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.”

Now read: What the SABC must do to get Netflix and DStv to collect TV licence fees

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Netflix invests R14 million to fund South African movies