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South Africa positioned as the production destination of choice at the 76th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes)

Johannesburg, 19 May 2023 – The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture (DSAC), will be positioning the South African (SA) film industry at the 76th edition of the Festival de Cannes, known as the Cannes Film Festival, from 16 to 27 May 2023. To achieve this, the NFVF has partnered with Wesgro, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) and KwaZulu Natal Film Commission for this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The South African film industry has had an official presence at the Cannes Film Festival since 1997, preceding its participation at major film festivals around the world since 2000. This has raised the profile of South African film and TV content and the industry at large.

South Africa’s film participation in this year’s festival is more significant following the signing of the amended Audio-visual Co-Production Treaty between South Africa and France in 2022. The amended treaty accommodates features, short films and serialised content for all platforms, including television and digital content. This has paved the way for a broader offering from the SA Film industry to the Cannes Film Festival.

“It is a great honour for the NFVF and the talented filmmakers that we have funded to be part of the cultural and economic melting pot that is the Cannes Film Festival,” says Ms. Thobela Mayinje, NFVF Acting CEO. Mayinje adds, “One of our objectives at the festival this year is to encourage and foster co-production opportunities, while also positioning South Africa as a filming destination of choice for foreign productions.”

The NFVF funded eight South African filmmakers to participate at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for film screenings, panel sessions, and project pitching opportunities. Some of the South African films participating at the festival are Ninja Moon Showdown, The Omen, Extravagant Ways To Say Goodbye, The Last Days of Elizabeth Costello, Riel and Moments of Dying, among others.

The NFVF is pleased to see more South African productions at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and is proud that an iconic and historically impactful South African film, SARAFINA, has been selected for the 2023 Official Selection – Cannes Classics. The NFVF is excited for the cast and crew of this legacy Mzansi film production.

During the festival, the NFVF will host a panel session with the theme Positioning SA as a Film Destination of Choice. The session will focus on positioning South Africa as a production destination of choice and will include different industry role players. This includes the promotion of the South African public finance institutions by attracting inwards investment, and offering tax and rebate incentives that are favourable to foreign productions. The session will take place on 19 May 2023, between 11:00 am – 14:00 pm at the SA Pavilion stand inside the Palais, at booth number Palais-1 20.01.

To wrap up engagements, the NFVF will host a networking cocktail on 21 May, between 17:30 pm – 19:00pm at the SA Pavilion stand inside the Palais, at booth number Palais-1 20.01, for industry partners.


For media requests, contact:

Lerato Mokopanele

Marketing and Communications Manager

National Film and Video Foundation

About Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival is an important film festival worldwide as it is widely publicized, draws attention to, and raises the profile of films showcased at the festival, with the aim of contributing towards the development of cinema and boosting the film industry at an international level. Cannes Film Festival has placed an emphasis on its Marché du Film as a way of promoting the dual cultural and economic nature of cinema. The Marché du Film is an international business centre. A place to meet industry professionals, make deals, share views, and for film projects to gain ground. The festival has more than 12,500 participants and remains the world’s leading market, adding enthusiasm to the global film industry.

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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