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A year-long discovery, training and mentorship program of the brightest film writing and directing talent in the country.

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), in partnership with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), is pleased to announce the opening of submissions for the Youth Filmmaker Project 2024/2025.  The filmmakers will be guided by the team at Sisanda Henna Leadership x Sisanda Henna Films, facilitators of the NFVF project.

The Youth Filmmaker Project targets previously disadvantaged youths to be guided in developing, writing and directing their own 23-minute debut short films which will become their calling-cards in the international industry. Only the best 10 scripts will be produced by the facilitating company. The program seeks aspirant, talented and hardworking writer-directors to apply. This project is targeted towards aspirant young filmmakers who have a desire to break into the industry and would like to pursue a career in script writing and/or directing. This program will ensure that each participant has a complete script and film that will form part of their portfolio in the future.


To seek out remarkable storytellers from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and develop regionally based filmmaking talent, which will bring new perspectives to our South African and ultimately the African and global audience.

To nurture, support and promote young writer-directors in South Africa through strategically developed training laboratories, workshops and mentorship. 


Scripts will be developed and workshopped over a dedicated development period. During this process each writer and director will be provided with the necessary tools to develop the story and direct their film. The successful projects will be provided with a professional production crew to shoot their film and assist them in the editing and final delivery of the film. Workshop attendance is mandatory as it is key for learning and development.


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

  1. Between the ages of 18-35. 
  2. Must be South African/ permanent resident 
  3. Have a strong written concept and directing potential 
  4. Have not directed a professional film/ professional episode of television fiction.  
  5. Be a historically disadvantaged Individual as defined in the constitution of South Africa.
  6. Be able to set aside the requisite time over a period of 12 months to complete the programme.
  7. Only fictional narratives will be accepted.


Eligible candidates for the project must:

  • Demonstrate a passion for the film industry / filmmaking and the extent of their experience in industry. This includes sending a motivational video.  
  • Have a strong written concept for a 23-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 of “HOME”.
  • Must understand 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 at every training and workshop.
  • 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.

NB: filmmakers will need to pitch at production stage and the best candidates will proceed to filming/ directing the films.


Applications must submit the following documentation in for consideration:

  1. Original concept for a 23-minute film. The film concept should be relatively contained; limited to no more than 4 lead characters, 4 supporting roles and a maximum of 4 locations. The fewer the better. 
  2. Under themes stated below. See document – Themes.
    1. Pitch deck/ visual treatment, (max 5 pgs) 

Include content under the headings: Title, Log-line, theme, tagline, genre, controlling idea, visual realisation, statement of intent, main character/s biographies, world of story – use text only (max 2 pgs). 

  • Detailed Synopsis (max 1pg)
    • Script Sample you have written (max 3 pages): from any previous script of yours or the inciting incident of your concept.
  • Cover Letter or Video of motivation. (max 2 pages or max 3 min clip). Mandatory.
    • Who you are and why you are passionate about your story and filmmaking. 
    • How you would benefit from the programme, your 3-5 year vision. 
    • Discuss your background, education and experience highlighting your achievements
  • CV with picture. (max 3 pgs) 
  • Indicate Province of birth, Province currently residing in. 
  • Work Portfolio (min 3 pgs – max 12 pgs ). Mandatory
  • Certified copy of ID document (no older than 3 months).
  • Biography with a picture (of yourself). (max 1 pg)
  • And any other documentation (max 2 documents), video clips or pictures motivating/ demonstrating your skills, aptitude, work ethic, in writing and directing film.

All entries to be submitted on the form, kindly visit :  h#ps://  h#ps://  

Please make sure that all required documents or links thereto are submitted as any missing documents will lead to automatic disqualification.

You can only submit one application.

You can only submit as an individual and not a company.

For any queries, please email: 



Theme: HOME

People have the uncanny ability to impose bits and pieces of themselves in spaces and places. Calling them HOME. With “home” being intimately tied to our sense of identity and self definition. What lengths do we go to in order to seek out homes that belong to us? What do we become when we are cracked open at a time of need?

Home refers to where you feel you belong. Ideologies on love, food, family, growth, self, rest, care, grief are formed. The untold stories, secrets hidden in the chambers within. Filmmakers can explore and create stories centred around these themes: class struggles, belonging, individual vs society, fighting for justice, chaos vs order, quest for power, humanity vs technology. Use your imagination to explore the impact and perception formed according to the place you call home. Exploring the Possibilities and impossibilities, positive and negative impacts of home. The homes we come from and the homes we have found along the way, the homes we create for ourselves – the different perceptions of a home. How we handle different life situations and deal with people. What is your place called home?

There’s multiple genres you can draw from such as; Drama, comedy, romance, action, sci fi etc can be explored in the setting of modern day Africa

Exploring the theme of “home” in a short film offers a myriad of creative opportunities. Here are several approaches you could consider, feel free to go beyond this:

Physical vs. Emotional Home: Contrast the physical space of a house with the emotional concept of home. Show a character who feels disconnected or lost even within the comfort of their own home. This could involve juxtaposing images of the character’s physical surroundings with their inner emotional state.

Finding Home in Unlikely Places: Tell the story of someone who discovers a sense of belonging and home in unexpected places or with unexpected people. This could involve a character who feels like an outsider until they find a community or a sense of purpose.

Loss of Home: Explore the theme of displacement or loss by depicting a character who has lost their home (the physical or emotional sense of home) due to circumstances beyond their control. This could be through eviction, natural disaster, or other means.

Show how the character copes with this loss and ultimately finds a new sense of home.

Cultural and Personal Identity: Explore how one’s cultural background and personal experiences shape their understanding of home. This could involve a character grappling with their cultural identity and the tension between their heritage and their current surroundings.

The Journey Home: Frame the story around a character’s physical journey back to their home. This could involve a literal journey or a metaphorical one.

Home as a Sanctuary: Depict the home as a safe haven from the outside world. Explore how the characters’ relationships with each other and their environment create a sense of security and comfort. This could involve themes of family, friendship, or community.

Environmental Home: Explore the relationship between humans and their natural environment. Show how characters connect with nature and find a sense of home in the wilderness or in rural landscapes.

Ultimately, the key to exploring the theme of home in a short film is to create relatable characters and compelling narratives that resonate with audiences on a personal level. Whether through visuals, dialogue, or symbolism, aim to evoke the complex emotions and experiences associated with the concept of home. Reimagine HOME in all


For media requests contact: 

Lerato Mokopanele  

Marketing and Communications Manager

National Film and Video Foundation ENDS.

About Sisanda Henna Leadership / Sisanda Henna Films

Sisanda Henna Leadership (Training, Incubation and Advisory), a Non-Profit Company, designs and rolls out growth and development solutions for social impact, skills and capacity development.

Sisanda Henna Films (Entertain * Inspire) is a boutique motion pictures company, producing a select number of projects a year. SHF develops, packages and produces world-class pictures for global distribution. Focusing on afro-centric fiction and non-fiction narratives to supply the top studios/networks/ streamers and theatrical – globally. Her mission is to make some of the world’s best movies, series, documentaries et al for scores of mass and niche audiences worldwide.





About NFVF

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.





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