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.

24 October 2008




This weekend, a new documentary from PLEXUS FILMS premieres on SABC2. Once On A River is a 48 minute film that tells the story of the rural village of Hamburg in the Eastern Cape through the eyes of writer Zukiswa Pakama and filmmaker, Miki Redelinghuys, as they reflect on the inspirational people of this community on the banks of the Keiskamma River.

In July 2005, 140 women from Hamburg presented South Africa with the most complex altar piece ever produced on the continent. The 3 meter high multi-media artwork pays homage to their fight against Aids and celebrates the human capacity to overcome hardships:

The film opens with the unveiling of this massive altar piece in the Grahamstown Cathedral. If stone walls could vibrate, the church would quiver as the women raise their voices in exaltation. Eunice Mangwane leads them in traditional Xhosa church songs as she pounds her hymn book. Eunice is a big woman with a heart that can hold the world. Her voice thunders conviction as she sings: “You must never, never …give up!”

Once On A River tells the story of the people who made this altar piece as Eunice leads us from the public unveiling of this exceptional work back to her village where we meet the inspiring, often ecentric, people of Hamburg, who have taken it apon themeselves to fight HIV/Aids, poverty and unemployemnt in a creative and positive way.

Eunice works hand in hand with Dr Carol Baker-Hofmeyer, an enigmatic doctor and artist, who runs between the hospice, clinic and arts project, juggling cellphone calls, never completing a thought as she heads off to the next location.

Writer and story-teller Zukiswa Pakama was born and raised in Hamburg. Through her eyes we experience the very intimate story of a small town: “My name “Pakama” means "to stand up”, and that’s exactly what the people of my village have taught me to do.” By taking a positive stand against the challenge of HIV/AIDS, the people of Hamburg are invited to exhibit the altar piece at the World Aids Conference in Toronto in December 2005 where Eunice presents the work to an international audience including, among others, Richard Gere. After Toronto, the altar piece continues to travel the world, thereby spreading the story of these inspiring individuals and a determined village.

films to watch


This landmark concert film, currently premiering theatrically in the USA, follows three acclaimed comedians on stage and off as they lift the veil to reveal the humorous truth of what it's really like to be Muslim in America. Mo Amer, Azhar Usman, and Preacher Moss poke fun at themselves, their communities, government, human nature and the tricky predicament of living in post-9/11 America. Featuring music of rising indie scene artists, Allah Made Me Funny: Live in Concert is rollicking good fun and gives people of all cultural backgrounds an opportunity to laugh hard, drop their guard and open their minds.

Watch an 8 minute clip of the guys in action, below:

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