The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will spend R100 million to support emerging black filmmakers.
"The dti will spend R100 million to support emerging black filmmakers through the South Africa Emerging Black Filmmakers Incentive by the end of March 2018," said the department's Director of Film Production Nelly Molokoane.
Molokoane was speaking at the Emerging Black Filmmakers Workshop at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) that is currently underway. The workshop was targeted at emerging film producers who want to access the incentive scheme.
The incentive scheme has managed to support 40 projects of emerging filmmakers as part of the R100 million budget.
Molokoane said that in terms of finalising those projects and productions, producers still find it difficult accessing additional funds to close their projects due to financial constraints.
She said the department has now partnered with the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC), National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and provincial film commissions to assist filmmakers.
"The scale of projects has been increasing since the inception of the scheme in 2014. The department approved 15 applications, thereafter it increased to 40 over a period of three years. Partnership with these institutions will yield positive results in the near future and we will see more productions being supported. We are planning to host intense workshops in various provinces to assist filmmakers' access this support," said Molokoane on Sunday.
She added that the workshop at the DIFF was hosted so as to assist those that need training on the incentive scheme and its guidelines. The workshop was also aimed at educating producers on crucial information needed by the dti if one wants to access the funding.
Beneficiary of the incentive, as well as director of the Marikana documentary "Miners Shot Down", Rehad Desai, said the scheme was the most important development for the South African film industry.
"We are seeing far more films being produced since the launch of the scheme and this means funding of projects happens in a short space of time and one can go into production quicker. This also means our production companies are becoming sustainable," said Desai.
The DIFF, which is an annual film festival that takes place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, is one of the oldest and largest film festivals in Southern Africa. The DIFF, which will run until 23 July, presents over 200 screenings celebrating the best in South African, African and international cinema.