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Call for Documentary Project: 100 Years Of Nelson Mandela. Budget R1,500,000

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Finance & Funding 3rd Oct 2017 National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF)

The National Film and Video Foundation, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, invites all eligible and reputable TIER 1 and 2 filmmakers (refer to the definition in our funding policy) to submit proposals under the theme, “100 Years of Nelson Mandela”.

In pursuance of our strategic pillar of Promoting Social Cohesion and Nation Building, the NFVF will be funding the production of a one-hour television length documentary film to the total value of R1,500,000 (one million five hundred thousand rand).

"Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which the freedom of the individual will truly mean the freedom of the individual. We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political liberties and the human rights of all our citizens."
Nelson Mandela, speech at the opening of the South African parliament, Cape Town 25 May 1994.


The year 2018 will mark a major milestone in the incredible story of Nelson Mandela, his Centenary. The National Film and Video Foundation plans to honour his legacy by commissioning a one-hour television length documentary which will be broadcast/screened during Nelson Mandela International Day in July 2018. 

Nelson Mandela was born on the 18th July 1918, in Mvezo, Mthatha, South Africa. He was actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. He was the first black president and is celebrated across the globe for having led South Africa to a non-violent transition. Mandela became the symbol of hope.

Terms of Reference:

The call seeks to award R1,500,000 (one million five hundred thousand rand) funding for the production of one high-end 45-minute documentary in keeping with the theme of “100 years of Nelson Mandela”.

The proposals must be different from all the other Mandela documentaries in content, internationally appealing without compromising on authenticity.

The proposals must demonstrate the preservation of our history, culture, politics, Mandela’s personal journey and legacy for the next generation.

The film that is produced out of this initiative will have to meet the NFVF’s requirements for content that informs, educates, entertains and offers unique perspectives of South Africa’s realities utilising engaging characters such family, comrades, friends, etc. and exploring original points of view through archive material.


  • Concepts with a strong and clear premise;
  • Concepts that aim for objectivity, while still presenting a clear point of view;
  • Concepts and treatment style that have a global appeal;
  • Original and unique stories.



In order for a production company to be considered for this opportunity, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Producer/s must be South African citizens.
  • Producer must demonstrate some knowledge of packaging (archive) and marketing of documentary films
  • Production company should have completed at least 4-5 feature and documentary films which have been released theatrically, broadcast on television or exhibited in a festival.
  • Previous recipients of slate or project funding (e.g. female and youth projects) from the organisation are not eligible
  • Applicants who have four active NFVF funded projects across the value chain in one funding cycle are also not eligible
  • Company must be 51% black owned and managed by a black producer


Selection Criteria for Projects

  • A strong written concept for a stand-alone film with a clearly thought out premise or controlling idea
  • The length of the film should be for a television hour slot
  • The film must have completed development or be in early stages of pre-production in order to meet deadline for July 2018 screenings/broadcast
  • Knowledge of target audience
  • Strong distribution potential both locally and internationally
  • The producer must have the ability to deliver on a realistic budget and have the ability to manage the budget
  • The content must appeal to a local and global audiences.
  • The producer must demonstrate a plan to complete and deliver the project by 30th May 2018.



All applications should be titled: DOCUMENTARY PROJECT: 100 YEARS OF NELSON MANDELA

Applications must include:

  • 1-page synopsis
  • Visual Treatment
  • Detailed outline
  • Character bible
  • Consent forms (compulsory requirements)
  • CVs of key creative team with showreel/portfolio of work
  • Budget
  • Finance and recoupment plan (if budget exceeds the allocated amount)
  • Proposed production schedule
  • Marketing and distribution strategy and plan.


Compulsory Requirements

All applicants must submit the following compulsory documentation:

  • BBBEE certificate;
  • Original valid tax clearance certificate (valid for 3 months)
  • Certified ID copy (valid for 3 months)
  • Company registration document

Failure to submit the above-mentioned compulsory documentations will render the application incomplete and therefore disqualified.

Applications must be submitted via email to production@nfvf.co.za. Any queries maybe directed to Yolanda Ncokotwana at yolandan@nfvf.co.za

CLOSING DATE: 26 October 2017 by 17h00

Read the full article at National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF)

National Film and Video Foundation, NFVF, film finance, film funding

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