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Netflix has announced its Black Creatives Empowerment Fund, which will see the streaming giant commit $400 000, or around R5.5 million, towards improving Black representation in the film and TV industry in South Africa.
The funding will be in the form of film and TV scholarships, cancelling student debts, and a $100 000 donation towards the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective.
Two-thirds of the funding –$300 000– will go towards full scholarships at selected tertiary institutions in South Africa. These scholarships will fund qualifications in the film and TV disciplines.
It also includes debt relief opportunities for students in these disciplines.
“We recognise that being part of the local creative community in South Africa also comes with responsibilities, in particular the need to develop the talent pipeline and give new voices the chance to be heard,” Ben Amadasun, Director of Content for Netflix in Africa, said in a statement.
“Talent development is extremely important to us and we will continue to work with the industry in South Africa to support and develop new opportunities to grow the creative community.”
Meanwhile, the $100 000 donation towards the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective will bolster the non-profit’s aims.
“We are delighted to have offered this opportunity and established such a strong partnership with Netflix who share our intention to build capacity in the black filmmaker and practitioner value chain,” Azania Muendane, Co-Chairperson of the IBFC, said in a statement.
“It is through such intentional and systematic approaches to empowerment that we will build effective economic participation. We thank Netflix for walking this road with us.”
Netflix scholarships in South Africa
Netflix will partner with Tshikululu Social Investments to administer the fund.
According to Netflix, from 17 September, students will be able to visit the Tshikululu website to apply for scholarships.
Students will also be able to find more information on the scholarships and application criteria on the site.
This will include participating tertiary institutions qualifying in the scholarship and debt relief programmes.
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