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New Incentive Program Launched to Support Emerging Black South African Filmmakers

New Incentive Program Launched to Support Emerging Black South African Filmmakers

Note: This news comes a couple of months after the country’s Industrial Development Corp. announced an initiative targeting black filmmakers called the Emerging Black Filmmakers Fund, which was set up by the IDC in cooperation with the National Film and Video Foundation, and the Industrial Development Corpn. The new plan intends to transform the industry by allocating budgets of R5 million (about $450,000) to 6 projects a year, over 3 years.

The South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies yesterday launched the newly developed R1 million [about $91,000) threshold South African Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive programme.

The objective of the incentive programme is to support emerging black filmmakers with an intention to nurture and grow them to take-up big productions and thus contribute towards employment creation.

Addressing more than two hundred filmmakers and stakeholders at the launch, Davies said the new incentive would provide a possible and direct mechanism to support and respond to emerging filmmakers that were previously not covered under the Film and Television Production and Co-Production Incentive programme.

“The film industry through various engagements and consultations indicated that the previous scheme and threshold did not accommodate nor support emerging filmmakers. the DTI has now reduced the threshold and upped the incentive in an effort to create many opportunities for people with low-budget productions for televisions and films. In this way more productions will be supported than ever before,” added Davies.

He emphasised that South Africa’s film industry needed quality filmmakers in order to live up to its reputation of being a competitive driver of the economy.

Davies said the Department would also put together a trade mission to Hollywood in the near future to showcase what the South African film industry is capable of and what they could do with the resources that they had.

He also highlighted the need for the film industry to make use of other incentives offered by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).

Mr Uzanenkosi Mahlangu from the local film industry said as South African Black artists and filmmakers they had found it very hard to write a script that is not prescribed to them.

“The South African Emerging Black Filmmakers incentive programme will change all of that. Although it might not persuade lawyers and economists to turn into filmmakers but it might stop some filmmakers from feeling like they needed something to fall back on,” said Mahlangu.

Mahlangu also said he was happy that the DTI had launched this incentive scheme and was looking forward to making quality films and series.

Speaking at the same event, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mzwandile Masina said in order to qualify for this incentive companies needed to be on level 3 of their BBBEE status.

Masina stressed the point of forging partnerships with other departments to maximize government support.

“The programme will provide financial assistance to qualifying applicants in a form of a rebate of 50% for the first R6 million [about $550,000] of the qualifying South African Production Expenditure (QSAPE) and 25% thereafter for the remainder,” he added.

He also said that the programme would be effective from 1 September 2014 and would be administered over a period of three years until 31 March 2017.

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