FAQs About The South African Film Industry

How many films are produced in South Africa each year?

A total of one hundred and four (104) locally (SA) and internationally produced films were released in South Africa between January and September 2021, and this amounted to a total Box Office Gross of R126,6 million. Of the full universe of films released, there were only nine (9) SA produced films with a Box Office Gross of R1,4 million.

Of the nine (9), four (4) films were independently released, three (3) films were State Theatre productions, later released at selected Ster-Kinekor theatres, as a result of the strategic partnership between the South African State Theatre and Ster-Kinekor Theatres aimed at screening theatre productions in cinemas and the remaining two (2) films were released by Indigenous Film Distribution and Filmfinity

What is the market share of South African films?

In 2017 the market share for domestic films was 4%, the market share for SA produced films in the first half of 2018 was 3%. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market share of SA produced films has reduced to 1%.

How many cinema screens are there in South Africa?
+- 800 screens in more than 70 complexes

How did COVID-19 impact the industry?

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the film industry. The impact includes business closures (38%), limiting local content development (28%) and limited training and skills development (28%) opportunities because of disruptions in production.

Figure 2: Impact of Covid-19 on the Industry

Source: Film Industry Stakeholder Survey, 2021

How much does the film industry contribute to the South African economy?

According to the NFVF’s 2020/2021 Economic Impact of the SA film industry report:

The financial year 2019/20 is used as the reference year (base year) because it was the last period of ‘normal’ industry operations before the disruption and impact of Covid-19 in 2020/21.

Table 3: Economic Impact 2019/20

  Direct Indirect Induced Total
Production (R million) R3 868.78 R946.07 R2 366.36 R7 181.20
GDP at market prices (R million) R522.33 R157.01 R408.41 R1 087.75
Employment (Number) 18 104 3 302 10 039 31 444
Total Annualised Payroll (R million) R108.67 R30.70 R78.40 R217.76
Household Income (R million) R370.58 R119.77 R312.26 R802.62
Contribution to Taxes (R million) R46.57 R12.66 R32.03 R91.26

Source: BDO and Quantec Analysis

The direct contribution of the film industry to the economy of South Africa is projected at R3,86 billion. An additional R3,31 billion is projected to have been generated through indirect (R946.07m) and induced (R2,36 billion) impacts, resulting in a total contribution to the local economy of R7,18 billion.

Te direct impact of the film industry at market prices was estimated at R522.33m, the indirect impact at R157.01m, and the induced impact at R408.41m. The total estimated impact of the film industry on GDP at market prices if all the impacts are added is estimated to be R1,08 billion. Thus, for every R1 million in output generated by the film industry, an additional R0.76m of GDP at market prices was generated in the economy if the direct and indirect impacts are considered, and R1.22m if the induced impacts are also added.

2020/21 (Covid-19 year)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the operations of the film industry and the impact of the industry on the economy and jobs. The economic losses to output and employment caused by COVID-19 related disruption in industry activity for substantial periods (as per lockdown restrictions) during the 2020/21 financial year were substantial.

Table 4: Economic Impact 2020/21

  Direct Indirect Induced Total
Production (R million) R1 571.80 R384.37 R961.40 R2 917.56
GDP at market prices (R million) R212.21 R63.79 R165.93 R441.93
Employment (Number) 7 355 1 341 4 079 12 775
Total Annualised Payroll (R million) R44.15 R12.47 R31.85 R88.47
Household Income (R million) R150.56 R48.66 R126.87 R326.09
Contribution to Taxes (R million) R18.92 R5.14 R13.01 R37.08

Source: BDO and Quantec Analysis

The film industry had an estimated expenditure of R1,03 billion in 2020/21, a 59% decline compared to 2019/20. The decline is mainly attributed to disruption in production activity for extended periods during 2020/21.

The contribution of the film industry to the economy of South Africa is projected at R2,91 billion in 2020/21, down from R7,18 billion in 2019/20. Household income declined by R476.53m in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20. The film industry is estimated to have suffered losses of 18 669 FTE jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic, amounting to R129.29m loss in remuneration. The industry’s contribution to government taxes declined by R54.18m.

What is the size of the film industry?
Estimated Size
Pre-production – 2.5%
Production – 94.6%
Post-production – 0.005%
Distribution – 2.9%

The Production stage of the SAFI’s value chain has the highest expenditure, accounting for roughly 95% of the entire industry while post-production accounts for less than 1%.

What is the film industry Multiplier Effect?

The employment multiplier increased by a multiple of 5,65 for every R1 invested in the 2019/20 fiscal. This means that for every R1 of expenditure an additional R2.82 cents of additional income was generated in the economy. In the case of employment, we estimate that for example, for every R1 million of direct expenditure, around 5,65 annual jobs were created/ sustained.

Table 1: Multiplier Set

   GDP / Income multiplier Employment  – jobs per R1 million of expenditure
Film Industry –  2019/20 2,82 5,65
South Africa (All Industries) – 2019/20 1,75 3,10
Film Industry –  2016/17 2,81 4,90

Source: Quantec