Are you a filmmaker excited by the opportunity to tell a story about children overcoming adversity or the adults who seek justice on their behalf?

Discovery RISE in partnership with the Jozi Film Festival (JFF) and Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) are calling on South African filmmakers to tell these stories and help shine a global spotlight on SCSA and the incredible work that they do by entering the Discovery RISE Competition

Discovery RISE (Reducing Inequalities and Supporting Empowerment) is a global initiative focused on reducing inequality and supporting empowerment around the world — by working with local and global organisations focused on addressing social mobility through access to the most basic human needs. In South Africa the RISE initiative supports SCSA, an entity established in 2013 to fight for children’s rights.

“Discovery’s partnership with the Jozi Film Festival dates back to 2017. This year we have further elevated our partnership through our initiative with Save the Children South Africa, in which we hope to bring attention to, and tell the stories of, children who have overcome adversity in South Africa, especially those whose lives have been turned upside down as a result of the pandemic” said Henry Windridge, Discovery Networks’ Head of Brand for Middle East & Africa.


Jo’burg’s longest running multi-genre film festival, the Jozi Film Festival, encourages eager filmmakers to submit a one-pager detailing who they are, where they are based, and their reasons for entering the competition accompanied by links to past works.

Ten filmmakers will then be matched with 10 children (successful applicants will be notified by 5 October) and Discovery will contribute R10 000 towards each production. Filming will need to take place between 12 - 30 October and your film must be completed no later than 6 November.

The successful applicants will need to tell a child’s story in just under three minutes, using creativity, imagination and discretion. The brief is to tell real, honest stories - they may be heart-breaking or empowering. It may be a story that doesn't have an end yet. You the filmmaker will decide how best to communicate it.

Applications will open as the 9th annual Jozi Film Festival begins (Thursday, 17 September) and will close on Monday, 28 September at 5pm. All relevant information (tech specs, info packs, dates) can be found at from 17 September.

During November and early December all ten films will be broadcast continent-wide on Discovery’s bouquet of channels and uploaded to JFF’s website where the public can vote for their favourite filmmaker.

The winning filmmaker will be announced on 11 December and will walk away with state-of-the-art filming equipment to the value of approximately R50 000. All the children who take part will also receive educational tablets from Discovery RISE.

"The stories of vulnerable children will rest in your hands. As a filmmaker, you will have a chance to help voice them, and be part of a global campaign. Our advice is to enter this competition only if your heart is in the right place,” says Lisa Henry, Jozi Film Festival founder.

“This competition was slated to run earlier in the year but the global pandemic put a stop to that. We want to extend our thanks to both Discovery and SCSA for keeping the hope alive that we would somehow get this off the ground in 2020. Being able to contribute to supporting both Save the Children and South African filmmakers is hugely rewarding,” continued Lisa Henry.

This competition is only open to South African residents. The children taking part in this have agreed to share their stories. Save the Children South Africa will ensure their rights are protected.

Please read the following documents before entering