Protocols for Working with Intimate Content - South Africa

TV, Film and Associated Media

In film, television, digital media and the interactive world, nudity, intimacy and simulated sex often have an important role to play in the telling of a story. Although performances in these scenes convey strong feelings and powerful emotions to an audience, which can be integral to a storyline, we also recognise the unique vulnerabilities that might arise for Performers, and indeed all Production Team involved, when engaged in hyper-exposed work. The high level of sexual violence and trauma in South Africa calls for a responsible approach to this sensitive topic. The protocols and standards - for those creating intimate content - establish specialised support mechanisms that empower and protect Cast and all Production Departments pre-, during and post-production. The policies are designed to provide a safety net for Performers while allowing for a more efficient production. These standards and protocols provide a framework for working with intimacy. Professional Intimacy Coordinators (ICs) can be employed throughout the entire production process (pre-production, on-set and post-production). They are trained to protect both the Performers and the Production Team as a whole and to facilitate exchange and collaboration with the least disruption to the production. However, these protocols are equally applicable to productions that include scenes with intimacy whenever an IC is not available, not required or not an option.

These protocols would not have been possible without the support and input from the South African Film Industry.