The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture that was created to ensure the equitable growth of South Africa’s film and video industry. The NFVF’s role as the national film funding body is to particularly increase the number of South African films and Previously Disadvantaged Individuals (PDIs) producing them. To this end, the NFVF has dedicated programmes for the youth and women.
As a majority women-run organisation, the NFVF values, and respects women. The organisation was one of the first institutions to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) and promote the signing of the SWIFT Pledge against sexual harassment through various channels including at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) 12 ceremony.
Early in 2018, the NFVF awarded marketing and distribution funding to Born Free Media (BFM) for their film The Number. Subsequently, various allegations of sexual harassment and assault were made against former BFM director, Khalo Matabane. The remaining producers of BFM only became aware of these allegations following the press and social media reports.
BFM is founded on the values of diversity and respect and has always shown commitment to empowering and supporting women in the Film and Television Industry. As a member of the IPO and SWIFT, they have signed the SWIFT’s mission and code of good practice regarding its sexual harassment policy. They stand together with all organisations and campaigns that support #ThatsNotOk.
In light of these allegations BFM has chosen not to take up the funding awarded, a decision fully supported by the NFVF. The NFVF will not support acts that go directly against the pledge signed by the NFVF, but more importantly against the values that the NFVF is built on.
In addition, the NFVF is currently reviewing its policies to include a clause that all NFVF funded projects shall be required to attach a signed copy of the Code of Conduct of the Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT).