Earlier this year, South African Fineline Productions received funding from the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) to develop and produce annual feature films – R6m for three years (or about $730,000). 

The goal is to discover and develop new black filmmaking talents in South Africa.

Junaid Ahmed of Fineline Productions said that his motivation for the project was based on:

… his concern over the slow advancement of black film professionals; particularly screenplay writers, directors and producers in the film industry. An intensive-action plan was hatched by Ahmed and his team at addressing the root of the problem. This involves selecting and grooming aspirant film-makers with “natural DNA and flair for the art of visual story-telling,” said Ahmed.

The company plans to spend R2m each year (or about $250,000) developing and eventually producing 1 feature film, and has issued a call for submissions for narrative feature film projects, with an application deadline of Monday, September 10, 2012.

The company says it's especialling searching for "submissions that have a strong commercial bent especially in the genres of action adventure, drama, romance, comedy and thrillers."

The rest of the criteria follow below:

• The Writer/s, Producer and Director must be black.

• Writers must have authored at least one dramatic fictional work which has been accepted for publication OR must have written at least one script of no less than 24 minutes which has been produced OR must have graduated from an accredited film school (with good references) or the NFVF writers’ programme.

• Directors: must have directed at least one fictional short film OR two episodes of a television drama which has been accepted for broadcast OR a feature film which has been accepted either for distribution or screening by an accredited film festival.

• Producers: must have a track record of working at least two years in the film and/or television industry. Experience in production, production accounting, distribution, writing or directing will lend weight to this application.

Obviously, this isn't a program for first-timers.

If you fall intor any of the above 3 main categories (writer, director or producer), and you're black, and you are South Africas (it doesn't say you have to be living there permanently, but I'd verify), or you know someone who fits the above criteria, here's what you need to submit: 

• 1 page story synopsis

• 1 page project motivation

• 1 page bio of key personnel (Writer/Producer/Director)

Selected applicants will be required to pitch their projects to a panel. Pitching of projects will take place in Johannesburg at a date to be confirmed.

Mail your application to:

Fineline (Slate Productions)
P.O.Box 30210
Mayville 4058
KwaZulu Natal
South Africa

And of course, if you have any further questions, you're encouraged to email the company at: