The film sector can be defined as film production, documentary production, TV, commercials, stills photography, as well as contemporary new media platforms, such as animation and gaming. South Africa in general and the Western Cape in particular are well-known as desirable film and production locations. South Africa has a vibrant, growing film industry that is increasingly competitive internationally.

The industry is also growing in the Western Cape, reinforcing the region’s status as a desirable production location. 

In the first half of 2015, 121 feature films were released at South Africa’s box office, valued at over ZAR548 million. 

The country’s revenue from motion picture, video and TV production is expected to grow by 3.3% from USD977m in 2012 to USD1.2bn in 2018. 

In 2014, theatrical revenues for all films released in South Africa totalled ZAR 880.3m, an increase of 0.13%. Foreign films grew by 6%, while South African films dropped by 44% in 2014. 

228 films were released at South Africa’s box office in 2014. Of those, 23 were South African films. In the same year, 56 film productions were shot in the country.

Afrikaans language claimed 48% of the release on local productions, and 66% of local box office revenues. 

Animation studios in the Western Cape are the largest animation producers on the African continent. 

Over 201% of all film projects in South Africa in 2012 were filmed in the Western Cape. 

The Cape Town Film Studio situated in the Western Cape has been rated as one of the top 10 studios globally. 

According to the Commercial Producers Association Industry Survey 2013, the average total turnover generated for all types of commercials in South Africa per company in 2012/2013 was ZAR24m. 

The total turnover generated for all commercial productions for the same period was ZAR1089.4m. 

Cape Town-based production companies generated ZAR731m turnover, while Johannesburg-based companies generated ZAR351m in turnover in 2012/2013. 

The global video game market generated revenues of ZAR2.2bn in 2012.

The South African games industry generated ZAR53m in revenue in 2014, an increase of 82% from the previous year.

There are many reasons why the Western Cape is a preferred destination for local and international production teams. Local and foreign filmmakers are taking advantage of the country's diverse and unique locations – as well as its low production costs. Among other attractive benefits, low production costs and favourable exchange rates present considerable savings for film-makers: it is up to 40% cheaper to make films here than it is in Europe and the USA, and up to 20% cheaper than in Australia. 

Other reasons include: 

•  Lowest annual operating costs when benchmarked against Johannesburg, New York, Madrid, Mexico, Paris, Hong Kong and London. 

•  World-class studio facilities

•  Diverse landscapes, creating ‘a world in one set’

•  Availability of skilled production professionals

•  Favourable climate and light

•  A menu of production incentives, positions South Africa and the Western Cape as a preferred destination for international production teams

•  Competent, experienced and technically proficient crew and production professionals

•  Specialised services available, including set designers, set builders, stunts, special effects and costumes, among others

•  English widely spoken, and time zone is aligned with Europe

•  Excellent transport, banking and ICT infrastructure

•  Vast tourism and hospitality options, including accommodation, logistics companies and catering services, among others

•  Excellent post production facilities

•  Lengthy day light hours in summer (average of 15 hours: 5:30am to 20:00pm).

•  High standards of copyright protection