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Cape Town Film Industry | Cape Town, South Africa

More photos from this internship can be found here.

More photos from this internship can be found here.

Cape Town is home to the largest film industry in the Southern Hemisphere and as a result, major films and international advertising campaigns are regularly filmed in locations throughout the city. Notable movies that were recently filmed in Cape Town include: Lord of War, Blood Diamond, Rendition, Hitman, Ask the Dusk, Invictus, District 9 and Safe House. Film producers love to base their projects out of Cape Town because the landscape is dynamic, the quality of light is excellent during the summer months, and production costs are significantly lower than in the U.S. or Europe. Interns who apply for film internships will work with local production companies during the summer film season in South Africa, which runs from September through March.

Duration of Internship:

  • 10 – 12 weeks

The following organizations are examples of the organizations you may be placed with through this internship, however, there are many other options as well. A clearly-written, detailed cover letter and “Individualized Placement Statement,” part of the application process, will enable us to place you in a suitable organization. All internship sites offer good learning opportunities. If a particular organization interests you, feel free to mention this in your application, but please note that placement with a certain company cannot be guaranteed. Placement decisions are based on the skills and interest of the intern, the needs of the worksite, and position availability.

Kalahari Pictures: http://kalaharipictures.com

Founded by American Michael S. Murphey in South Africa in 2002, Kalahari Pictures is one of Africa’s leading production companies. Our unique mix of global perspective and local knowledge has contributed to some of Africa’s most successful productions, including global blockbusters, Oscar-nominated films and Emmy-winning TV series. We have also serviced hundreds of international commercials.

Tin Toy Productions: http://tintoy.tv/  

Tin Toy is a film production company that covers branded content and commercials. We have the capability of handling a video in it’s entirety from pre to post production. We specialize in working with our clients to create the very best videos, commercials, AV's and documentaries. We offer a full in house studio with casting facilities, two studios, a sound studio as well as an edit and vfx suite. Our talented team are all fully capable in their respective fields and under Tin Toy we all share the same mission of not only matching client’s expectations, but in fact exceeding them.  

Street Talk: http://streettalktv.com/  

Since their first show in 2008, they have broadcast more than 200 episodes of our popular program to audiences across South Africa. Their 15-minute TV programs reach 4 million people and are helping to build a better society by encouraging active citizenship through discussion. Their short Documentary films: reflect the views and experiences of ordinary people, cross class, cultural, ethnic identity, social, economic, lifestyle and religious boundaries. They change perceptions, break communication barriers and promote tolerance and understanding between individuals and communities. They inspire people to become active citizens, and train previously disadvantaged individuals in film making skills.

Gambit Films: http://gambitfma.co.za/

Gambit Films was founded in 2009 when a group of passionate, qualified film makers formed a multimedia agency that focuses on creating, developing and producing new and innovative intellectual property for Commercials, Film and Television. Gambit Films works in partnership with a series of super awesome companies-from conceptual designs to delivery of any audio/visual product be it a commercial, music video, corporate video, or whatever you fancy, the team involved works as if their lives depended on it. By injecting a stronger dose of originality and creativity into the local industry and constantly acquiring and sharing knowledge, they aim to promote the building of a sustainable industry and lead a new wave of inspired filmmakers. 

Priest Productionshttp://www.priest.co.za/

Founded in 2003, Priest’s strength has always been crafting a story and capturing an audience. The production team works with a variety of high skilled directors and videographers to create and produce a variety of online content. Priest caters to digital agencies, PR agencies, tertiary institutions, start-ups and not-for-profit organizations to create and produce high-quality content. They work with a variety of freelance directors, director of photographers, production designers and sound studios. The team works closely with the agency and client to develop and craft a strong concept, script and then masterfully execute the production. They handle all post production in-house. Priest also operates an art gallery space.

Interns will be individually placed in a specific company within the film industry, based on their experience and interests. Specific job descriptions will vary by placement and the host organization's current work and staffing needs.

Work will involve both behind-the-scenes, office-based work as well as on-site work during film shoots when the company has live production work. Interns will learn a great deal about how a successful film production company functions on a daily basis. Responsibilities will be varied, and may include booking clients, sitting in on important meetings, administrative work, assisting with event management, marketing and communications-related work, maintaining records, editing, audio production, and assisting with actual film shoots. Internship duties will ultimately reflect the nature of the production work of the specific placement.

Academic Background

  • Film and video, photography, media studies, other relevant majors

Skills/Experience

  • Applicants must display a passion for film making. Previous experience in service-based industries is helpful. Adopting a hard-working attitude is an absolute necessity when interning with any South African film production company; during production interns will sometimes be required to work very long hours. This internship will also involve research/desk/administrative work, which is the less glamorous but equally important side of the industry.

Language Requirements

  • English. Experience in a European language is a plus for placement with production companies that serve European clients.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Program Fee: $3,450
  • Host Site Fees:  $1,850*
  • Housing10-12 weeks: $1,450
  • House Cleaning Fee: $100
  • International Travel: $1,700
  • Recommended Immunizations: $400**

*This host site fee reflects a discount exclusive to IE3 Global Interns

** Costs vary based on medical history and insurance coverage

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Food: $300 ($75/wk)
  • Local Transportation:  $125 ($31.25/wk)
  • Recreation: $200 ($50/wk)
  • Personal Expenses: $150 ($37.50/wk)

Budgeting Note: Past Cape Town interns have suggested that incoming interns may want to bring additional money so that they may participate in the wide range of activities Cape Town and surrounding areas have to offer. Do some research about suggested activities for visitors and the related costs and think about if you will need to budget additional funds.

Additional Expense Information

The Host Site Fees Includes:

  • Personalized placement
  • Airport pick-up/drop off
  • In-country orientation and tour of Cape Town
  • 24/7 Emergency Support
  • Weekly organized social and cultural activities

Interns will be accommodated in private student-oriented housing in the Observatory neighborhood. Interns will have a fully-furnished private room, and shared common areas: living room, bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities. Houses have 24-hour security. A housekeeper comes at least 2 times a week.

Interns pay a $100 cleaning fee and a $250 refundable housing deposit, directly to the housing company. The $250 deposit will be refunded, assuming there is no damage done to the house.

House Wifi: Students pay $20.00 per month for wireless internet connection on 2 devices. Internet reliability and speed are not as good as in the U.S.

Other Costs: Other utilities costs are split amongst the housemates.

“I honestly did not know what to expect. I have had internships in the film industry before that were a good experience, but I can't say that I enjoyed them all that much. Those internships consisted of doing mundane tasks, such as filling out crew paperwork and making coffee. I am very happy to say that this internship is the best job I could have hoped for. My boss treats me with respect, and truly values my opinion. I am working on the creative side of filmmaking, and am truly able to see how the development process works…[My work] perfectly aligns with my professional goals, as I am learning about all aspects of the production of a feature length film…I have been able to build self-confidence in both a social and professional setting. I had to meet a lot of new people, and be creative in developing these film projects…and start to feel comfortable speaking what was on my mind. I have learned a lot about producing films. I held multiple informal informational interviews with my boss, and he explained to me a lot of what producing is and how the whole process works. He taught be about budgeting, scheduling, script coverage, finding actors, and other more trivial aspects of the job.”

-Justin Roach, University of Washington

“…I have learned that worry is best abandoned for accountability and proactivity and asserting yourself may often be uncomfortable but rewarding…I’ve learned that flexibility does not mean you have failed…The greatest reward for me has been the relationships I have found here, hands down. Second to that is the reward of complete immersion into an alternating lifestyle. The sights, the smells, the textures, the landscapes, the tastes, the places, every part of this experience, positive and negative, has been absolutely necessary.”

-Angelina Hess, University of Oregon

“I couldn’t have asked for better support from my supervisors.  My main professional goal of this internship was to gain hands on experience in filming and editing at a professional media production company, and that is exactly they allowed me to achieve.  They threw me head first into some big projects that were unlike anything I had done before but were always there to help if I needed guidance.  They made me feel comfortable in a foreign workplace in a foreign country.  This helped me gain more confidence in my work, which allowed me to advance my skills and play an essential role in completing our television series by the deadline.  During my internship, I helped set up and film several shoots, edited one 30 minute talk show pilot, five 12 minute documentaries, three 30 second promotional videos, and the introduction sequence to a television series which is aired at the beginning of each episode.  I greatly expanded my portfolio and gained valuable technical and workplace skills.

I gained a great deal of meaningful professional experience, but the most important thing that I took away from my trip was the relationships that I formed while I was there.  I loved the food, the mountains, the beaches, the animals, and the forests, but the people are what I loved the most.  It is great to know that I can go half way across the world to a country where I don’t know anyone and end up making so many great friendships.”

-Ross Druckrey, University of Oregon

“In the film industry experience is what gets you a job. Yet that experience can be hard to get. Why would anyone give you a chance? Thanks to my three month internship through IE3 Global with Fly on the Wall Productions, I gained valuable experience and can now include the following on a resume: worked with Red Bull as a client, had my work broadcast on South Africa news stations, worked as an assistant editor on a feature length documentary, shot footage for that documentary, had my work shown at a venue to over 2,000 people as part of a live event, worked with high end professional camera formats such as the Red Epic and Alexa, have worked with people all over the world and have a demo reel comprised of some really impressive footage.

My personal growth, while harder to quantify, has been just as astonishing. I always wondered if I could manage in a different culture and I know now that I can. I've also gained a wealth of experiences I can look back on when life gets boring and say, "Wow, I did those things." …the number one thing I've achieved personally is confidence. Confidence in both my work and myself, which will prove priceless in the years following my graduation in the real world trying, when trying to land a job and forge a life for myself.”

-Alex Hoelscher, University of Montana

Important note: Because this is an individualized placement, applicants must describe in their cover letters the specific type of work and organization that interests them. While we can't guarantee to meet all of an applicant's wishes, the more information we have, the better a fit we are able to find.

Interns will be living in Observatory, and will be supported by local host organization Volunteer Adventure Corps. Observatory, or “Obz” as locals call it, is one of the most exciting student neighborhoods in all of Cape Town. It features an eclectic sundry of nightspots and restaurants, and an atmosphere that is surprisingly cosmopolitan given its intimate size. Much of this unique vibe is attributed to the presence of many international visitors. It is not uncommon to overhear conversations in several different languages while walking along the street. Yet, Obz is also intrinsically South African. Living in Obz and experiencing its cultural and political vibes will help interns better understand, on a greater scale, the complexities of the “new” South Africa.

Observatory is popular among the international student/ volunteer community because it is located halfway between the city center and the False Bay coastline. Visitors have an endless selection of outdoor activities to choose from, such as hiking, surfing, scuba diving, golfing, outdoor concerts and wine tasting. Cape Town is surrounded by oceans and is home to many beautiful beaches! The city centre, known to Capetonians as the “bowl”, is the ideal place to go on cultural excursions.

Terms

Fall | Winter

Application Deadline

Fall: April 15
Winter: September 1

Basic Requirements

- Film and video, photography, media studies, other relevant majors.
- Applicants must display a passion for film making.
- Previous experience in service-based industries is helpful.