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The NFVF invites documentary filmmakers to highlight the experiences of the Transgender community

January 10, 2022

“I think for a very long time, the ways in which trans people have been represented on screen have suggested that we’re not real…that we’re mentally ill, that we don’t exist. And yet, here I am. Here we are. And we’ve always been here.’ – Laverne Fox, American actress and LGBQTIA++ advocate.

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) invites TIER 1 and 2 filmmakers ONLY, to submit proposals for a feature length documentary film that creates celebratory transgender representation.

The call seeks to award funding to the value of R1 000,000 for the production of one feature length documentary under the theme “We’ve always been here”.


Since 2009, the 31st March has been named as the International Transgender Day of Visibility. In marking the importance of this day, Liberty Matthyse, a South African Transgender Activist states: “…it comes as a consequence of the erasure and the invisibilisation that we’ve suffered and were subjected to historically where we’ve been completely erased from the history of this world. And so it’s important to position our narratives to say that we are here, we’ve always been here and it’s important to tell the diverse narratives within the community because there’s not only one way of being trans or gender diverse”.

In response to the goals of the International Transgender Day of Visibility, The National Film and Video Foundation is seeking to approve a project that makes visible and celebrates the experiences of the transgender community, under the theme “We’ve always been here”. 

Terms of Reference:

  • The proposals must demonstrate promotion of visibility, celebration, and resilience.
  • Proposals must have a clear central idea, captivating and compelling story, inspiring character/s, and bold visual style.
  • 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, diverse perspectives.
  • Trans lead and/or gender-diverse teams will be given preference.
  • Concepts must be production ready.

Selection Criteria for Projects Proposal

Applications must include:

  • 1-2 page motivation
  • 1-page synopsis
  • Visual Treatment
  • Detailed outline or Documentary Script.
  • Archive Research Plan
  • CVs of key creative team with showreel/portfolio of work
  • Budget
  • Finance and recoupment plan
  • Proposed development and production schedule
  • Marketing and distribution strategy and plan.

Please note, preference will be given to projects that have members of the queer community as key crew members, i.e., producer, director, writer.


In order 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.
  • Preference will be given to queer creatives.
  • 51% black-owned and managed companies with a unique proposal.
  • Tier 1/2 Production Company. This is defined in the NFVF Funding Policy as:
    • Tier 1 (Experienced filmmakers who have a proven track record for developing and producing 3-5 feature-length documentary films.)
    • Tier 2 (Filmmakers with limited experience in the film industry, but who have developed and produced 1-2 feature-length films, television fiction and/or, 2-3 documentary short films seeking to venture into feature film development and production)
  • Production company should demonstrate an understanding of packaging and marketing of documentary films.

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

The Closing date for applications is 17 January 2022 at 5PM SAST. Any queries maybe directed to Nadinec@nfvf.co.za.

Full entry Ts&Cs.


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