Frequently Asked Questions
All you need to know about filmmaking in Gauteng, from where to get training and how to start your career to developing a script, finding finance and marketing and distributing your completed movie.
- How do I become a filmmaker?
- What career development opportunities are there in the film industry?
- Where can I study filmmaking?
- Where and what is Gauteng?
- What is the role of Gauteng Film Commission?
- What tax incentives and funding schemes are available for filming in South Africa?
- What is the exchange rate?
- Are South African cast and crew unionised? Are there minimum pay rates?
- I want to make a film. Where do I begin?
- How do I develop a script?
- I have made a film. How can I distribute my film?
- How can I finance my project?
How do I become a filmmaker? What career opportunities are there in the film industry? Where can I study filmmaking?
There are many schools, colleges, universities and other educational bodies offering training programmes aimed at aspiring filmmakers. Many of these bodies host open days at the start of the academic calendar where useful information about career and study opportunities can be gained. See Education, Training and Career Development in the Gauteng Film Commission's online Directory.
For useful tips on career opportunities in the film industry also visit the Mappp-Seta website.
In South Africa there are a number of professional bodies dedicated to growing professionalism in the film industry. Many of these bodies offer advanced training programmes and master classes. See Industry Bodies in the Online Resources section of the GFC Directory. Also see Education, Training and Career Development in the Directory for a comprehensive listing of academies, schools, colleges and universities.
Where and what is Gauteng? What is the role of Gauteng Film Commission? What tax incentives and funding schemes are available for filming in South Africa? What is the exchange rate? Are South African cast and crew unionised? Are there minimum pay rates?
Gauteng (meaning "place of gold") is the smallest yet most developed of South Africa's nine provinces, an economic powerhouse that contributes 33.5% to South Africa’s gross domestic product.
A landlocked province, Gauteng lies on a central plateau known as the "highveld". Pretoria in the Tshwane metropolitan municipality in the north is the administrative capital of South Africa and is known for its lush, green suburbs, internationally respected universities, nature reserves and parks as well as the spectacular Union Buildings, the seat of South African government.
Fifty-five kilometres south of Pretoria, in the centre of Gauteng, lies Johannesburg, the financial and corporate powerhouse of Africa and one of the richest cities in the southern hemisphere. In its 125 years or so of history, Johannesburg has taken centre stage in southern African economics, politics, arts, culture and fashion.
In the east and west of the province are a chain of cities and towns that developed along the gold mining belt of the Witwatersrand. Stark industrial landscapes characterised by spectacular mine dumps are interspersed by open agricultural farmland and suburban strip malls. In the northwest lies the Cradle of Humankind, a Unesco world heritage site. Here, undulating grassland meets mountain scenery, while extensive cave systems contain the largest and most extensive hominid fossil finds known to scientists.
Gauteng offers easy and convenient access to the rest of the region. It is within two hours of flying time to Okavango delta, the Victoria Falls, the Cape winelands, the tropical beaches of Maputo, the arid desert of Namibia, the Kruger National Park as and the spectacular Drakensberg range of mountains.
The Gauteng Film Commission is an agency of the Gauteng Provincial Government tasked with the development and promotion of the audiovisual industries in Gauteng. We report to the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. See Who We Are.
Crews in South Africa are world class and highly experienced. The average working day is 10 hours. There are no unions but the Commercials Producers Association (CPA) has set up a code of working conditions, available at CPA offices. The CPA is a self-regulatory body which represents all the leading South African commercial production companies. Members subscribe to a code of business ethics and are committed to providing excellent and professional production values.
In addition, the Performing Arts Workers' Equity (Pawe) of South Africa has put forward the following recommendations regarding the employment of foreign actors in theatre, film, television and other audiovisual production.
- Pawe requests producers and facilitators to inform the organisation timeously of their intention to contract foreign actors for all productions, whether with local or foreign finance.
- Pawe recommends due sensitivity when considering casting a foreign actor to portray a local person, real or fictional, living or deceased.
- Where possible, no more than five foreign actors should be contracted to any one production.
- All local labour legislation must be adhered to.
- Freelance foreign work seekers must not be employed.
- Pawe requires bona fide proof of foreign equity membership.
I want to make a film. Where do I begin? How do I develop a script? I have made a film. How can I distribute it? How can I finance my project?
More than anything else making a film requires commitment and dedication. Talk to people in the industry who have done it before. Film festivals are a good place to meet filmmakers who would be willing to share advice. Film schools, universities and colleges often host open days where you will be able to find out more about what training programmes are on offer which could help you with your project.
For a listing of Gauteng distributors see Support Services > Distributors in our online Directory. GFC will also help Gauteng-based filmmakers with submitting projects to international and local film festivals. Contact us.
See Online Resources > Film Incentives, Financing and Funding in the GFC Directory for a listing of financing and funding organisations and support programmes. Note that the GFC provides support to emergent filmmakers in Gauteng wishing to gain access to these programmes. Contact us.