Financing your SA film

Money is one of the main stumbling blocks holding South African filmmakers back, despite growth in demand for African stories and a wealth of new ideas and talent, writes Kim Crowie in the Callsheet.

Anyone who has started to make a film in South Africa knows that it’s an uphill struggle to acquire the finance one needs for development, pre-production, production, post, and marketing and publicity, says Crowie. Added to this is the fact that most local films are made on a skeleton budget of far less than US$1million dollars – limiting a director or writer’s ability to truly explore their imagination on screen. This is already far less than the average Hollywood big-budget production costing upwards of US$100-200million. A great example of this discrepancy is District 9, a South African film with a relatively low budget of US$30million – just over the international benchmark for independent films, which stretches from between US$2million and US$20million.

Some of the avenues for funding South African projects are through the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the Industrial Development Corporation, and the Emerging Black Filmmakers Transformation Fund (EBFTF), which Crowie details in her article/