Durban - T he Director of Film and Television Production at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Nelly Molokoane said that government is committed to support the growth and transformation of the film industry.
Molokoane was speaking during an engagement session with filmmakers at the annual Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).
The focus of the sessions was on the Emerging Black Filmmakers Transformation Fund (EBFTF) which is a partnership initiative to assist emerging black filmmakers in accessing funding and driving transformation within the industry.
Molokoane said government had taken a lot of interest in the film industry and was committed to its growth and transformation. She said the provinces were also coming to the party for the growth of this industry. Additionally, she encouraged filmmakers to do research on funding models, over and above the incentives that government was providing to them.
“The revised South African Emerging Black Filmmakers incentive programme which came into effect in September 2018 is a game changer to the film industry. The incentive now offers a once-off purchase of production equipment to a maximum of R2 million by way of cost sharing. The incentive requires majority of intellectual property to be owned by South African citizens with a director and producer that are Black and majority of five highest paid performers also South African citizens,” said Molokoane.
She invited filmmakers to contact the department in order to access these incentives, but should demonstrate that they adhere to an industry specific code of professional standards that includes sexual harassment, as well as health and safety protocols.
As a commitment to transforming the industry, Molokoane said the department has included a disclaimer clause on fronting in their application and claim forms. She said it was important for the film industry to familiarise itself with the laws and regulations of the country.
Furthermore, Molokoane said there were incidences of fronting in the industry and the department was unapologetic and anyone found wanting, would be reported to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Commission and necessary steps will be taken. These include the blacklisting of the company, members and associated members.
The dti has approved about 300 applications inclusive of 94 emerging black film productions and disbursed about R1.5 billion since 2016.