S. Africa creates film trust

The South African government Thursday announced the establishment of a film and television trust and a film/TV foundation to boost the industry.

Home Affairs Minister Danie Schutte told a press conference that the government also had decided to extend for a year the subsidy system for films, but with safeguards to ensure that the wholesale fraud of recent years will not be possible.

Under the new system, aid would primarily promote indigenous cultures, develop young talent and help expose South African productions to the international market.

The maximum subsidy would now be 1.5 million rands ($ 439,000), down from 2 million rands ($ 682,000). TV films would qualify for subsidies of up to 200,000 rands ($ 68,200), Schutte said.

The film and television trust would serve, he said, as a bridge between state and private-sector financial assistance to the film industry.

The foundation would be able to help with the development of scripts and sponsor promising directors.

The “totally new dispensation” for the South African film industry was comparable to that of Australia, Schutte said, and aimed not at creating a bureaucracy but at aiding the film industry.

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