Johannesburg Roads Agency building
Inside the Johannesburg Roads Agency building in central Johannesburg.

The Gauteng audiovisual industry encompasses a range of creative production activities including film, TV and documentary production, commercials, stills photography and multimedia. There are two main streams: the facilitation and provision of logistical and technical services for foreign productions, and the local production of South African commercials, TV, documentaries and feature films.

The Film Industry

The Gauteng film industry plays a vital role in growing a "smart" economy, a creative economy that not only attracts cultural workers and quality jobs, but also contributes to economic growth and social development.

With an annual contribution in excess of R2.5-billion (US$360-million) and direct employment of more than 8 500 workers, the Gauteng film industry plays a significant role in the provincial economy. And, given the nature of the industry, many more thousands are employed as freelancers.

It is estimated that more than 70% of the filming and television industry in South Africa is based in Gauteng, mainly in Johannesburg. The province offers support services, production companies, equipment, supplies and facilities, casting and crew as well as post-production companies and pre-production, research and development services.

Gauteng accounts for the bulk of TV production in South Africa: seven of the top 10 most watched South African TV shows are produced in Gauteng. The province also commands 46.5% of the commercials production market, closely followed by the Western Cape. Research shows that these productions also make a significant contribution to the tourism and hospitality industries.

As South Africa's most affluent province, Gauteng boasts what is arguably Africa's strongest screen culture, offering year-round film festivals. Numerous tertiary film schools attracting film students from across the world offer state-of-the-art training facilities.

The province of Gauteng is home to the three largest broadcasters in Africa, including the global headquarters of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Local crews are world-class and professional, and have gained their experience on a large number of local and international television series, commercials, music videos, and an increasing number of international feature film productions.

There are no unions in the tradition of the American and British bodies, and the standard working day of 10 hours has been established on the recommendation of the Commercial Producers Association, a local industry body.

With state-of-the-art studios to cater to all scales of production, film-processing and post-production facilities to meeting the most exacting of standards, and excellent logistics and service support, Gauteng is well on its way to becoming an international location of choice.

The growing number of international productions have been filmed in Gauteng - including District 9, Invictus, Endgame, Blood Diamond, The Bang-Bang Club, Ali, White Wedding and Hotel Rwanda - helping the province's production companies establish a strong track record. (See below for a list of movies filmed in Gauteng.)

Gauteng has several universities, technical training and private tertiary institutions which offer courses or degrees in film and related media, as well as provide the local industry with many well-trained and versatile actors. These have contributed to the formation of a large, enthusiastic, and readily available pool of labour for any form of production.

The world-class OR Tambo International Airport is Africa's busiest, and provides the most convenient access route for most local and international productions. Ample accommodation throughout the province can cater to all tastes and budgets, while the province is also home to the world-renowned Blue Train and Rovos Rail.

Advantageous currency exchange rates and the affordability of local production, all promise extensive savings, making Gauteng not only an aesthetically desirable location, but likewise an affordable - and extremely competitive - one.

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Fast Facts

  • The South African content production industry is valued at an estimated R5.5 billion ($800-million) a year.
  • The film industry contributes R2.5-billion ($360-million) a year to the Gauteng economy.
  • 80% of the over 150 registered producers in South Africa are based in Gauteng.
  • Gauteng is home to approximately 70% of all South African TV productions - seven out of the top 10 SA TV shows are Gauteng-based.
  • Just under 50% of South Africa's commercials are made in Gauteng.
  • Johannesburg is one of the oldest film communities in the world, with a national newsreel dating from the beginning of the 20th century.
  • Gauteng accounts for approximately 85% of all local film productions.
  • As a film centre, the Gauteng province has a wide range of advanced film equipment and production facilities including post-production facilities for international film productions.
  • Johannesburg has a long-standing theatrical tradition and can offer an impressive array of acting talent.

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Filmed in Gauteng

Movies filmed in Gauteng
Filmed in Gauteng

The following are just a handful of the feature films, documentaries, TV films and series, short films, videos and commercials filmed in Gauteng.

District 9 (2009)
Director: Neill Blomkamp
With: Sharlto Copley, David James

Invictus (2009)
Director: Clint Eastwood
With: Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon

Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Director: Terry George
With: Don Cheadle, Joaquin Phoenix

Gangster's Paradise: Jerusalema (2008)
Director: Ralph Ziman
With: Rapulana Seiphemo, Jeffrey Zekele

Broken Arrow (1996)
Director: John Woo
With: Johan Travolta, Christian Slater

Malcolm X (1992)
Director: Spike Lee
With: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett

Dredd (2012)
Director: Pete Travis

Endgame (2009)
Director: Pete Travis
With: William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Tsotsi (2005)
Director: Gavin Hood
With: Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto

The Bang Bang Club (2010)
Director: Steven Silver
With: Ryan Phillippe, Frank Rautenbach

Catch a Fire (2006)
Director: Phillip Noyce
With: Tim Robbins, Bonnie Henna

Who am I? (1998)
Director: Benny Chan, Jackie Chan
With: Jackie Chan, Michelle Ferre

Goodbye Bafana (2007)
Director: Bille August
With: Joseph Fiennes, Dennis Haysbert

Stander (2003)
Director: Bronwen Hughes
With: Thomas Jane, David O'Hara

White Wedding (2009)
Director: Jann Turner
With: Kenneth Nkosi, Rapulana Seiphemo

Winnie (2011)
Director: Darryl Roodt
With: Terrence Howard, Jennifer Hudson

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2002)
Director: David Lister
With: Robert Davi, Kelly LeBrock

Dangerous Ground (1997)
Director: Darryl Roodt
With: Ice Cube, Elizabeth Hurley

Alive in Joburg (2005 Short Film)
Director: Neill Blomkamp:

Sarafina! (1992)
Director: Darryl Roodt
With: Whoopi Goldberg, Leleti Khumalo

Canterbury Tales (2003 Mini-Series)
Director: Andy DeEmmony, John McKay
With: Julie Walters, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)
Director: Darrell Roodt
With: Richard Harris, James Earl Jones

Gold (1974)
Director: Peter Hunt
With: Roger Moore, Susannah York

Only Love (1998 TV Movie)
Director: John Erman
With: Marisa Tomei, Rob Morrow

Shakalaka Boom Boom (2007)
Director: Suneel Drashan
With: Bobby Deol, Upen Patel

Forgiveness (2004)
Director: Ian Gabriel
With: Arnold Vosloo, Lionel Newton

Themba: A Boy Called Hope (2010)
Director: Stefanie Sycholt
With: Rapulana Seiphemo, Junior Singo

The Life of Kevin Carter (2004 Documentary)
Director: Dan Krauss

Finding Lenny (2009)
Director: Neal Sundstrom
With: Barry Hilton, Russel Savadier

Hoodlum & Son (2003)
Director: Ashley Way
With: Ron Perlman, Robert Vaughn

Mapantsula (1988)
Director: Oliver Schmitz
With: Marcel Van Heerden, Dolly Rathebe

Malunde (2001)
Director: Stefanie Sycholt
With: Ian Roberts, Kagiso Mtetwa

Footskating 101 (2007)
Director: Thomas Ferreira, Brendan Jack
With: Brendan Jack, Andrew Buckland

Jozi (2010)
Director: Craig Freimond
With: Carl Beukes, Lionel Newton

Gums and Noses (2004)
Director: Craig Freimond
With: Antony Coleman, Lionel Newton

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