Financial relief for COVID-19-hit film industry

7 August 2020

As the hamstrung South African film industry adapts to working during a global pandemic, it has been thrown a lifeline with multiple funding sources.

The South African Screen Federation (SASFED), supported by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund in collaboration with Netflix.

The R 8,3 million, donated by Netflix in support of the local industry, will provide a one-time emergency relief grant to below the line workers.

This includes electricians, carpenters, hair and makeup, drivers, costume designers and many other freelancers who work on a project-to-project basis.

The film industry is an essential business sector and a vital contributor to the local economy.

The funds will assist the industry by protecting jobs, attracting more work and saving livelihoods.

For the industry to keep thriving, it needs all the support it can possibly get to continue producing amazing work and positioning Cape Town as one of the premier film and media hubs in Africa.

Application process

Film Cape Town urges all local industry professionals, who need assistance, to apply for funding as applications are open to everyone, particularly those needing extra relief to combat the disruptions of the ongoing pandemic.

Applications for funding opened on 3 August 2020 and will be administered through Tshikululu Social Investment , who will screen the applications for eligibility, as well as disburse the funds to beneficiaries.

 SASFED Executive Director Unathi Malunga highlighted the importance of the relief funding for workers in the film and TV sector who are not eligible for other available relief funds

“The Netflix fund supporting the local film industry brings hope to industry professionals,” he said. “This is a clear demonstration of Netflix’s commitment to the sustainability of the film and TV production industry,” Malunga said.

National Film and Video Foundation

The good news continues as the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) also called for applications to its Cycle 2 funding for the 2020/21 financial year.

Submissions are open until 23 August 2020 for filmmakers working on documentaries, TV pilots, animation projects, web series or made-for-TV movies among others.

A full list of categories is available on the NFVF website

As we all know, Cape Town prides itself on being solutions-driven and innovative and there is already some amazing work coming out of the city as crews and companies continue adapting to the ongoing pandemic.

The industry hasn’t taken a step back, but instead, has focused on getting up and running as quickly as possible.

This support will ensure that the industry returns to normal as seamlessly as possible

Film Cape Town salutes SASFED, Netflix and NFVF for their continued support of the local film industry.

It is this sort of collaboration that will keep the cameras rolling and boost workers across the whole value chain.