The NFVF has received an unqualified report from the Auditor General for the year ended 31 March 2010. The NFVF has received a clean bill of health since its inception 10 years ago.
Chairperson of the NFVF council Ms Charlotte Mampane says this achievement is based on the effective governance structures and clear policies that the NFVF has established over the years. However, she has expressed her disappointment in the current financial annual report that the NFVF was denied the opportunity to present its previous annual report to parliament in person.
“This lack of interaction denies the NFVF an opportunity to interact and account to parliament even if it’s all good work that the institution has to communicate.’
The NFVF is a statutory body and receives annual budget allocation through the Department of Arts and Culture to spearhead the development of the South African film and video industry; for the 2009/10 financial year, the institution received R37, 895,000.00. With a staff compliment of 26, the NFVF is responsible for supporting the film and video industry through the granting of funds for the development and production of film projects, granting of bursaries and support of training initiatives, marketing and promotion of film and video projects to local and international markets.
During the year under review, as stipulated in the NFVF Act, the foundation has to spend not more than 25% of the allocation on operational expenses. Of its operational budget, 22% is spent on compliance. The NFVF disbursed 18% for training and bursaries to the deserving underprivileged students, 6% was spent on Script Development, 2% was spent on Research, 58% was disbursed for Distribution and Marketing while a further 17% was spent on production and development of films. Films such as Shirley Adams, Father Christmas doesn’t Come Here and Skin were the beneficiaries from the above amount and they were all released theatrically in 2010, while receiving rave reviews from international film festivals.
As part of “Taking cinema to the citizens’ initiative, 412 matric learners across three provinces namely, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Western Cape were taken to the cinema to view Skin. Among those learners, some entered a cinema for the first time. The exercise resulted in a research report that revealed appreciation for local films and that access to the cinema for most black people is still a challenge as the exhibition landscape is still skewed.
A special focus has been put on training in script development and production through the Sediba Script Developmet Programme and the newly incorporated Producer’s Programme. Research has also been a highlight at the NFVF, for the 2009/10 financial year The National Education and Training Strategy was finalised and released and a Co-Production Review report was completed. For the New Year the foundation will focus on the establishment of the Sectoral Information System (SIS), a data management system for the domestic film and television market activities. Through SIS it is hoped that there will be more transparencies in the audiovisual industry and key industry data will be captured regularly. Marketing and support of local film festivals still plays a vital role in the exhibition and promotion of South African cinema.
In its efforts to raise more revenue for the film community, the foundation established a new unit, which is intended to serve as an innovation hub with a purpose to find new ways of investing and developing a commercially viable business in the industry. In its pioneering year, the unit acquired the distribution rights of Skin. Through the business case created by the unit, the NFVF is hoping to oversee the exhibition platform which will result in providing services to the vastly underserviced areas as the Act mandates.
The outgoing NFVF Chief Executive Officer, Eddie Mbalo says that the annual reports of the foundation in the past 10 years galvanised consensus about the strategic direction for South Africa. He notes “The NFVF’s value charter indicates the cross cutting strategic issues that requires national attention. It is also true that during this period, a lot of what is articulated in programmes developed out of the value charter has borne successes. It is still my wish that the value charter is recognised as the blueprint for the development of the South African film sector’.