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).
– 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.
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.
“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. 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.” – Ben Amadasun, Director of Content for Netflix in Africa.
“We are delighted to have offered this opportunity and established such a strong partnership with Netflix who share our intention to build capacity in the black filmmaker and practitioner value chain. It is through such intentional and systematic approaches to empowerment that we will build effective economic participation. We thank Netflix for walking this road with us.” – Azania Muendane, Co-Chairperson, IBFC.
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.
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; AFDA; Boston Media House; AACA Film and Acting School; and CityVarsity.
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.