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.

05 June 2008




Radio Canada International invites creators, 18 years and older, from around the world to enter their works on the theme of immigration to the Migr@tions competition

The works must respect the following criteria:

• Theme: Immigration

• Category: Fiction, Documentary or Animation

• Length: 4 to 9 minutes (including credits)

• Audio podcasts: 2 to 5 minutes

• Language: English (or any other language with English subtitles for short videos)

• Works produced in 2007 or 2008


What is a short film?
A short film is a film (fiction, documentary or animated) of less than 30 minutes in length. In the case of this competition, short films, including credits, must be between 4 and 9 minutes duration.

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio file. It can be an interview, an audio report, a work of fiction with one or more characters or autobiographical (that is, about yourself). In short, any work in which sound is the only element used. For the Migrations competition, works must be between 2 and 5 minutes in length. If you wish to put credits at the end, it may be read aloud…

Interested? Click here Deadline is JUNE 30th 2008.




Entertainment Law Course hosted by Deborah Lazarus, in association with UCT Law@work, to be held in Johannesburg from 18-20 June 2008.

Deborah Lazarus is an entertainment law consultant who provides consulting services and strategic advice to corporations and individuals in the film, television and music industry. Ms. Lazarus' clients include actors, agents, composers, directors, models, musicians, producers, production companies, record labels and writers.

Deborah gained her knowledge of entertainment law and the business of film and television whilst working at an entertainment law firm in Los Angeles. She holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Cape Town, was admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1996 and is also admitted to practice law in the State of California.

This course is a must for all creative individuals and professionals involved in the entertainment industry who want to learn about the business side of the industry. The aim of the course is to give you a broad overview of the film and television industry in the South African context from a legal perspective.

For further details on this course please contact Irèna Wasserfall (telephone 021 650 5621) or Shani Vavruch (telephone 021 650 5413). Fax 021 650 5662; e-mail / or see the Law Faculty Website:



Johannesburg Nu Metro Hyde Park 19 – 29June
Cape Town Nu Metro V&A Waterfront 3 – 13 July

Visit for further information and booking details.


Distribution, Co-production and Sales Workshop

A key area affecting the South African film industry is distribution and coproduction. Due to lack of information and networks, filmmakers are not easily finding co-production partners nor are they sufficiently exploiting the various avenues of distribution available: DVD, Television (local and international, satellite, cable, terrestrial) and digital downloads/VOD. Other elements of distribution that need clarification include contracts, marketing and playing the Film Festival Game. We believe that if filmmakers can attain business fluency it can maximise profits and exposure and increase capacity in the industry. Encounters, The Cape Film Commission (CFC) and the Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA) are hosting an open and interactive workshop facilitated by international and local experts.
CT only Friday 4 July / 9am–5pm Protea Hotel Victoria Junction, Greenpoint.

Claire Aguilar is Head of Programming at the Independent Television Service (ITVS), where she oversees all aspects of program initiatives, including programming strategy, funding calls, peer panel review and funding recommendations. She commissions programming with US independent producers and with international producers for ITVS's International Media Development Fund. She co-curates the Independent Lens series, a series of independent programming on PBS, which premiered in February 2003. Prior to this position she was manager of Broadcast Programming at KCET/Los Angeles. She has also been a film programmer at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. She has served as a programming consultant and panellist for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pew Fellowships in the Arts and other media and funding organizations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies and a Master of Arts in Film and Television Studies from UCLA. She serves on the board of Women Make Movies.

Diana Holtzberg is VP - Acquisitions, Project Development, Sales for Films Transit International, Inc., a leading worldwide documentary film sales company with an impressive catalogue, founded in 1982 by Jan Rofekamp. She executive produces and often acts as creative consultant on a select number of films (five in 2008) which the company represents each year. Diana has sat on panels and conducted workshops at the Sundance, IDFA, Sunnyside of the Doc, Hot Docs, Guadalajara and Galway Film Festivals, among others. Her career spans television production and magazines and she has co-authored numerous articles regarding documentary distribution, with Jan Rofekamp, and is currently completing work on a book based on the documentary film Still Doing It for the Penguin Group, co-authored with Deirdre Fishel.

Don Edkins is a documentary filmmaker and producer. He was born in Cape Town in 1953 and left South Africa in 1976 for political reasons. In 1994 he returned to South Africa to vote in the first democratic elections. With an academic background in Development Studies and African Languages, he has extensive work experience in the field of media and development. In Lesotho he published a national popular educational magazine, and founded a mobile video cinema in 1993 that distributes and screens films at a community level. His films include Goldwidows (1990), The Colour of Gold (1992), and The Broken String (1996). He produced the Southern African series on truth and reconciliation Landscape of Memory (1998), and the multi-awarded documentary project Steps for the Future (2001/04) – a collection of 38 films about Southern Africa in the time of HIV and AIDS . He is Executive Producer of the STEPS International global documentary project Why Democracy?, which has produced 10 long and 18 short films.

Locally there is a marked absence of Distribution, Co-production and Sales opportunities specifically for the documentary genre. Diana Holtzberg, Claire Aguilar and Don Edkins will be available for one-on-one meetings with filmmakers who have a project in development, a rough cut, or a completed product. DVD facilities will be available at the meeting venue for those with fi lm material. Filmmakers in one-on-one consultations will be given direct feedback on their product and advice on distribution and how to sell or coproduce into the international market.

CT only Saturday 5 July/ 09h30 – 17h30 Runway, Waterfront Studios, 1 Port Rd, Waterfront.
In order to book for the one day workshop please email Lisa Mini below. To book for one-on-one sessions with one of the experts please send a one page profile, a synopsis of your film including information on the status of the project, your budget and partners to Lisa Mini: by the 23rd June.

SABC/Encounters Master Classes

Emmy-award winning African-American filmmaker Stanley Nelson will share his knowledge on overlooked history and how to make a good story where there is scant visual historic material.

Nelson's work, as both a director and producer, has been recognized by the industry, festivals, communities and foundations and he is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, among them – the MacArthur "genius" Fellow, an Emmy, the Sundance Special Jury Prize and the George Foster Peabody award. A teacher and frequent festival jurist, he is also Executive Producer of Firelight Media, an NPO documentary production company dedicated to giving voice to people and issues that are marginalized in popular culture. He is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking historical documentaries, films that illuminate critical but overlooked history. For a full biography and filmography please visit and look under the Master Classes. His film A Place of Our Own will be screening at the festival.
Stanley Nelson travels courtesy of the US Consulate, Cape Town.
JHB Saturday 28 June / 12-3pm Goethe Institut
CT Saturday 5 July / 12-3pm V&A Waterfront Nu Metro

Sunny Bergman puts herself into her films, and she will speak about subjective filmmaking. Bergman's Philosophy and Politics studies (York University) inform and infuse her films, and she often uses her own life as inspiration, putting the old feminist credo "the personal is political" into practice. She operates the camera herself and has a very direct and honest way of approaching her subjects, which range from the un-realisation of hopes, to the complex food trade in Kenya to deconstructing beauty myths. In Keeping it Real, (screened at Encounters 2004) Bergman found that authenticity within the experience economy becomes a cliché and ultimately supersedes reality. All the while she is experimenting - exploring formats, new ways to tell stories in a new activist and still filmic way. Besides her work as a filmmaker, Bergman participates in think tanks, writing and organizing cultural and political events. Her film Over the Hill will be screening at Encounters 2008.
Sunny Bergman travels courtesy of Holland Film.
JHB Saturday 28 June / 9-11am Goethe Institut
CT Saturday 5 July / 9-11am V&A Waterfront Nu Metro

Producers' Workshops: Johannesburg

Dates: 25 – 27 June 2008
Venue: Goethe-Institut, 119 Jan Smuts Ave, Parkwood
In an increasingly competitive environment, documentary producers need a broad range of skills to grow their business, and produce films that can travel internationally.
After the success of last year's workshop, Encounters, with the support of the Goethe-Institut and Africalia, is hosting a second Producer's Workshop that will assist 10 documentary companies' growth capacity so that they can operate optimally. Top industry professionals, specialists in their chosen fields, will run the three-day workshop.

Introduction to Smart Producing
Music Rights:
Commissioning and Licensing
Raising Finance for Documentaries:
Exploring sources of finance, locally and internationally, and how to secure those funds
Archive Access and Rights:
How to clear rights for Archive films, photos, anything that can be owned. What is meant by 'public domain'; what is 'fair use'? Where to find cheaper archives
Local Marketing & Publicity:
How to build a marketing & publicity campaign to gain maximum exposure for your film
How to sell your film:
How to develop a strategy for sale & distribution and maximize revenue potential
Understanding Contracts:
The importance of the Chain of Title List of Agreements
Working with the SABC:
From creative to financial
Running Small / Medium Enterprise:
How to run an efficient business
If you would like to attend please email:

SABC Roundtable & Briefing Session

The SABC Factual Department will be hosting roundtable discussions, providing members of the film industry an opportunity to meet the team from Genre Factual in a relaxed and informal environment. All Commissioning Editors (CE) will be present and both established and emerging fi lmmakers are encouraged to attend.

A new brief with the theme of Human Rights will be announced and elaborated on by Acting Head of Genre, Eddie Manzingana before the commencement of the roundtable discussions. Filmmakers will be able to engage with Commissioning Editors in one-on-one discussions for 10-15 minutes each.
Announcement of Brief: 18h00 – 18h30
One-on-One: 18h30 – 20h00
Cocktail Function to follow.

In attendance will be:

Thando Shozi
Desmond Naidoo
Nhlanhla Hlongwane
Khanya Ngwenya
Mpho Maringa
Nigel Bird
Andile Genge
Danie Van Der Walt

Marianne De Klerk
Nonhlanhla Mabelane
Mandisa Mlonyeni

JHB Friday 27 June, Goethe Institut
CT Friday 11 July, Protea Hotel Victoria Junction.

The SABC Encounters Debate

Documentaries often focus their lenses on the down-trodden, oppressed and voiceless. The SABC Encounters Debate 2008 Human Rights – the Lens as an Oracle will open a debate on human rights and filmmaking. Where can, should and shouldn't the gaze of the filmmaker, focus on, in a context of lawlessness?

The debate will be enriched by presentations from the panel as well as the screening of selected clips from South African films. Panellists will include: Kai Crooks-Chissano, social scientist who sits on the advisory board of the Federation of Pan African Filmmakers, Professor Tawana Kupe, Dean of Humanities at Wits University, Mark Gevisser, author and scriptwriter in Johannesburg and Lindy Wilson, filmmaker, and an SABC representative.
JHB Saturday 21 June 6pm
CT Saturday 12 July 6pm


To book for any of the above events please email Lisa at with details (which event, in which city, on what date)

For more information please visit

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