Two-thirds of the funding will go towards film & TV scholarships and cancelling student debts while the rest will be donated to the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective
On 16 September 2021, Netflix, the world’s leading entertainment streaming service, announced a commitment of $400 000 USD (approx. R5.5 million) in the form of a grant and creation of scholarships to extend the support for Black representation in the Film & TV industry to the creative ecosystem in South Africa.
The Netflix Black Creatives Empowerment Fund will be implemented in a two-pronged approach: the first being a $100,000 (approx. R1.4 million) grant in benefit of The Independent Black Filmmakers Collective NPC (IBFC), with the second being $300,000 (approx. R4.4 million) designated towards funding full scholarships at higher education institutions in South Africa to support the formal qualification and training of aspiring Black creatives in the film and TV disciplines.
“We recognise that being part of the local creative community in South Africa also comes with responsibilities, in particular the need to develop the talent pipeline and give new voices the chance to be heard,” says Ben Amadasun, Director of Content for Netflix in Africa. “Talent development is extremely important to us and we will continue to work with the industry in South Africa to support and develop new opportunities to grow the creative community.”
The $300,000 fund will provide financial assistance through full scholarships and graduate debt relief at higher educational institutions in South Africa to support the formal qualification and training of aspiring Black creatives in the film and TV disciplines. Institutions where qualifying students will be able to apply for scholarships and where debt relief opportunities will be available include:
- University of Cape Town
- University of the Witwatersrand
- University of Johannesburg
- University of Pretoria
- University of KwaZulu-Natal
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology
- Durban University of Technology
- Tshwane University of Technology
- Boston Media House
- AACA Film and Acting School
Netflix will again be working in partnership with social investment fund management and advisory firm Tshikululu Social Investments, as the implementing partner/fund administrator with the responsibility of supporting the outreach and execution of the project. In July 2020 and March 2021, Tshikululu worked closely with Netflix, the South African Screen Federation (SASFED) and their member organisation, Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), to create the COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund that helped the hardest-hit workers in the South African creative community.
From the 17th of September 2021, students interested in applying for the fully-funded scholarships will be able to find additional information, application criteria and will be able to apply online on Tshikululu’s website (tshikululu.org.za).
The Independent Black Filmmakers Collective (IBFC) is a membership-based non-profit entity that was established in late 2017 as collaborative business-to-business networking and advocacy group, comprised of wholly black-owned South African film and television companies, independent filmmakers, content creators, film, television and commercials directors and producers, marketers, exhibitors, distributors, media and entertainment facility owners, services industrialists and entrepreneurs. IBFC was born out of a multiplicity of voices spanning over 25 years, and representing three generations of black film practitioners who have contributed meaningfully in shaping the industry and its visual narratives and aesthetics. IBFC’s vision is to accelerate transformation, enterprise development, increase investment, export, trade and job creation to contribute to the national economy, while engaging government, business and industry stakeholders in issues such as policy development and strategic growth of the audio-industry as “one voice”
Established in 1998, Tshikululu is South Africa’s leading social investment fund manager and advisor, working alongside investors and other development partners to maximise the power of social investment. We define social investment as any financial commitment – from grant making to impact investing – that seeks to drive and measure social impact. Our service offering is underpinned by a deep and hands-on understanding of the complexities of development and social investment. As agents of social change, we partner with our clients throughout South Africa to realise their social investment goals. Over more than two decades, we have operated in every province in the country, covering urban and rural areas, and collaborated with social investors in various industries including mining, financial services, the creative economy, renewable energy, property development, banking, insurance, healthcare and logistics.
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with over 209 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.