Skip to main content


By 3 April 2023No Comments

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.  The filmmakers will be guided by the team at Sisanda Henna Leadership and Sisanda Henna Films, facilitators of the NFVF project.

The Youth Filmmaker Project targets previously disadvantaged youths to be guided in developing, writing and/or directing their own 24-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 scriptwriters, scriptwriter-directors and 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 film-making 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, followed by practical workshopping with a director and key technical crews, with the aim of the first ten films being completed in 2023/24. 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. Workshop attendance is mandatory as it helps with the development of the film and the participant alike.


Little Africa

We are looking for concepts in any genre that can celebrate the theme “Little Africa”. From romance to action, horror, sci-fi and everything in between. The theme requires that the lead character/ or the 2nd lead be an African living in South Africa. It need not be the sole focus of the story, but that context will give us their point of view of being a foreign African national living in South Africa. The character can be of any gender, age, sexual orientation etc. They can even be possibly born in South Africa, but their roots are from elsewhere in the continent, but we see how this affects their vantage-point of the world. 


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 or 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 / film-making and the extent of their experience in industry. This includes sending motivational video. 
  • Have a strong 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 of “Little Africa” – if applying for the Scriptwriter or Scriptwriter-Director role
  • The program allows directors only to apply without a concept. These applicants need to demonstrate knowledge and experience in the film-making process, talent, skill as well as the willingness and commitment to succeed. The program will pair writer-only participants with director-only participants.
  • 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.


All applications must submit the following documentation in for consideration:

  1. Concept for a 24-minute film including pitch deck/ story treatment that includes character descriptions, world of story and statement of intent  and a detailed synopsis. (Scriptwriter or scriptwriter-Directors only). Do not submit full scripts. Max 5 pages excluding a visual pitch deck (if submitting one)
  • Links to showreel or clips of previous work and behind the scenes pictures (if available)
  • Cover letter and/or video containing the following:
    • Who you are and why you are passionate about your story, and film-making.
    • How you would benefit from the programme, your 5-7 vision
    • Discuss your background, education and experience highlighting your achievements
  • Detailed CV
  • Certified copy of ID document (no older than 3 months).
  • Biography highlighting your achievements and picture of yourself
  • And any other documentation, video clips or pictures motivating/ demonstrating your skills, aptitude, work ethic, in writing and directing film.

Please make note of which distinct role you are applying for in the subject of the email between:

a) NFVF Youth Filmmaker Project – Scriptwriter Application,

b) NFVF Youth Filmmaker Project – Scriptwriter-Director Application

c) NFVF Youth Filmmaker Project – Director Application

All entries and queries to be sent to

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

CLOSING DATE: 30 April 2023

For media requests contact:

Lerato Mokopanele

Marketing and Communications Manager

National Film and Video Foundation


About Sisanda Henna Leadership / Sisanda Henna Films

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

Sisanda Henna Films 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.





Close Menu