South Africa’s local film and television industry has been severely impacted by Covid-19 and a number of productions have been haltered not to mention scores of live events cancelled. In an effort to offer relief measures, as outlined in the minister’s address on 25 March, the NFVF will be prioritising making payments to beneficiaries that have submitted milestones in the past two weeks. Beneficiaries who have yet to submit milestones over the next three months will also be consulted during this period to determine how best they can be assisted. This extends only to individuals that have current contracts with the NFVF.
The NFVF has ensured that it supports any activities that can occur in confined and isolated environments, with the early release of Calls for Funding that include Script Development, Animation, Post-Production and Archive applications. The call for these applications would have been opened in August 2020, however, due to the current climate, the NFVF released these calls on 27 March 2020, to keep the industry busy during this downtime. The normal funding processes will still be applied to all applications including NFVF Council approvals, envisaged to take place on 10 June. The NFVF will also ensure that funding earmarked for Film Festivals, which have been cancelled based on travel bans in place, is redirected to bolster production budgets for the new fiscal starting 1 April 2020.
As part of the slates program which benefits young emerging producers, the NFVF has identified a savings of R5 million from the current fiscal, which will be used as part of the relief program. The NFVF will provide a once off cash injection of R500 000 to the ten companies currently commissioned by the organisation to assist during this distressing time of canceled production shoots. This relief will only be contained to the slates currently commissioned by the institution. “We stand in solidarity with the practitioners of the TV and Film industry and we hope that these relief measures we have put in place speak to the level of our commitment,” said NFVF CEO Makhosazana Khanyile
In line with the NFVF’s strategic objective of creating an enabling environment for young Filmmakers to develop the technological skills to thrive in an ever-changing world, the NFVF is currently engaging with potential partners to provide virtual training solutions during this downtime. Further communication will follow in days to come with regard to this initiative.