Netflix invests R14 million to fund South African movies

Netflix and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) have announced a R28-million partnership to fund the production of South African “micro-budget” feature films.

The agreement will see both partners contributing R14 million each in support of the production of local films.

All of the movies funded through the partnership will premiere on Netflix.

In addition to supporting the production of South African films, the NFVF and Netflix said that the initiative will help support the recovery of the film industry after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and government lockdowns around the world.

In total, six South African films will be funded. The funding is categorised into two streams:

Stream 1 (R16 million total) — 4× Feature films by emerging filmmakers, capped at R4 million.
Stream 2 (R12 million total) — 2× Fictional feature films by established filmmakers, capped at R6 million.
Makhosazana Khanyile, the CEO of the NFVF, said that the organisation appreciates Netflix’s investment in local content.

“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,” Khanyile stated.

The NFVF is an agency of the South African Department of Sport, Arts and Culture.

“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.

“The creative community, that we are a part of, has supported us through the good times so we want to help them continue to create the stories our members love through the $1 million Covid Relief Fund contribution we started last year in collaboration with SASFED and IPO to help below-the-line workers in South Africa’s creative industry and now, we’re excited to take this a step further with this joint fund with NFVF for above-the-line talent.”

How to apply for funding
The NFVF announced that the submission portal for funding will go live on 1 April 2021.

“We encourage all filmmakers in accordance with the eligibility criteria to apply by visiting from the 1st of April 2021,” the organisation stated.

“More details will be available at or @nfvfsa on all social media platforms.”

Cannes’ Marché du Film Confirms Pre-Cannes Screenings

While Cannes’ Marché du Film will run alongside the festival in July, the industry event has confirmed it will also organize pre-Cannes screenings at the end of May.

“Due to the unusually long delay between the EFM in Berlin and the Marché du Film in Cannes, many international sales agents have expressed the need for an intermediate event in the spring, which will allow them to do business and to network virtually, while awaiting the big rendez-vous in July when the film industry will meet up again in large numbers,” said Cannes’ Marché du Film in a release on Thursday.

Pre-Cannes Screenings will consist of four days of online screenings that will be held on a platform offering virtual booths for sales companies and screening rooms for streaming.

Only buyers who are already registered with the Marché du Film (either with an online or an on-site accreditation) will be able to access the pre-screenings at no extra cost.

Then, during the physical Marché du Film, which will unspool July 6-15 alongside the festival, registered industry professionals will have access to stands, screenings, the international village, networking programs and conferences. Meanwhile, professionals who will be unable to travel will still be able to take part via virtual screenings of some films, as well as network and follow conferences that will be offered simultaneously.

The Marché du Film has opened registrations with an ‘early bird’ rate until April 15 at a rate of €349 for the onsite event in Cannes, and €129 for the online Marché only. The event also gives professionals the option of swapping their online accreditation for an onsite and vice versa without incurring penalties.

The Cannes Film Festival, meanwhile, announced earlier this week that Spike
will preside the jury of the Official Selection’s compe

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