CityLife Arts

Crew and freelance filmmakers can apply for Covid relief money

By CityLife Arts writer

Behinds the scenes professionals and freelancers in the film industry have until September 3 to apply for Covid-19 Relief Fund set aside by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). Those approved will be paid a once off R10 000 to mitigate their situation as a result of not being able to work due to the pandemic.

“The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is an agency of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture that was created to ensure the equitable growth of South Africa’s film and video industry.

In light of the national state of disaster declared by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs in terms of section 27(1) of the Disaster Management Act which resulted in a national lockdown, and the collective national efforts to combat the spread of the Coronavirus virus (COVID-19) The NFVF acknowledges that COVID-19 has significantly impacted the film and television industry as productions were either halted or postponed.

The NFVF has initiated a relief fund aimed to support and assist independent freelance practitioners, technical and production crew in the film and television industry who have been affected and infected by the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically:

Practitioners who are experiencing a loss of income due to cancellations or postponements of confirmed work engagements in South Africa, either as a result of being infected with COVID-19 or due to the National State of Disaster and subsequent lockdown.
The NFVF Relief Fund will prioritise up to 60% of the available funds towards freelance film practitioners, technical and production crew members who have lost income due to the cancellation or postponement of productions. A definition of the crew and a list of what the NFVF will consider as freelance film practitioners, technical and production crew, is given below,” the NFV says.

The Relief fund will provide grants of up to R10,000 (ten thousand rands) per applicant to help alleviate the acute hardships faced by South African freelance practitioners, technical and production crew during this time of economic uncertainty. Whilst emergency relief resources alone cannot address long-term career stability, the intent of this fund is to ensure that freelance practitioners, technical and production crew receive support.


.Emerging or established Practicing freelancers, technical and production crew.

.Applications must be made in the individual’s personal capacity.

.At least 21 years of age, with proven work experience of a minimum of 24 months in film and television production.

.South African citizens with valid ID documents, or

.Permanent resident in South Africa with a valid ID/Permit.

.Refugees with a valid ID/Permit.

.Provide proof of loss of income due to the cancellation of work. This can be in the form of a contract, letter of engagement or call sheet.

.Provide proof of previous work within the film and television industry within the past 12 months.


.Individuals that have been awarded a relief grant from other funds (both public or private funding).

.Non-citizens, permanent residents, refugees or individuals without official status.

.Practitioners who work in front of the camera (Performing artists).

.Practitioners who are permanently employed through companies that are NFVF beneficiaries.

Definition of Crew:

A crew is a group of people, hired by a production company, for the purpose of producing a film or motion picture. The crew is distinguished from the cast as the cast is understood to be the actors who appear in front of the camera or provide voices for characters in the film. The crew is also separate from the producers as the producers are the ones who own a portion of either the film company or the film’s intellectual property rights. A film crew is divided into different departments, each of which specialises in a specific aspect of the production. Whilst all film practitioners will be considered, crews will be prioritised for this relief funding.

.Motion picture projects have three discrete stages: development, production and distribution. Within the production stage, there are also three clearly defined sequential phases — pre-production, principal photography and post-production — and many film crew positions are associated with only one or two of the phases. Distinctions are also made between above-the-line personnel (such as the director, the screenwriter and the producers) who begin their involvement during the project’s development stage, and the below-the-line “technical” crew involved only with the production stage.

Please note that no late applications will be accepted.

For any queries regarding applications please contact:
Thandekile Hlatshwayo
Applications Officer
Telephone: 011 484 0880
Manti Sekwakwa
Applications Officer
Telephone: 011 484 0880
.Closing date for submissions: Submission Date: 3 September 2020, Midnight.

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