Empowering Underrepresented Voices in Film: The NFVF, Yellowbone Entertainment, and the SABC Launch the Female Filmmaker Project
Johannesburg, March 2023
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), in partnership with the KZN Film Commission (KZNFC) and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), are thrilled to announce the opening of submissions for the Female Filmmaker Project. The initiative aims to provide a platform for historically underrepresented female filmmakers to showcase their talent, with the support of the award-winning production company, Yellowbone Entertainment.
The Female Filmmaker Project seeks to bring together ten talented female filmmakers annually for the next three years, enabling them to collaborate on a diverse range of film projects. By joining the programme, female filmmakers will have the chance to enhance their skills, broaden their knowledge, and establish important industry connections under the mentorship and guidance of Yellowbone Entertainment’s expert team.
In addition to the professional development opportunities, the programme also offers filmmakers the chance to increase their visibility through film screenings and festival entries. With an aim to support female storytellers, Yellowbone Entertainment is dedicated to providing a supportive and empowering environment for women in the film industry.
“At Yellowbone Entertainment, we believe in the transformative power of female storytelling,” said Layla Swart, Managing Director of Yellowbone Entertainment. “We are committed to providing a platform for talented female filmmakers to showcase their skills and create meaningful connections with other professionals in the industry. Our goal is to empower women in film to reach new heights, and we are thrilled to collaborate with the NFVF, KZNFC, and SABC on this exciting initiative.”
- To identify new voices, new talent and a new wave of female filmmakers especially amongst the youth and the emerging talent, and to grow this pool.
- To nurture, support and promote female filmmakers in South Africa through strategically developed training laboratories and workshops.
- To seek out remarkable storytellers and develop regionally based filmmaking talent, which will bring new perspectives to the African and global audience.
Scripts will be developed and workshopped over a dedicated development period, followed by practical workshopping with a director and key technical crews, with the aim of the first ten films being completed in 2023. During this process each writer and/or director will be provided with the necessary tools to first develop and write their story, to then break down scripts for the camera as well as detailed strategies for extracting the best performances from actors.
The successful projects and teams will be provided with a professional production crew to shoot their film and assist them in the editing and final delivery of the film.
Scripts will undergo a focused development phase, including workshops, and then practical sessions with a director and technical teams. Each writer and/or director will receive the necessary resources to craft their story and to translate it into a script suitable for filming.
The term “multiverse” refers to the scientific concept that there could be other universes beyond the observable one. In popular culture, it provides filmmakers with the opportunity to explore parallel realities. They can either use imaginative sci-fi elements to enhance our understanding of our world, or create a static setting with characters grappling with issues across multiple universes.
The theme is the South African take – if we had a multiverse, what would those stories look like in modern-day South Africa?
- The entrepreneur, who is struggling, envisions a successful version of themselves and begins to question whether it was another life and finds that it is a parallel one.
- A drunken driver enters a time loop where the driver keeps getting sent back to a certain point in life in order to prevent an accident.
- A story about a teenager who is able to access the memories and skills of all versions of herself from other parallel universes.
- A story about characters that navigate their interconnected experiences across multiple realities.
Examples of such films are: “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, “Sense8”, “Russian Doll”, “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness”.
The completed films will be packaged and screened for television audiences, and also submitted to various international film festivals. Those interested in applying are requested to submit concepts that align with the designated theme.
The following requirements must be met in order for a filmmaker to be eligible for this opportunity:
- Possess at least two years of experience in the industry.
- Belong to a historically disadvantaged group as defined by the Constitution of South Africa.
- Be able to set aside the requisite time to complete the programme.
Note: This programme is exclusively for female filmmakers with some industry experience. Only fictional narrative scripts will be considered.
Candidates must meet the following requirements to be considered for the project:
- Have a strongly written concept for a 24-minute stand-alone film with a clearly thought out premise or controlling idea that would allow it to be packaged with other projects under the theme, THE MULTIVERSE.
- Preference will be given to marginalized indigenous language proposals.
- Demonstrate familiarity with the tools of scriptwriting including taking feedback, as well as understanding that aspects of their original story might change for the purposes of producing the script.
- Be willing to meet the demands of the film industry and be present for every training and workshop commitment.
- Demonstrate a willingness and ability to work as a part of a team in the pursuit of the same objective.
- Understand the value of and is able to work under pressure and tight schedules.
- Have a portfolio of work to show their capability e.g. a showreel or, in the case of writers – script samples, that demonstrates their creative abilities.
All applications should be able to provide the following documentation for consideration:
- First draft concept for a 24-minute film including pitch deck/treatment that includes a character bible, and a detailed synopsis.
- A cover letter containing the following:
i. Who you are and why you are passionate about filmmaking
ii. Provide 3 images, one taken by yourself, ALONGSIDE A SHORT REFLECTION on the imagery (no more than 100 words).
- The CV must contain contactable industry references.
- Showreel/portfolio of work
- Certified copy of ID document (no older than 3 months).
All entries must be sent to email@example.com with the subject “NFVF FEMALE APPLICATION” and all required documents attached. To avoid automatic disqualification, applicants must submit their entries by 29 March 2023.
For media requests contact:
Chief Communications Officer
Yellowbone Entertainment/ The Post Office
Marketing and Communications Manager
National Film and Video Foundation
About Yellowbone Entertainment
Jahmil X.T. Qubeka and Layla Swart founded Yellowbone Entertainment, a leading production company, in 2017 following years of hard-earned grit and determination to transform the South African film and television landscape.
The company has experienced nothing short of incredible success since its inception, winning numerous awards each year at the African Movie Academy Awards and the South African Film and Television Awards among others.
Knuckle City, Blood Psalms, You’re My Favourite Place, and Sew The Winter To My Skin, to name a few, are just a few of the diverse success stories that have helped shape the brave and innovative essence of Yellowbone Entertainment.
The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture that was created to ensure the equitable growth of South Africa’s film and video industry. The NFVF does this by providing funding for the development, production, marketing and distribution of films and the training and development of filmmakers. In addition, the NFVF commissions research and produces industry statistics that provide both the stakeholders with valuable insights into the South African film industry.