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Invitation to submit proposals for short documentary and narrative films: Shining a spotlight on unsung community heroes

August 19, 2021

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) of South Africa, in collaboration with the Department of Sports Arts and Culture (DSAC), would like to invite ALL filmmakers to submit proposals for short documentary and fiction films that highlight stories of contributions both past and present made by individuals to a non-discriminatory, non-racial, non-sexist, non-violent, democratic and prosperous society as envisaged in our constitution.


The NFVF is pleased to announce that a call to submit proposals for 24-minute short films is now open. The films will be packaged under the anthology: Not All Heroes Wear Capes, the NFVF is seeking documentary and fictional films that will shine a light on an unsung hero from your community, whether dead or alive. This short film will be a personal narrative highlighting their contributions from a liberation, heritage or cultural perspective. The NFVF intends to support 10 films in total, due to the national importance of the topic, it is our intent to select a film from each of the 9 provinces or predominantly underserviced regions. A total of R470 000.00 will be awarded to each successful project, whether fiction or non-fiction.

THEME: Not all heroes wear capes

Nations are built on the collective (and creative) effort of citizens from all walks of life. Hence the call for authentic stories, reflecting on the legacy of those individuals within communities that touched, transformed or brought about a great difference within their locale or on a national scale; to highlight, celebrate and popularize the contribution, impact and achievements of past and present-day heroes and heroines of South Africa.


  • The proposals must highlight individuals whose contributions display any one or more of the values of patriotism/ Ubuntu/ creativity and innovation/integrity/ accountability.
  • The focus must be on stories of South African unsung heroes and heroines in different communities. Citizens who played a role – not necessarily well-known figures.
  • The NFVF is seeking to approve projects across all provinces.
  • Proposals must have a clear central idea, captivating and compelling story and inspiring real-life characters.
  • The film that is produced out of this initiative will have to meet the NFVF’s requirements for content that informs, educates, entertains, and offers unique perspectives of this legacy.
  • If a film is fictional, still find creative ways to incorporate archive – photographs, newspaper clips, videos etc. of the main character.
  • Concepts must be production – ready.


Selection Criteria for Projects Proposal

Applications must include:

  • Consent form (proving permissions and access to tell the story)
  • 1-2 page motivation
  • 1-page synopsis
  • Visual Treatment
  • Detailed outline for documentary / Full script for fiction
  • Archive Research Plan (if applicable)
  • CVs of key creative team with showreel/portfolio of work
  • Budget
  • Proposed development and production schedule
  • Marketing and distribution strategy and plan.



  • For a production company to be considered for this opportunity, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
  • Producer/s must be either a South African citizen or be a permanent resident of South Africa.
  • The producer/s must apply under a production company and not as individuals.
  • Production company should demonstrate an understanding of packaging and marketing of films.


Who does not qualify?

  • Previous recipients of NFVF slate funding including animation slate, fiction slates, documentary slates, youth and female filmmaker project are NOT eligible for this fund.
  • Individuals and/or Production Companies that have 4 (four) active NFVF funded projects across the value chain i.e. development, production, post-production, marketing and distribution, training, and festival funding support.
  • Production companies with active projects in production funded by the NFVF.


Compulsory Requirements:

All applicants must submit the following compulsory documentation:

  • BBBEE certificate.
  • Valid Tax Clearance Certificate or Tax Clearance Status Pin Document (not older than one year) *
  • Recently Certified ID copy (dated certification stamp not older than six months) *
  • Company registration document

Applicants need to register and complete the online application form using the following link: https://nfvf.praxisgms.co.za/

Failure to submit the above-mentioned compulsory documentations will render the application incomplete and therefore disqualified. No late applications will be accepted.

The opening date for applications is the 18th of August 2021, the closing date is the 13th of  September 2021 at 5 PM.

Any content queries may be directed to Nadinec@nfvf.co.za and Refiloeh@nfvf.co.za.  For praxis application process queries contact Mantis@nfvf.co.za or thandekileh@nfvf.co.za



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