknown actors and entirely South African production it surprised the world by taking on Hollywood and doing stormingly.
Law and Order in Cape Town
The latest news is that the major international TV series Law and Order will be filming a twelve part series in Cape Town in 2012. This will be a South African franchise of the series, entirely set in Cape Town and with a South African cast, local crew, produced by Africa HD in collaboration with a local production company. While Cape Town has featured in innumerable films and commercials over the years, it isn’t often that the city stars as itself in international screens, so this is an exciting prospect for the film industry and for the city itself.
Cape Town Film Studios
With the new Cape Town Film Studios having been completed and in full production mode for the last year, the local film industry has international grade, state of the art facilities at its disposal, including 3D animation facilities which have recently completed the production of Judge Dredd. In support of the animation facilities there is a vibrant world-class animation industry in Cape Town, and university animation degrees producing fresh new talent every year.
Another boost to the local pool of talent is a new short film competition, the Jamieson First Shot, where screenwriters and directors from The US, South Africa and Russia have the chance of working with Kevin Spacey and being mentored by big Hollywood names. The fact that South Africa has been included in this initiative to boost emerging talent is a great opportunity to showcase local talent in the international arena and develop the local film industry even more.
The success of the local film industry is boosting the attraction of South Africa for international production companies too. With so many skilled crew and excellent post-production facilities available on the spot, they can reduce the costs of their film productions by hiring locally instead of bringing in crew from outside.