The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has announced 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 weekend announcement at the Emerging Black Filmmakers Workshop during the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). DIFF is an annual film festival that takes place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
The workshop was targeted at emerging film producers who want to access the incentives scheme by educating them on crucial information needed by the dti if one wants to access the funding.
Molokoane said since its launch, the incentive scheme has managed to support 40 projects of emerging filmmakers as part of the R100-million budget, but in terms of finalising those projects and productions, producers still find it difficult accessing additional funds to close their projects due to financial constraints.
She said the dti had now partnered with the Industrial Development Cooperation, National Film and Video Foundation, South African Broadcasting Corporation 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,” Molokoane 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 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.”