NFVF And Netflix Sign Partnership To Fund Local Filmmakers

Joint Fund Valued At R28 Million To Provide 100% Funding To 6 Micro-budget Films To Boost Recovery for South Africa’s Creative Industry

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, is proud to announce its latest partnership. Netflix, the world’s leading streaming service with 204 million subscribers globally is joining forces with the NFVF in a partnership valued at R28 million to produce six South African feature films. The agreement will see both partners contributing R14 million each in support of the production of local films, which will include exclusive debuts on Netflix.

The NFVF, mandated to ensure the equitable growth of the audio-visual industry in South Africa, is excited to form this partnership, as it looks to create new opportunities for emerging filmmakers in the local film industry after many productions locally and internationally had to be halted/postponed due Covid-19 global lockdowns.  The partnership will see 6 local films funded, categorised into 2 streams: 4 feature films with a budget of R4 million each and two feature films with a budget of R6 million each.

●      Stream 1: Four Feature Films by emerging filmmakers capped at R4 000 000

●      Stream 2: Fictional Feature Films by established filmmakers capped at R6 000 000

The funding for the films will alleviate the pressure filmmakers face to raise additional funding and boost recovery of the creative industry from the pandemic, whilst ensuring job creation.  All 6 films created from this fund will premiere on Netflix first.

“We are excited as the NFVF to be partnering with Netflix and appreciate their investment into local content. The incorporation of digital platforms into our traditional processes can only benefit the industry further. We hope this is simply the start in what will no doubt be a long and fruitful relationship,” comments NFVF CEO, Makhosazana Khanyile.

“The past year has been incredibly difficult with the pandemic hitting so many industries around the world. The creative community, that we are a part of, has supported us through the good times so we want to help them continue to create the stories our members love through the $1 million Covid Relief Fund contribution we started last year in collaboration with SASFED and IPO to help below-the-line workers in South Africa’s creative industry and now, we’re excited to take this a step further with this joint fund with NFVF for above-the-line talent,” says Netflix’s Director of Content in Africa, Ben Amadasun.

The closing date for submissions is 07 May 2021. 

This partnership will fund 6 micro-budget feature films at 100% of the production budgets. Specific attention will be paid to creatives who have at least 2 short films and venturing into their first and second time as feature writers, directors and producers. Preference will be given to compelling, character-driven narratives in genres that are original and demonstrate a filmmaker’s unique vision. Films should also be culturally-authentic with a global appeal.

All projects should be at final stages of development.


Micro Budget film – A motion picture shot within tight financial parameters, usually with minimal cast, crew, and equipment.

Fiction – An audio-visual production which places an emphasis on an imaginary account of a story. It may be based on fact or adapted from a literary or other work.

Feature film – A motion picture with a minimum run time of 80 minutes and a maximum run time of 120 minutes.

Emerging Filmmaker – Women and Youth filmmakers (writers, director, producers, DOPs) working on their first or second time feature films, these filmmakers must have a body of work (shorts films, 1 features) that shows their artistic style and vision.  

Tier 1 – Experienced filmmakers with a proven track record for developing and producing 3-5 theatrically-released feature films.

 Tier 2 – Filmmakers with limited experience but have developed and produced 1-2 theatrical feature films, television fiction, documentaries, 2-3 short films and/or commercials seeking to venture into feature film development and production.

Tier 3 – New entrants into the industry, particularly recent film school graduates from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. This intervention is geared towards first time filmmakers having a “calling card” in the film industry.


Stream one: Films @ R4 000 000 Cap:  Feature Films by emerging talent. [Tier 2 or Tier 3 talent]

Stream two: Films @ R6 000 000 Cap: Only eligible for established filmmakers with a minimum of two features [Tier 1 or Tier 2 talent]


Applications must include the following Creative information:

  1. Brief project summary (maximum 5 pages) that includes Synopsis, Logline, Genre, Target market
  2. Fiction: Full Script (at final draft).
  3. CVs of the key creative: Producer, Director, Writer, DOP, Editor, and Leading Cast.
  4. Letter of intent from director 
  5. Producer’s notes.
  6. Director’s Treatment (maximum 20 pages).
  7. Detailed budget (Amounts to be spent at pre-production, production, and post-production) and Cash Flow.
  8. Production schedule
  9. A document explaining the stage at which the project has reached as of the date of this application and identify its needs in terms of production (max 600 words).

Applications must include the following Administrative information:

  1. Tax Clearance
  2. Certified ID copy (6 months)
  3. Company registration / or SPV is applicable.
  4. BBBEE Certificate
  5. A list of the films/ audio-visual projects produced by company/ies.
  6. Links of the director’s previous work
  7.  Chain of title documentation/ Contracts proving the acquisition of necessary rights (e.g. option contract, script writer’s contract, music etc.).

Interested parties are invited to apply online: click here or



  1. Late submissions will not be considered.
  2. Projects that do not meet the criteria will not be considered.
  3. Projects that do not have developed scripts will not be considered.
  4. Companies that have been awarded NFVF production funding can not apply with the same project.
  5. Slate beneficiaries are not eligible.
  6. Budgets that are above the capped amounts will not be considered. Filmmakers must tier themselves correctly.

The parties reserve the right to require other documentation from applicants for the completion of the assessment of the project.

Kindly email all application queries to Ap**********@nf**.za and all content queries to Refiloe Hlabioa at re******@nf**.za or Nadine Cloete at na*****@nf**.za 


All funding is subject to the approval of all three parties (NFVF, Netflix and Indigenous Film Distribution). Selected films will be licensed exclusively to Netflix for a period to be determined by the partners.