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South Africa Launches Black Film Fund

Exactly two decades after the first democratic election in South Africa, programming at the Durban International Film Festival has included retrospection and introspection on the gains made over the last 20 years, and problems that still need attention.

Both the Durban Film Mart and the talent development focus have aimed at emerging filmmakers, developing ideas and setting up pitch forums. And on July 21, the country’s Industrial Development Corp. announced an initiative targeting the new generation of Black filmmakers.

The Emerging Black Filmmakers Fund is set up by the IDC in cooperation with the National Film and Video Foundation, and the Industrial Development Corp. Financial and other support systems will be put in place to allow for the production of low-budget features.

The plan has grown out of a previous low-budget pilot project that did not materialize because it failed to get a broadcaster on board, according to Basil Ford, the head of the Media Motion Pictures business unit.

The new plan intends to transform the industry by allocating budgets of R5 million (US$455, 500) to six projects a year, over three years. Included will be a marketing budget of US$445 500.

The plan will be reviewed annually with the potential to increasing production to 10 films per year, in the future.

Eligible parties include Black directors supported by Black producers who hold at least 51 percent of the film rights.

Each film will be fully funded by the IDC with the NFVF and the DTI. “What this means is that a Black filmmaker who enters into this particular system will not need to raise one cent,” Ford said.

In addition, the legal structure and all agreements that will be required to make the films will come with templates of agreement. Ford said that all the filmmakers will have to do is make sure they are satisfied with the legal agreements and sign them.



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