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.

23 July 2008




Celebrating Difference

The organisers of the ALUTA FILM FESTIVAL, South Africa’s premier township cinema event, are calling for entries from South African and International filmmakers for 2009, the 7th edition of the festival. The festival is hosted annually in the vibrant township called Galeshewe near the city of Kimberley, South Africa.

Submissions should be from filmmakers who have produced films that embrace black experiences worldwide and/or experiences of marginalized communities from across the globe. Submissions are invited from filmmakers from all over the world with special emphasis on world cinema (films that explore history, social issues and highlight marginalized communities).

Friday 20 February – Saturday 28 February 2009

ALUTA FILM FESTIVAL accepts features, documentaries and short films in the genres/sub-genres of drama, action, thriller, comedy, animation and factual. Filmmakers must guarantee, should their film/video be selected, that permission from the rights holder is secured for a minimum of four screenings at the 7th annual Aluta Film Festival 2009.

Filmmakers are requested to submit DVD PAL screeners of their films and a brief filmmaker biography for viewing by our panel, upon viewing – all selected filmmakers will be forwarded the official application details as well as all festival regulations. Please note that no screeners will be returned.

Friday 31 October 2008 on/before 12h00

For additional information feel free to contact festival director at or All entries should be forwarded to the below mentioned address:

Motheo Seleke
Aluta Film Festival
18985 Guttenburg Pitse Street
John Mampe. Phase One
Galeshewe. Kimberley. 8300
South Africa



Cape Town-based DFA member Joanne Corrigall writes:

We are currently making a documentary on drinking culture in the Western Cape that adopts a provocative, tongue-in-cheek style drawing inspiration from films like Supersize Me and Bowling for Columbine. I am looking for a young filmmaker to assist with the following:
- cinematography
- script-writing
- research
- production

The post is ideally suited to someone with an interest in what makes people tick and a sense of humour is vital! Applicants should have completed trained in filmmaking. Experience is beneficial but not necessary. Fluency in Afrikaans or isiXhosa would be advantageous.

The position is available immediately until the end of February 2009. Interested applicants can contact me by email on or telephonically on 084 516 9162.



Filmmakers Against Racism (FAR) and the SABC invite you to a dialogue on the role and responsibility of the audio-visual medium in combating xenophobia. The discussion will include clips from the documentaries produced by FAR in response to the recent xenophobic violence, and will be facilitated by Mandla Langa and attended by all the filmmakers involved.

The discussion will take place as part of the Durban International Film Festival on Tuesday 29th of July.
Venue: Catalina Theatre, Durban
Time: 15:00 – 17:00



Why is there such a crisis at the SABC? The following presentation was made at a forum on civil society strategies to deal with the current crisis at the SABC. The forum was convened by the Open Society Foundation and attended by a range of civil society organisations and concerned individuals
Unpacking the crisis at the SABC. To read Jane Duncan’s presentation, click here




“Independent Television Service continues to reinvent television and give public television back to the public.” –Daily Variety

This production funding initiative is designed to showcase international documentaries with powerful global stories that inform, inspire and connect Americans to the world at large.

International Call provides production funds for independent producers who are non-U.S. citizens, helping them create documentaries for American television. Through the ITVS International Call, storytellers from other countries introduce U.S. audiences to their global neighbors, opening a window into unfamiliar lives, experiences and perspectives. In addition to production funding and support, ITVS International will premiere funded programs on U.S public and commercial television, engaging viewers and maximizing impact through national promotion and educational outreach campaigns. International Call is an initiative of the International Media Development Fund—a project created by ITVS in partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Deadline: February 6, 2009
To visit the ITVS site and read the producer's guidelines, click here



The Hubert Bals Fund gives financial support twice a year. Application deadlines are March 1 and August 1. All materials should arrive no later than 5 days after the deadline.

Applications should be in English or in French. Although the Fund has no rigid rules and each individual project will be judged on its own merits there are certainly limits to the field in which the Hubert Bals Fund operates.

The prime consideration of the panel that considers all the projects will be the artistic qualities of an application.
Country of development and of the production should be one of the developing countries.
The entry should be original, authentic and rooted in the culture of the applicant's country.
The project should contribute to the development of the local film industry and the local film-making skills.
For the Fund to participate in a project, there should be a strong possibility that the rest of the finance can be found. Therefore applicants approaching the Fund should have other interested partners in place.
The Fund is restricted to the support of feature films and creative, feature length documentary projects with theatrical potential. Shorts, documentaries and films specially made for television cannot be taken in consideration. Eventual support for documentaries can be given by the Jan Vrijman Fund of the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).

The Fund operates with 4 different categories:
1.Script and project development
2.Digital Productions
3.Post-production funding or final financing

To find out more, visit the Hubert Bals Fund.



This year, the Alter-Cine Foundation will award a grant of 10,000 Canadian dollars to a video or filmmaker to assist in the production of a documentary project. The grant is aimed at young video and filmmakers born and living in Africa, Asia or Latin America who want to direct a film in the language of their choice that respects the aims of the Foundation. To apply, the video/filmmaker must:

1. complete the Application Form in French, English or Spanish;

2. include a synopsis in French, English, or Spanish (max. 5 pages) that describes the content, characters, situations, theme as well as the treatment and style of the project;

3. send a VHS cassette or a DVD of a completed documentary work. If possible the cassette should be sub-titled or versioned in French, English or Spanish. If the work does not exist in any of these three languages, please send a written transcript of the dialogue and narration in one of the three languages.

4. include a production budget for the documentary, as well as a financing plan which includes the Foundation grant and other sources of proposed or assured financing;

5. present two support letters from partners, NGOs, groups or associations supporting the project.

Applications must be sent post paid to the Alter-Ciné Foundation. Only applications received before August 15th of each year will be accepted. Candidates will be advised of the decisions of the Selection Committee before December 31 of each year.

The grant will be divided in two parts:

- the first payment of 6,000 Canadian dollars after the project is selected.

- the final payment of 4,000 Canadian dollars on reception of a Betacam and a VHS tape of the completed documentary.

To apply to the Alter-Ciné Foundation, click here.

Sundance and Skoll Foundation Fund Documentaries About Social Entrepreneurs: DEADLINE AUGUST 15th


The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and the Skoll Foundation have partnered in a three-year initiative to explore how independent feature-length documentary film can advance knowledge about social entrepreneurship.

The Stories of Change Fund will consider independent feature-length documentary projects in all categories of development, production and post-production. Completed films are not eligible. Film projects must be completed by 2010. Grant awards will be made on a case-by-case basis and may range up to $150,000US per film.

This is a one-time only RFP.

Grants will be awarded based on the following criteria:

All films must highlight and /or include a contemporary social entrepreneur, their organization and a focus on the issues in which the entrepreneurs are seeking a systemic and positive change.

All films must be feature length (over 65 minutes).

All films must be independently produced, with creative control held by the producing/directing team.

Films must display directorial vision/aesthetic and have the potential for theatrical release.

Sundance Documentary Film Program is part of the non-profit Sundance Institute. Dedicated to the discovery and support of artists, grants will be awarded to independent documentary film projects selected from the applicants. Sundance Institute reserves the right to solicit proposals. Please note that Sundance Institute seeks no licensing rights in the documentary film projects we support. Details of the contract will be presented to projects that are finalists.

This will be a competitive fund please make sure the project is appropriate to the guidelines. Questions can be directed to


If you think your film meets the above criteria, please go here to apply.

Filmmakers will be notified no later than December 1st if their submission has reached the final selection.


Q: What is a social entrepreneur?

A: Although the definition of a social entrepreneur can vary, the focus of this initiative is on individuals with significant innovations that have the potential to address the critical challenges of our time. We seek to expand the public's understanding of social entrepreneurs, their approach to social change, and the outcomes of their work. Excellent examples of people who have been awarded recognition for their work as social entrepreneurs can be found at, and

Definition of Social Entrepreneurship: A Social Entrepreneur is specifically defined as a change agent for society. Social Entrepreneurs pioneer innovative, effective, sustainable approaches to benefit humanity by meeting the needs of the marginalized, the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised. Social entrepreneurs are the wellspring of a better future.

Social Entrepreneurs are:

Ambitious: They tackle major social issues, from increasing the college enrollment rate of low-income students to fighting poverty in developing countries. They operate in all kinds of organizations: innovative non-profits, social purpose ventures such as for-profit community development banks and hybrid organizations that mix elements of nonprofit and for-profit.

Mission driven: Generating social value - not wealth - is the central criterion of a successful social entrepreneur. Promoting systemic social change is the real objective.

Strategic: Like business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs see and act upon what others miss -- opportunities to improve systems, create solutions and invent new approaches that create social value.

Resourceful: Because social entrepreneurs operate within a social context rather than the business world, they have limited access to capital and traditional market support systems. As a result, social entrepreneurs must be exceptionally skilled at mustering and mobilizing human, financial and political resources.

Results-Oriented: Ultimately, social entrepreneurs are driven to proven measurable returns. These results transform existing realities, open up new pathways for the marginalized and disadvantaged and unlock society's potential to affect social change.

Today, social entrepreneurs are working in many countries to create avenues for independence and opportunity for those who otherwise would be locked into lives without hope. Whether they are working on a local or international scale, social entrepreneurs share a commitment to pioneering innovation that reshape society and benefit humanity. Quite simply, they are solution-minded pragmatists who are not afraid to tackle some of the world's biggest problems.

To learn more about Social Entrepreneurs go to:

Q: Do I have to work with a social entrepreneur who has been supported by the Skoll Foundation?

A: No, the Film Fund will consider documentary proposals about people and organizations that meet the definition of 'social entrepreneur' as described above. The field is still evolving, and each proposal will be evaluated according to this definition. The Film Fund will also consider films about Skoll-supported social entrepreneurs but it is not a requirement. It is strongly suggested that applicants familiarize themselves with the Skoll Foundation web site (, the online community for social entrepreneurs at and the field of social entrepreneurship.

Q: Does the project have to be US-based?

A: Applications can be based anywhere in the world. Preference will be given to works projects that have experienced teams who have made long-form documentaries.

Q: Can these projects be news or television shows?

A: Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program supports artists making independently produced cinematic documentaries. This is not a television or news program fund, though television versions of Sundance-supported films are common as part of a larger co-production package.

Q: Do I have to work with a broadcaster?

A: Projects can work with any co-producing entity or broadcaster as long as the editorial control is held by the project's director. Sundance Documentary Film Program projects have worked with broadcasters globally, including CBC, PBS, A+E, HBO, Channel 4, BBC, Arte, and many more. We encourage projects that have some financing in place, or that have a likelihood of bringing additional funders on board.

Q: Is there any other support that comes with the funding?

A: The DFP offer creative as well as financial support. Funded projects will have a range of opportunities to take part on Labs, rough cut screenings, referrals, consultations, etc.

Q: Do Sundance DFP supported films automatically get into the Sundance Film Festival?

A: No, SFF is programmed independently and all DFP films must apply to the Festival individually. The DFP tracks our projects at SFF and advises on documentary activities and programming.

To learn more about the Sundance Documentary Film Program go to:

No comments: