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South Africa

80 Strand St. #112
Cape Town, RSA 8001
+2772 357 1234



The current predicament facing film and television workers is nothing short of alarming. Since the writers’ and actors’ strike in the United States last year, the flow of work in Hollywood has dwindled to a mere trickle.

Executive producer Patrick Caligiuri, based in Los Angeles, California, took to TikTok to shed light on the unemployment crisis. His video quickly went viral on TikTok and LinkedIn. In it, he highlighted an unsettling trend: the third season of the popular HBO show Warrior (2023), which was set in San Francisco’s Asian gang milieu, was filmed not in the United States, but in Cape Town, South Africa.

South Africa’s film industry primarily serves as a backdrop for international productions. Local companies supply crews and equipment to international productions, such as Netflix’s recent filming of One Piece (2023) at Cape Town Film Studios. While senior roles are typically filled by overseas professionals, South Africans often take on less senior positions or smaller acting roles, occasionally securing more significant parts through luck or talent.

This influx of international productions is a boon for the South African film industry, creating jobs and stimulating both direct and indirect economic activity. Local businesses benefit from catering to the needs of international productions, and the global exposure of South African locations on screens of all sizes boosts local tourism, creating a symbiotic relationship between the international entertainment industry and the local economy.

However, the positive impact of these productions is overshadowed by a harsh reality. If the industry is contracting in Hollywood, it is likely contracting elsewhere as well, leading to fewer opportunities and less income for industry workers globally. Despite the benefits of hosting international productions, the number of such projects in South Africa remains minimal compared to the UK, EU, and USA, likely accounting for less than 1% of all international productions. This translates to a meagre income for South African talent and crews, exacerbated by the unfavourable Rand/Dollar exchange rate.

Adding to the industry’s woes, the South African Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition recently slashed tax incentives for foreign-funded productions. This move puts South Africa at a disadvantage compared to countries like Australia, which offer more attractive deals to international filmmakers, potentially driving productions away from South Africa.


I think its about time i step up and talk about how bad its gotten in Hollywood. I understand industry & jobs come and go, but many of are debating if this truly is “the end” of an era.

♬ original sound - Producer Patrick

Thank you Spectrum News for picking up on the story! This is a very important issue effecting so many right now.

♬ original sound - Producer Patrick

The impact of these developments is already being felt. Netflix has reduced its production slate by approximately 20% since 2023, while Amazon Prime Video has announced its withdrawal from producing in Africa, including local productions. Consequently, all employees of Amazon Prime Video Africa are being laid off, further crippling an already struggling industry.

The repercussions are dire. Local productions, which also rely on tax incentives and rebates from the South African government, are left to fend for themselves. Budgets for these productions are minimal, often relying on producers’ personal networks to secure locations and crew, with cast and crew receiving only basic remuneration.

In essence, the South African film and TV industry finds itself in a state of crisis, skipping the recession and plummeting straight into a post-COVID-19 depression. Entertainment workers, who barely survived the pandemic, now face the harsh reality of having to seek alternative careers to make ends meet.

As Patrick Caligiuri implores in his viral video, it is crucial to support these entertainment workers in their career transitions. Their resilience, adaptability, and strong work ethic make them valuable assets in various roles, from project managers to marketing professionals.

It is imperative that we rally together to support these workers and prevent the industry from succumbing to despair. By offering them opportunities and employment, we can help them navigate through these challenging times and ensure that they do not have to resort to drastic measures.

Rick Bronkhorst

Rick Bronkhorst

Founder & Writer

Rick is a former commercial fixed-wing pilot who graduated with merit from City Varsity, earning a BA in Film & TV Production in 2021. He is the founder of, The Rainbow Mafia, and Skatte Doos, and co-founded Groovejet. With a strong passion for filmmaking, he aspires to produce streaming series and films for both the South African and international markets. Additional passions include psychology, reading, hiking, rowing, and good wine.



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80 Strand St. #112, Cape Town, RSA 8001

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