South African foundation partners with Netflix to fund local films

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The South African National Film and Video Foundation has partnered with Netflix to create a R28-million fund for local filmmakers to create new films.

Announced on 18 March, the fund will finance six local films chosen following a submissions process.

“We are excited as the NFVF to be partnering with Netflix and appreciate their investment into local content,” the foundation’s CEO, Makhosazana Khanyile, said in a statement.

“The incorporation of digital platforms into our traditional processes can only benefit the industry further. We hope this is simply the start in what will no doubt be a long and fruitful relationship.”

Fund to create South African Netflix films

The fund is part of the NFVF’s efforts to jumpstart the local film industry after it was ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFVF and Netflix allocated equal amounts of R14 million towards it.

The fund will see six films made. They include four feature films by emerging filmmakers with a budget cap of R4 million, and two fictional feature films by established filmmakers with a budget cap of R6 million. All of the films will debut on Netflix first.

While the budget allocations capped, the filmmakers will be encouraged to raise additional funding for the industry’s recovery.

This isn’t the time Netflix has contributed money to local filmmaking. In 2020, the company donated $1 million to the industry as part of its Covid Relief Fund.

“The past year has been incredibly difficult with the pandemic hitting so many industries around the world,” said Netflix’s director of content in Africa, Ben Amadasun.

Filmmakers can apply to be fund recipients starting 1 April. They can file applications on the NFVF website.

The NFVF will release more details about the submissions process closer to that date.

Feature image: Unsplash/freestocks

Read more: The top South African series on Netflix in 2020

Sam Spiller, Staff Writer


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