Africa is on the frontlines of the climate crisis but it’s not on the front pages of the world’s newspapers. Every activist who speaks out is telling a story about themselves and their community, but if they are ignored, the world will not know what’s really happening, what solutions are working. The erasure of our voices is literally the erasure of our histories and what people hold dear to their lives – Vanessa Nakate (Climate Justice Activist)

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), would like to invite all filmmakers, to submit proposals for a short documentary film that speaks to people and their connection to environment and/or wildlife. he call seeks to award funding to 6 stand-alone short documentary concepts to the value of up to R250 000,00 (Two Hundred And Fifty Thousand Rand Only) each for the production of short environment and/or wildlife documentaries in keeping with the theme of “environment and belonging”.


South Africa joins other nations celebrating World Environment Day on 5 June every year. The world is facing three major environmental crises: climate change, biodiversity and nature loss as well as waste pollution. This is driven by human activity and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. The world’s most vulnerable communities are often the worst impacted by the environmental crises. (South Africa commemorates World Environment Day 2022 | Department of Environmental Affairs (

In response to environmental crisis, The National Film and Video Foundation is seeking to approve 6 stand-alone short documentaries that bring awareness to people’s relationship with environment and/or wildlife, under the theme “Environment and Belonging”.

Terms of Reference:

The proposals must demonstrate relationships between people and environment/wildlife, it should be solution driven and celebratory. Proposals must have a clear central idea, captivating and compelling story, inspiring character/s, and bold visual style. The films produced out of this initiative will have to meet the NFVF’s requirements for content that informs, educates, entertains, and offers unique, diverse perspectives. Concepts must be production ready.

Six Short Concepts Will be Approved.

Duration: 10 – 15 minutes.

Selection Criteria for Projects Proposal

Applications must include:

  • 1-2 page motivation
  • 1-page synopsis
  • Proof of Character participation where necessary (i.e. a document signed by main character confirming they will participate in the documentary)
  • 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.


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.
  • 51% black-owned and managed companies with a unique proposal.
  • Tier 1, 2 or 3 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)
    • Tier 3: New entrants into the industry, particularly recent film school graduates from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. This intervention is geared towards first time filmmakers having a “calling card” in the film industry.
  • Production company should demonstrate an understanding of packaging and marketing of documentary films.

Who does not qualify?

  • Previous recipients of NFVF slate funding including animation slate, 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 that have current projects active 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:

Failure to submit the above-mentioned compulsory documentations will render the application incomplete and therefore disqualified. The Closing date for applications is 20 January 2023 at 5PM. Any queries maybe directed to

For any queries regarding technical issues with submissions please contact:

Thandekile Hlatshwayo: Applications Officer, email: