South African cinema is the film and film industry of the nation of South Africa. In recent years, films about South Africa have shifted away from the focus on apartheid and are now exploring modern life and love for global audiences. This new wave of films has been made possible by increased funding, which has allowed black filmmakers to create a cultural moment that is similar to what is happening in Hollywood. Nigerian actor and filmmaker Fabian Adeoye Lojede, who is active in both the Nigerian and South African film industry, spoke to Saturday Punch about the differences between the two industries.
In the past, most of the local film industry was financed and served by South Africa's white minority. This meant that access to cable and movie theaters was limited for black South Africans living in former municipalities. The plot revolves around the African custom of lobola, in which a bride's family is compensated for her loss with a payment, traditionally earned. The site of Africa's first film studio, created in 1915 and demolished in 1972, is now occupied by a shopping mall in Johannesburg's suburb of Killarney.
After a screening at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg, the producers of the film stated the need to make films that present South Africa in a positive way, similar to how Hollywood portrays America, and prove that many of the world's negative stereotypes are wrong. He said: “South Africa is developing in terms of international best practices such as film funding, bonds, soft investment, co-production opportunities for filmmakers, etc. South African television networks also distribute local productions to the rest of Africa through direct sales and a form of barter, where content is exchanged for advertising airtime. The South African government has promoted apartheid-focused entertainment on local television as part of the country's own efforts to take its history into account. South Africa has a vibrant and growing film industry that is gaining recognition and becoming increasingly competitive on an international level.
Jerusalem and District 9 are two examples of South African films that have been featured in the South African film season at BFI Southbank in London. Other popular films include Material, which tells the story of a young Muslim's quest to make it on the comedy circuit, and Spud, based on John van de Ruit's best-selling book about a boy in a South African boarding school. The Nigerian actor and filmmaker Fabian Adeoye Lojede also spoke about how Nigeria can learn from South Africa's success in terms of international best practices such as film funding, bonds, soft investment, co-production opportunities for filmmakers, etc. He also highlighted that Nigeria has highly trained staff who can attract international films that will be shot in Nigeria, even if the film is not about Nigeria or set in Nigeria. The South African government also offers incentives for filmmakers through its Film Incentive Program. This program provides tax deductions for production costs under certain provisions of the Income Tax Act.
This allows filmmakers to receive an allowance for their films instead of deductions.