Sandisiwe Mbhele
Lifestyle Journalist
2 minute read
19 Mar 2021
5:06 pm

Huge cash injection to ‘revive’ local film industry

Sandisiwe Mbhele

Partnership with Netflix and NFVF aims to create as much employment as possible and give an opportunity to women and youth filmmakers.

Picture: iStock

Local film productions have received a much-needed boost in funding after Netflix and National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) partnered to “revive” film productions during the pandemic.

NFVF chief executive officer Makhosazana Khanyile said the industry was in a challenging position in April 2020. Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa asked them to revise their annual plans, as all productions were halted. It became clear by the day Covid-19 was staying with us for longer than expected.

Speaking to The Citizen, Khanyile says: “We revised all of our annual plans, how best to fund the industry during this time and found different sources of funding. We needed to think about how can we enable the industry to work, create jobs and get funding.”

They decided to look at ways of funding film productions completely, at 100% capacity something they did not do previously. NFVF provides a certain amount of funds to filmmakers, it is on the filmmakers to find other investors to complete their films.

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Khanyile explains they diverted their own funds to make this possible and that was when Netflix approached them. The discussions were held from late July, the popular streaming platform was more than happy to invest in localised content.

“It is an R28 million investment, 50-50. It will focus on micro-budget films, that don’t have large sources of funds or crews but the talent is there.” One of the biggest reasons for this partnership is to create as much employment as possible and give an opportunity to women and youth filmmakers.

This is how the funds will be divided:

  • R16 million: R4 million for four features films. It will go to emerging women and young film creators. Khanyile says this category is for the first time features and applicable to those who have at least made one short film.
  • R12 million:  Two films will receive six million each, this category is for established filmmakers.

The NFVF funding will go live on 1 April 2021 and interested applicants can apply by clicking here

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