The DFA was established in 2007 to promote and protect the interests of doc filmmakers in South Africa. To contact the DFA, please use the contact form: here . The DFA website is at: Membership applications can be made through the website here.

07 March 2008

summer academy

IDFA Summer Academy


The Amsterdam based IDFAcademy is introducing Summer School 2008. It is a training programme aimed at helping filmmakers develop their documentary film projects. It is taking place in Amsterdam on 14-19 July. The application deadline is 25th April.

IDFAcademy Summer School offers the opportunity to meet and work with filmmakers willing to share their knowledge and experience with young up and coming talents eager to learn. The Summer School is open to first-time or second-time directors.

The IDFAcademy Summer School aims at filmmakers working on a film project that would be interesting for the international market and needing some additional help in getting it out there.

Themes to be touched during the summer school are:

- How to structure your initial film concept to a film project with a strong narrative.

- Where to find the help making a clip that will introduce your film project to an international market audience and help you pitching?

- When to develop your film project with multi media potential to a high quality cross media project?

Read more about the Summer Academy here

IDFA 2008
Dates: 20 - 30 November.
Deadline for submission of work: 1 May and 10 August

The FORUM 2008
Dates: 24 26 November.
Deadline for submitting projects for this co-production pitching forum:
1 September

Docs for Sale 2008
Dates: 21 - 29 November.
Deadline for submitting work: 1 October

Jan Vrijman Fund
Deadlines for entry: 1 June 2008

IDFAcademy 2008
Dates: 21 - 23 November.
Deadline: 1 October

films to watch


In 2006 Martin Scorcese filmed the Rolling Stones in concert. The documentary is titled ‘Shine A Light’ and it premiered this week in Berlin.

Journalist Denis Seguin saw the doc and his less than flattering but quite hilarious review appears courtesy of the Guardian film blog

Has Scorsese shone a light, or turned over a rock?

Shine A Light, Martin Scorsese's film of the Rolling Stones in concert, is less an embarrassment of riches than rich in embarrassment - some of it my own.

I am an unreconstructed fan of the Rolling Stones' recordings. It is perhaps unwise for a 45-year-old father of three to admit it, but I listen to their music at high volume in my minivan. So while other journalists in attendance at the Berlin film festival scoffed at the nonsense of a Stones concert opening Berlin, I thought, "Oh goody."

Two sets, 18 songs, filmed by a team of ace cinematographers, directed by the film-maker who has crafted brilliant movie moments around their music: bring it on.

At first, disorientation: who's that old man stumbling around with a guitar? Jesus Christ, look at the state of Keith. And the geezer behind the drums - Charlie, is that you? And what happened to Mick - how did he get so raddled?

OK, I'm old too. I've got some gray happening. And look how happy Jack White of the White Stripes is, singing Loving Cup with his grandfatherly hero. This is all good. If I'm dry-humping the next Christina Aguilera onstage in 2028, good on me.

But then Mick did something unforgivable. The trouble began with Some Girls, the lead track from the 1978 album of the same name. The song features perhaps the Stones' raunchiest, most racially charged line. After cataloguing the peccadillos of a United Nations harem of women, Jagger complains, "Black girls just wanna get f***** all night, I just don't have that much jam." That line is mysteriously absent from Shine a Light.

Having passed too many teenage nights between the speakers of my parents' beyond-bad phonograph, my brain is tattooed with Mr. Jagger's loquacity. Suffice it to say, if you play with me, you're playing with fire. As soon as I heard - or rather, didn't hear - that line, I visually checked out of the filmed performance and started listening for missing bits. I started to feel spiritually old.

Not that the Stones haven't engaged in self-censorship before. For their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, they infamously complied with their host's demand to rephrase the chorus of Let's Spend The Night Together as "let's spend some time together."

But that was when the Stones were just beginning to roll, when they needed the bread, man. How lame now, at this stage of the game, in the penthouse of wealth, to pander to the masses. Particularly when that means airbrushing one of the most fascinating histories in popular music. And then they did it again. Baby, it hurt.

Also gone awol was the bit about killing the Kennedys from Sympathy for the Devil. Why might this be so? One can only assume it was because the concert was introduced by the last Democratic president (Bill Clinton) and attended by the potential next Democratic president (Hillary Clinton). But really - were the band (or the film-makers) honestly worried about offending them with the reminder of the deaths of a political dynasty whose surviving members mostly seem to be endorsing Obama anyway?

True, Mick left some racy material intact. In Shine a Light, black girls are not allowed to come, but the dead man of Start Me Up can. Others made the grade by dint of subtlety. In their duet of Live With Me, Uncle Mick grinds against Aguilera while they sing about the senseless French maid who is "wild for Crazy Horse" - code for heroin. But this only served to make the other omissions all the more perplexing.

As the credits rolled, I fell into a depression. The mawkish introduction by Clinton, the plastic grin of Hillary, the audience pimped with gorgeous young blondes who would not otherwise be caught dead at a show. I know the Stones were "over" long ago - a point rammed home here by juxtaposing the concert with archival interviews from the band's heyday - but their recordings have stayed with me across time and format: LP, cassette, CD, MP3. Their lyrics are the band's last tenuous connection with rebellion: lose them, and there is nothing.

It was the old interviews, spliced between images, in living colour, of time's fiendish way with flesh, that pinned my heart to the floor. Jagger was never beautiful in the Bowie manner but, at the zenith of his rock-star ascendancy, he was magic. And when his 1968 voice belts out songs like Monkey Man and Live With Me, I still imagine a big happy mansion brimming over with joyful hedonism, I remember the original 24-hour party people, and how they helped me keep teenage reality at bay.

Shine a Light shined a light. You can't go back. Extreme close-ups on Mick Jagger are a bad idea. They will be excruciating on IMAX.


This film for the YouTube generation convincingly uses the appearance of documentary truth /realism to create a work of dramatic fiction. The hook is as follows:

"Documentary Filmmaker looking for suicidal individual to follow from first preparation to final act." Cut from 142 video tapes, this project sheds light on the tragedy following the infamous internet ad.”

Director Daniel Stamm, interviewed by Erik Childress for eFilmCritic, says:

“My roommate was a documentarian. He had the idea to make a film about a suicidal person. So I made a movie about a documentarian making a movie about a suicidal person. We shot 120 hours, so the writing was really done in the editing room.

I showed a very early work-in progress cut of the film during the SkenaUp festival in Kosovo. People were breaking down and crying, an American girl screamed at me "Your film is evil, you are a murderer, you shouldn't be allowed to make movies!" and the festival's organizer warned me not to go outside after the screening because "a mob" had gathered to deal with me. That is my festival experience so far ...” The completed film screens this month at the South By Southwest (SXSW) 2008 Film Festival in Austin, Texas:



“It was hard to believe this was a documentary, it was more like a hilarious romp with a devastatingly naughty ugly American. The camera work is brilliant and the editing unrelenting. Life is stranger and funnier than fiction.” – Viewer post on

Robert Fischer is a manic Jewish American artist who ventures to Melbourne to seek the fame and recognition that has eluded him in his own country. By ruthlessly manipulating the media and Melbourne's art world, Bob creates a chain reaction of ill-fated events that veer wildly from the hilarious and bizarre to the disastrous. Shot over several months, this documentary by Maciek Wszelaki paints a hilarious picture of Melbourne’s small-town willingness to be dazzled by an American of questionable talent.


The following download links appear courtesy the British Documentary Website

Click here to download these useful production documents:

Standard release form: A standard, non-payment, release form for use with documentary subjects
Confidentiality Agreement : For times when you're dealing with sensitive information
Freelance Agreement
Location Agreement
Sales Agent Agreement
Music Recording License: For the use of copyrighted music in your film

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