Black SA filmmakers to get R100m windfall from dti


File image of a video camera

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) announced at the weekend that it will spend R100-million by the end of March 2018 on supporting emerging black filmmakers through the South Africa Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive.

The dti’s director of film production, Nelly Molokoane, made the announcement at the Emerging Black Filmmakers Workshop during the annual Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). 

The workshop was targeted at emerging film producers who wanted to access the incentives scheme through educating them on crucial information needed by the dti if they want to access the funding.

Molokoane said since its launch, the incentive scheme managed to support 40 projects of emerging filmmakers as part of the R100 million budget.

But producers still find it difficult to access additional funds to finish off their projects.

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Molokoane said the dti has now partnered with the Industrial Development Corporation, National Film and Video Foundation, SABC, and provincial film commissions to assist filmmakers.

“The scale of projects has been increasing since the inception of the scheme in 2014. The department approved 15 applications thereafter it increased to 40 over a period of three years,” she said.

“Partnership with these institutions will yield positive results in the near future and we will see more productions being supported. We are planning to host intense workshops in various provinces to assist filmmakers to access this support.”

Rehad Desai, the award-winning director of the Marikana documentary Miners Shot Down, said the scheme was the most singly important development for the South African film industry in that it allows producers to compete locally and internationally with their foreign counterparts.

“We are seeing far more films being produced since the launch of the scheme and this means funding of projects happens in less time and one can go into production quicker,” said Desai, who is also a beneficiary of the incentive scheme.

“This also means our production companies are becoming sustainable but the incentive can be made more accessible as some of the costs are regarded as non-qualifying and this affects the production qualification.”