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New York Film Academy Funding

Personal message

Technology has redefined how people interact, how they connect and more importantly, how they play. Never have we needed to connect more than we do now, and what better way to do it than through celebrating how we as South African’s have fun?

My name is Verona Banda; I am a graphic designer, photographer and aspiring film maker who is based in Randfontein, Johannesburg. “Play Again, Live Again” is a project I started 3 years ago that aims to remind people about the joys of playing outdoors through nostalgic games mostly played in South African townships.

The project explores a part of our culture that has played a big role in the lives of most people that grew up in townships, a part that I think isn’t documented enough.

While working on this project, I realised how much I enjoyed using photography and film to tell beautiful, raw stories. I fell in love with the idea of being able to tell stories that are not only relatable but stories that teach fellow South Africans and the rest of the world about the multifaceted nature of the South African narrative while shedding some much needed light on how we interact as people. I also realised how important it is to archive our culture, experiences and interactions so that future generations have something to look back on.

So, this year, I took a leap of faith and registered for a 1 year conservatory documentary film making program at the prestigious New York Film Academy in an effort to learn more about how to tell these stories with the skill and quality that they deserve. I was accepted into the once in a lifetime programme and this has meant the world to me.

My dream is to come back home and use all that I’ve learned to bring a fresh approach to documenting South African stories. I plan to partner with people and brands who have been or currently are an integral part of the experiences that I’ll be filming. I feel that this project could be transformative because it carries the weight of the South African experience.

I’ll be starting at the academy in September 2020 and I need a specific amount of money in order to acquire my student visa. I hope that everyone that will be contributing to this trip sees the value in this project and how transformative it can be to the South African narrative.

Below is a breakdown of how much I need for this trip to take place. I have also put into consideration the fluctuation between the rand to dollar exchange. These funds have been converted using the current exchange which is most likely to change.


Tuition: $33,160 - R500,085.96


Equipment Fee: $2,210 - R33,329.01


Living Costs: +- $22,800 - R343,846.80


Miscellaneous expenses: +- $10,000 – R151,819.94


Travelling Costs: +- R12, 000


Looking forward to coming back home and telling beautiful stories with everyone.



  • Aug 27, 2020 - R 500.00
  • "Keep the dream alive and don't you dare stop believing!" - Ntombi

  • Nov 05, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Your dreams are valid. All. Of. Them " - Ntombi

  • Sep 27, 2019 - R 10 000.00
  • "I love your project. I hope this helps you reach your dream. Have fun, and good luck - keep us all posted as you soar!" - Erin-Dianne Richards

  • Sep 13, 2019 - USD $ 34.24
  • "May the spirit of guidance be with you as you soar. Have fun!" - Tshepiso Bojosi

  • Sep 02, 2019 - R 100.00
  • "We at TSHIKHUDO MULTI SERVICES are about promoting young black talent. All the best" - Tshikhudo Multi Services

  • Aug 31, 2019 - USD $ 32.93
  • "Make it happen love xx" - Shanim

  • Aug 29, 2019 - R 350.00
  • "Follow your Dreams Vee, all the best!!!" - Emmi

  • Aug 29, 2019 - USD $ 13.04
  • "All the best Vee. This won’t be my last donation ;)" - Sivuyise Baart

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Donations to date

R 14 649.99

Fundraising target

R 1 500 000.00

Verona Banda Study Cause

Verona Banda Study Cause Logo

Verona Banda (28) from Randfontein is raising funds to study at the New York Film Academy.