NFVF Opportunity: “We’ve always been here”

“I think for a very long time, the ways in which trans people have been represented on screen have suggested that we’re not real, …that we’re mentally ill, that we don’t exist. And yet, here I am. Here we are. And we’ve always been here”- Laverne Fox, American actress and LGBQTIA++ advocate.

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) would like to invite TIER 1 and 2 filmmakers ONLY, to submit proposals for a feature length documentary film that creates celebratory transgender representation. The call seeks to award funding to the value of R1 000,000 (1 Million Rand Only) for the production of one feature length documentary in keeping with the theme of “We’ve always been here”.


Since 2009, the 31st March has been named as the International Transgender Day of Visibility. In marking the importance of this day, Liberty Matthyse, a South African Transgender Activist states:

“…it comes as a consequence of the erasure and the invisibilisation that we’ve suffered and were subjected to historically where we’ve been completely erased from the history of this world. And so it’s important to position our narratives to say that we are here, we’ve always been here and it’s important to tell the diverse narratives within the community because there’s not only one way of being trans or gender diverse”.

In response to the goals of the International Transgender Day of Visibility, The National Film and Video Foundation is seeking to approve a project that makes visible and celebrates the experiences of the transgender community, under the theme “We’ve always been here”. 

Terms of Reference:

The proposals must demonstrate promotion of visibility, celebration, and resilience. Proposals must have a clear central idea, captivating and compelling story, inspiring character/s, and bold visual style. The film that is produced out of this initiative will have to meet the NFVF’s requirements for content that informs, educates, entertains, and offers unique, diverse perspectives. Trans lead and/or gender diverse teams will be given preference.

Concepts must be production ready.

Selection Criteria for Projects Proposal

Applications must include:

  • 1-2 page motivation
  • 1-page synopsis
  • Visual Treatment
  • Detailed outline or Documentary Script.
  • Archive Research Plan
  • CVs of key creative team with showreel/portfolio of work
  • Budget
  • Finance and recoupment plan
  • Proposed development and production schedule
  • Marketing and distribution strategy and plan.

Please note, preference will be given to projects that have members of the queer community as key crew members, i.e., producer, director, writer.


In order for a production company to be considered for this opportunity, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Producer/s must be either a South African citizen or be a permanent resident of South Africa.
  • Preference will be given to queer creatives.
  • 51% black-owned and managed companies with a unique proposal.
  • Tier 1/2 Production Company. This is defined in the NFVF Funding Policy as:
    • Tier 1 (Experienced filmmakers who have a proven track record for developing and producing 3-5 feature-length documentary films.)
    • Tier 2 (Filmmakers with limited experience in the film industry, but who have developed and produced 1-2 feature-length films, television fiction and/or, 2-3 documentary short films seeking to venture into feature film development and production)
  • Production company should demonstrate an understanding of packaging and marketing of documentary films.

Who does not qualify?

  • Previous recipients of NFVF slate funding including animation slate, documentary slates, youth and female filmmaker project are NOT eligible for this fund.
  • Individuals and/or Production Companies that have 4 (four) active NFVF funded projects across the value chain i.e. development, production, post-production, marketing and distribution, training, and festival funding support.
  • Production companies that have current projects active in production funded by the NFVF.

Compulsory Requirements:

All applicants must submit the following compulsory documentation:

  • BBBEE certificate.
  • Valid Tax Clearance Certificate or Tax Clearance Status Pin Document (not older than one year) *
  • Recently Certified ID copy (dated certification stamp not older than six months) *
  • Company registration document

Applicants need to register and complete the online application form using the following link:

Failure to submit the above-mentioned compulsory documentations will render the application incomplete and therefore disqualified. The Closing date for applications is 17 January 2022 at 5PM. Any queries maybe directed to Na*****@nf**.za.

Please note that failure to submit the above-mentioned key and compulsory documentation will render the application incomplete and therefore disqualified. No late applications will be accepted.