Eddie Mbalo, CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), interviewed in a Q&A article on the Foundation’s website, revealed that it was planned to develop a separate legal entity for investment in film.
The NFVF intends to submit a proposal to the Minister of Arts and Culture as well as the Minister of Trade and Industry on the establishment of the South African Film and Development Corporation.
“The NFVF has to date developed a model that could address the prescription by the act.The next step for us is the development of a business plan and we are engaging the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation) in this regard,’ says Mblao in the article.
“Once the business plan has been developed it is required that we present this to the Ministers of Arts and Culture and Trade and Industry who would then give authority for the establishment of that entity as required by the act.
“The entity would co-exist with the NFVF in its current form but would be a separate legal entity. This would allow for the NFVF funds to specifically focus on developmental issues rather than the current combined activity of attempting to produce commercially viable films and at the same time focusing on developmental films.
The intention of this entity would not be to compete but to supplement the work of the independent production sector. If we say we need to produce 15-20 films annually, this entity will assist in achieving this goal.’
On the issue private investment in film which is considered “a risky business’, Mbalo called on government to create “a tax regime that encourages the investment in the arts’.
In order to produce more films, Mbalo said: “We need to be saying to the “private sector’ yes, please invest in our films and this is how we are going to bring returns and value for your money. Yes indeed, film is a risky business but that is the reason why everywhere outside of Hollywood and Bollywood films are funded through tax breaks and other incentives that are created by governments.
It is normal that for net-worth individuals to invest in film and the arts in general, it is done against the tax that they have to pay.
It has become imperative that all efforts are made to convince our government that the development of the arts rests in the creation of a tax regime that encourages the investment in the arts.’
On the issue of the National Lotteries fund contribution to film and arts in general, he said that it was unfortunate “that their funding distribution strategy is also not informed by the national arts and culture development strategy of the country.’
In the area of Public Private Partnerships Mbalo said “the state should get involved in business when there is general market failure in a particular sector. Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) therefore work in instances where there is perceived risk and the private sector requires some form of cushioning in order to invest in a sector.
It is an agreed fact that the film sector is averse to these risks and therefore calls for PPP arrangements. The areas that require this sort of intervention are production marketing and distribution.’