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.

20 July 2008


Thank you to all DFA members who participated in the Annual General Meeting.

The new board members for 2008 / 2009 are as follows:

Miki Redelinghuys (Co-Chair CT)
Tula Dlamini (Co-Chair JHB)
Bongo Morala (Deputy Chair CT)
Marc Schwinges (Treasurer JHB)
Dylan Vally (Youth Portfolio CT)
Rassool Snyman (Regional Portfolio – Building National Membership KZN)
Pascal Schmitz (Project Co-Ordinator JHB)
Kali van der Merwe (Project Co-Ordinator CT)
Theresa Meyer (Co-Secretary CT)
Catherine Muller (Co-Secretary JHB)
Khalid Shamis (DFA and TPA liaison JHB)

We would like to express our grateful thanks to Natalie Stange, Michael Lee and Carien Wandrag for their commitment, energy and time while serving on the 2007/2008 board.

Some of the projects we'd like to pursue this year are:

- A co-production pitching forum for documentaries.
- Securing competitive production insurance rates for members.
- Seeking legal counsel at competitive rates for our members.
- Continuing to engage with industry bodies such as SASFED on behalf of our membership.




29th Durban International Film Festival
23 July to 3 August 2008

Cinema in all its diversity will once again be celebrated at the 29 th Durban International Film Festival which runs from 23 July to 3 August. Featuring more than 200 films from more than 95 countries, spread over more than 300 screenings at 26 venues across the city, the festival will bring together established masters of cinema and innovative new talents from around the world. Alongside the presentation of the some of the year's finest films, the festival will run an extensive workshop and seminar programme giving the regions aspirant filmmakers an opportunity to learn from and be inspired by some of cinema's greats.
Opening the festival is the African Premiere of Ralph Ziman's Jerusalema, a gritty gangster thriller set on the harsh streets of Johannesburg . The festival will close with Mike Leigh's uplifting new comedy, Happy-Go-Lucky .

The festival will offer an exciting journey into the world of contemporary cinema with a range of feature films, documentaries and short films that will not only entertain, but enlighten and inspire.

Festival director Peter Rorvik explains: “ The Durban International Film Festival opens a window on the world, provides access to many different cultures and provides a space in which the cinematic art form transcends national boundaries. The recent tragic events in South Africa give cause to highlight what has long been a central idea of the Durban International Film Festival: to create understanding and acceptance of different cultures through the medium of film. A special programme of films focuses on the issue of xenophobia, and some of its attendant roots such as racism, migration and poverty.”

Under the banner Love Film, Hate Xenophobia, the festival will present films such as Darrell James Roodt's Zimbabwe, which looks at the arduous journey a young woman makes from Zimbabwe to South Africa; Penny Woolcock's Exodus which imagines a near-future England in which foreigners are incarcerated in a ghetto; the moving Canadian film Family Motel about Somalian refugees; Victims of Our Richness, which dissects the exploitation and brutality experienced by desperate Malian migrants; and a selection of specially commissioned films under the banner Filmmakers Against Racism made specifically about the xenophobic attacks.

For the festival programme and further info, click here



Cape Town: Freelance Producer and /or Production Manager needed

Long form TV experience in reality, talk and docs a bonus but not necessary. Good with creative. Good with detail and the numbers. Understands the business. Diversity and empowerment are important, but this does not exclude anyone from getting in touch.

If this is you, please contact:Dominic Wilhelm at Thread Media Group


Sheffield Doc/Fest's MeetMarket


Doc /Fest Sheffield now accepts project submissions for their MeetMarket which takes place 7-8 November. The MeetMarket is based on pre-scheduled match-made one-on-one meetings, where documentary makers pitch their newest projects to UK and international buyers, executive producers, commissioning editors and distributors. 

Buyers view online one-minute pitch teasers of documentary ideas, along with one-page treatments, in advance of Doc/Fest. From this, they select which projects they would like to discuss in one-to-one meetings at MeetMarket. 

Online project submissions are now open. Projects can be any stage of development and applicants can be from any geographic location. Interactive and cross-platform projects are also very welcome. 

Apply by filling in the online form and uploading a one-minute pitch trailer before FRIDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER 2008.

For more information on applying:

E-mail: or 
visit the website here

films to watch
Fiat Empire


Watch this documentary film to find out how fiat money put out by the Federal Reserve System may be driving oil prices into the stratosphere. Find out why some feel the Fed's practices are a violation of the U.S. Constitution and others feel it's simply "a bunch of organized crooks." Discover why experts agree the Fed is a banking cartel that benefits mainly bankers and their corporate clients as well as a Congress that would rather increase the National Debt to $9.3 trillion than raise taxes. Find out how the corporate media facilitates the partnership between the Fed and Congress and why it fails to disclose what's going on. Lastly, find out how the Federal Reserve Member Banks are owned and controlled by an elite group of insiders

To read more about the documentary, go here.

Part 1 of 6

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars


The film tells the remarkable and uplifting story of a group of six Sierra Leonean musicians who came together to form a band while living as refugees in the Republic of Guinea. A brutal civil war (1991-2002) forced them from their homes in Sierra Leone. Many of their family and friends were murdered in the violence, leaving them with physical and emotional scars that may never heal. Despite the unimaginable horrors of civil war, they were saved through their music. Through music they find a place of refuge, a sense of purpose and a source of power. The film follows the band over the course of three years as they make the difficult decision to return to their war-torn country and realize their dream of recording an album of their original music.

If clip does not load, please hit refresh on your web browser. It should then re-load.

To read more about this documentary, visit the film's official site.

A Finished Life: How Do You Say Good-Bye?


A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour is a feature length documentary about Gregg Gour, a 48-year-old gay man with AIDS, who, when given six months to live, takes the road trip of his life.

Gregg had been HIV positive for 24 years and during that time the side effects of the medications made him increasingly sicker than the virus itself. In the last several years he felt that his quality of life had diminished considerably, so he chose to go off his meds and no longer fight death.

After giving away all of his belongings, Gregg buys an RV and travels across the United States with his dog, Cody, saying goodbye to family and friends who have to come to terms with Gregg's decision: That rather than suffer a long, painful death, he will end his own life before allowing the progressing illness to take away his independence.

A Finished Life: The Goodbye & No Regrets Tour is a loving and powerful portrait of Gregg's journey, which is at turns heartbreaking and surprisingly upbeat. The filmmakers were given access to his most personal moments and the result is an open and unflinching chronicle of a man's decision to live the final chapter of his life his way.

Read more about this documentary here.

hot tips

Copyright and Fair Use


Documentary filmmakers have created, through their professional associations, a clear, easy to understand statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use. Fair Use is the right, in some circumstances, to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying for it. It is a crucial feature of copyright law. In fact, it is what keeps copyright from being censorship. You can invoke fair use when the value to the public of what you are saying outweighs the cost to the private owner of the copyright.

Click here to download this useful handbook, written by veteran filmmakers to help other filmmakers understand some instances where using copyrighted material without clearance is considered fair use.


Submit Your Films To Sundance Film Festival


Sundance festival will take place from the 15th - 25th January 2009. All films must be entered online via the festival website or withoutabox.

Deadlines are as follows:

Early submission deadline:
U.S. & international short films - Monday, August 18th, 2008 - $35 entry fee
U.S. & international feature films & documentaries - Monday, August 18th, 2008 - $45 entry fee

Official submission deadline:
U.S. & international short films - Friday, September 5th, 2008 - $50 entry fee
U.S. & international feature films & documentaries - Monday, September 8th, 2008 - $75 entry fee

Late submission deadline:
U.S. & international short films - Friday, September 19th, 2008 - $75 entry fee
U.S. & international feature films & documentaries - Monday, September 22nd, 2008 - $100 entry fee

Please note that the above dates are not postmark deadlines-- they are the dates by which your film must be received in the festival office.

To find out more, visit the Sundance website here

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