Netflix, one of the world’s leading entertainment streaming services, has thrown its weight behind the diversification of the film and TV industry with a commitment of R5.5 million.
The streaming giant recently announced that two-thirds of the funding will go towards film and TV scholarships and cancelling student debts while the rest will be donated to the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective.
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).
The second being $300,000 (approx. R4.4 million) is 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.
Promoting More Opportunities
The goal of the fund is to create and promote more opportunities and training for people from underrepresented Black communities in South Africa to enter and succeed in the film and TV industry.
It also aims to provide Black filmmakers with access to scarce funding required to create screen productions in South Africa.
The fund will also support organisations that are involved in bespoke programmes geared towards identifying, training and/or providing creative opportunities for members of the Black community in South Africa’s film and TV industry.
Developing The Local Creative Community
“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.”
Netflix will be working in partnership with social investment fund management and advisory firm Tshikululu Social Investments, as the implementing partner or fund administrator with the responsibility of supporting the outreach and execution of the project.
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.