The Backdrop: NFVF H1 2021 Newsletter

The NFVF – Agency of Sports, Arts, and Culture June 2021 Issue

A Message from the CEO

Dear Friend in Film
It has now been well over year since the pandemic began, and I believe we can all agree that this devastating global event has reinforced the need for human compassion, care, and consideration. While we may have all adapted to new ways of living and interacting, it is still important that we find ways to maintain social contact and engagement with one another. 

Content Development is at the core of the work the NFVF engages in – it is where the mandate of the organisation is most clearly fulfilled by providing the film industry with critical financial support and technical expertise to take a film project from an idea to a product that can be screened. As the NFVF, we are consistently looking for ways to support local creatives.  Spurred on by the inability of local producers to showcase films through traditional cinemas, we have worked hand in hand with the industry to facilitate the creation and distribution of local content through online digital platforms. One such initiative is our recent partnership with Netflix to fund the production of six local films. We believe that the R28 million raised in partnership with one of the world’s leading streaming service will benefit the industry in the longer term and work towards attracting more investments for our local industry.
Another important initiative has been the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP).  The R140 million allocated by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture to the NFVF to administer on its behalf, aimed to both retain and create jobs in the industry. While we recognise that this is not nearly enough to address the financial challenges facing the industry, we still see it as an important step towards long term sustainability of the industry.  The NFVF is currently in the process of carrying out the Monitoring and Evaluation portion of this project, with the aim of a complete wrap up by the end of this financial quarter.
As any economist will tell you, the most impactful way to assist a country is by upskilling its citizens and providing them with the necessary tools to make an economic impact. The launch of TikTok’s #RisingVoices initiative does just that providing local content creators with the digital skills needed to thrive within the fast-paced digital eco-system. This is especially important for black content creators that are looking to make their mark in a highly competitive industry. We remain confident that initiatives such as these will add tremendous value over the long term. Amongst other skills, this cohort of 100 chosen content creators will also learn to monetise their content on digital platforms. The NFVF is extremely proud of this partnership as it signals the faith that international brands have in local talent.
We celebrated our local film & television talent at the 15th Annual SAFTAs which took place on the 21st & 22nd of May which was a significant milestone in local content as we once again celebrated the best talent in the country. As an organisation we are aware that 2020 was not the best showcase of local talent given the online mishaps experienced around the awards, and we worked hard to redeem ourselves this year. In the capable hands of Anneke de Ridder in the role of Executive Producer, we had a show that was both delightful and entertaining, celebrating our talent that survived 2020 with all its disruptions.Let us continue to take care of ourselves and each other. Remember that we are all facing this crisis together and our focus will continue being  on supporting our local filmmakers by continuing to watch local content.

Sincerely, Makhosazana Khanyile
Annual Performance Plan 
The NFVF is pleased to share the Annual Performance Plan for the 2021/22 financial year. Prepared in consultation and input from various stakeholders, this is indeed a well-thought out and all-encompassing plan. As part of the planning, the NFVF has recognized that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be around for some time, and that means stepping up to acknowledge the challenges, realize the new normal and reconfigure our offerings according to the current needs of the film industry and ensure that we are more ready to confront the challenges of the new normal. Despite, all the challenges, we remain focused on delivering on our mandate of growing and developing the South African film industry, while affording opportunities to the previously marginalised and disadvantaged individuals to participate in the film industry. 

Click here for the Annual Performance Plan

NFVF and Netflix Partnership 

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) recently closed off its latest partnership with Netflix; the world’s leading streaming service with 204 million subscribers globally. The partnership valued at R28 million, will produce six South African feature films. The agreement will see both partners contributing R14 million each in support of the production of local films, which will include exclusive debuts on Netflix.The partnership will see 6 local films funded, categorised into 2 streams: 4 feature films with a budget of R4 million each and two feature films with a budget of R6 million each. All 6 films created from this fund will premiere on Netflix first.
 Good luck to all of the applicants that have submitted.  We cannot wait to experience great local content.

Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) 
The NFVF was tasked by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC) to administer the Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP). This initiative, which is in its penultimate stage, aims to support the audio-visual industry through the disbursement of funds to deserving applicants. 

After numerous virtual sessions and workshops held, the programme garnered national reach, comprising youth, women, and people living with disabilities. The NFVF has to date, paid out over R110 000 000 between the 4 streams of funding made available for the PESP. 

The process to finalise disbursement of funds is still on-going, with each stream at different stages of the process. The NFVF will release an official announcement once this has been completed. We thank the industry for its patience during this time.
We remain #TogetherForTheArts

NFVF Box Office Report – 2020
Globally, cinemas are faced with uncertain futures, with the inevitable decline in revenue due to the lockdowns brought on by the spread of COVID-19. A significant decline in SA’s Box Office revenue has been recorded for 2020. The total Box Office revenue amounted to R214 million, a decline from R1,2 billion in 2019.

Read more South Africa’s Box Office trends here

SA flying the flag high at international Film Festivals
We would like to congratulate SA’s talent that has represented the nation so well at International Film Festivals. Some of the festivals we participated in, so far in 2021 include:

Pan African Film Festival (Los Angeles, USA)
Popularly termed by The Los Angeles Times in 2013 as “the largest black film festival” in the United States, several local films were screened at this year’s festival which include:
The Cuddler written and directed by Lurdes Maswanganyi
Pretty’s Daughter written and directed by Siphokazi Mtila
uXolile written and directed by Portia Hlubi
Fruitful Emission written and directed by Mishqah Parthiephal 

Athena Film Festival (NYC, USA) 
The 11th annual Athena Film Festival took place virtually in March in celebration of Women’s History Month, which also saw The Cuddler written and directed by Lurdes Maswanganyi being screened. 

Toronto Black Film Festival
Congratulations to Thavhazimbi a film written and directed by Tshego Monaisa for being screened at the Toronto Black Film Festival.

Film Festivals you can look forward to:
 •         Tribeca Film Festival- taking place online – (9 – 20 June)  
•         Annecy International Animation Festival – taking place online  (14 – 19 June) 
•          Edinburgh International Film Festival – (23 June – 4 July)
•          Munich International Film Festival – 24 June – 3 July)
•          Cannes Film Festival (6 – 17 July) 

Celebrating Weaam Williams

Funded by the NFVF, Weaam Williams is a local filmmaker who has done a formidable job in telling local stories;. Her first film funded by the NFVF & titled “Hip Hop Revolution” was through film festivals broadcast in 28 countries. Her second offering “District Six Rising from the Dust” has seen great success at international film festivals, winning awards such as the Best Original Story at the Florence Film Award. 

Two Hues, a short psychological drama, and an exploration of the artistic nature of a manic-depressive. It is set within the context of the “Total shutdown” movement, a big feminist movement in SA against gender-based violence. Two Hues has seen formidable success globally, winning awards such as “Best Short Film” at Beyond The Curve International Film Festival (France) and “Best Direct or a short film” at North Europe International Film Festival (London). This amazing story has also showcased at Anatolia Film Festival (Instanbul). 

We celebrate Weaam & thank her and her amazing team for flying the South African flag high! 

15th Annual SAFTAs Awards 
The 15th Annual South African Film & Television Awards (SAFTAs) were a show to remember! Despite a difficult year the country experienced, the film and television industry once again came up with some of the best and memorable acts people can imagine! 

This year’s awards presented us with some new and fresh contenders for the lucrative golden horn. Thanks to the SAFTAs committee, this year’s edition will also included some entertaining creatives from digital platforms. This innovative move was a direct response to the growth and popularity of online content on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook including the high consumption of content on Video on Demand platforms. 

Hosted by Dineo Moeketsi, Graeme Richards & Mpho Popps, the show was a virtual experience to remember, with the LIVE broadcast on S3 & Mzansi Magic. Audiences were treated to a virtual red carpet experience which was hosted by the social media sensation Lasizwe & radio darling, Lerato Kganyago – who added flair & humour to the experience. 

Our Craft Awards Show was just as majestic, with the funny Lesego Tlhabi & amazing Tracey Lange. Local talents Ami Faku, Lee Cole, Makhadzi as well as Big Zulu alongside Riky Rick
Our audiences were not left out of the fun, as the public was invited to take part in our virtual audience experience – which was popular with our local film & tv lovers.

The SAFTAs are hosted under the custodianship of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and we are proud to have hosted a great show.


A BIG thank you to our official partners who made this great celebration happen.

#StillShining #SAFTAs

NFVF Female Filmmaker Project has spectacular
run on SABC 1 

The NFVF would like to congratulate the young black female emerging filmmakers who were a part of our latest cohort for the Female Filmmaker Project.
The concept for the Female Filmmaker Project is to provide ten women, particularly those from historically disadvantaged backgrounds, with an opportunity to make a film in collaboration with other experienced women filmmakers.

These amazing films aired on SABC every Sunday at 19:30 for 10 weeks – and what an amazing reception they have received. 

Stay tuned to our online platforms as we will be celebrating these amazing women telling formidable, authentic local stories. 

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An open minded personality.. fun to be with, because of my positive vibes. God fearing, for without God I am nothing.. Moved with compassion when dealing with you, not selfish or self-centered...

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