Importance of incentives for emerging filmmakers emphasised

31st August 2021 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Creamer Media Reporter

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) established the South African Emerging Black Film Incentives as a vehicle to promote transformation in the film industry and to trigger the participation of black filmmakers in the mainstream economy, which up until 2014 had not mirrored the demographics of South Africa.

This was noted by DTIC Film and Television Production director Nelly Molokoane, speaking during a ‘Women in Film and Media Production’ webinar, on August 30.

The webinar was hosted by the DTIC, in partnership with the National Empowerment Fund and other government departments and entities.

The purpose of the webinar was to profile success stories of women in the industry and to unlock available financial and non-financial opportunities in the film and media production industry.

Molokoane said that, in 2014, the DTIC had observed that the local film industry was transforming at a lethargic pace and that previously disadvantaged people held an insignificant role in the firm sector.

“That is when we established the South African Emerging Black Film Incentives as a means to arrest this state of lethargy in the sector and to forcefully lead to a position where the film sector will mimic the demographics of South Africa.

“In 2017, the incentive scheme was reviewed after we had conducted a study to ensure that other companies participate in the mainstream economy. The revised incentive was launched in 2018 and became effective in September of that year,” she said. 

Molokoane stressed that the South African Emerging Black Film Incentives vehicle plays a critical role in enabling local filmmakers, particularly women, to be able to tell authentic South African stories.

“I am saying this because we are looking at the upcoming Heritage Month in September where our filmmakers can tell stories about our legends. We have already made a call for documentaries or features in this regard,” said Molokoane.

Key discussions that featured in the webinar included financial and non-financial opportunities available for women in the film and media production industry; market access in the mainstream media platforms; challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in the industry; training opportunities available in the industry; success stories of women in the industry; understanding intellectual property; funding policy framework (qualifying criteria); compliance with the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act; international market access; understanding intellectual property; and mentorship and other support programmes.

The department has planned a series of webinars scheduled for the month of September, looking at financial and non-financial opportunities available for women in the audio-visual sector.