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: www.docfilmsa.com Membership applications can be made through the website here.

29 February 2008

NEW_WORK

ZULU SURFRIDERS: A DOCUMENTARY BY SCRATCH THE SURFERS

SURF

Carlos & Andre

Evidence of South Africa’s shifting cultural identities can be seen on Kwa Zulu Natal’s shores with young Zulu surfers emerging as keen competitors. DFA member Carlos Francisco (above, left) has teamed up with Andre Cronje (above,right) to create a new documentary, ‘Zulu Surfriders’, that tells the story of a pair of second generation surfing twins, Cyril and Mishak Mqade, who have made a life for themselves through this sport. Having grown up in a small community where employment is scarce and education lacking, the film documents the twins’ journeys from their early endeavours to their present day successes. Cyril and Mishak are inspirational figures in their neighbourhood, teaching local youngsters to continue on the path of the ‘Zulu wave’. This film captures the lives of these brothers who, against all odds, have defied traditional taboos to bravely discover a new world.

‘Zulu Surfriders’ is entirely self-funded through Scratch the Surfers. Carlos, Andre and their co-collaborator Brennen Norjie felt drawn to tell the story of these two young men who have sought to change this historically white-dominated sport. To contact Carlos and Andre, please visit Carlos's blog: African Heart Beat Films.


ZULU SURFRIDERS (a promo) from Carlos Francisco on Vimeo


ZULU SURFRIDERS extra from Carlos Francisco on Vimeo.

grants

animal

ACE/SILVERDOCS GRANT NOW $25 000 US

ABOUT ACE
ACE (Animal Content in Entertainment) is a programme of The Humane Society of the United States and run by the group’s Hollywood office. Its mission is to support and encourage positive animal issues in television and film.

ABOUT THE GRANT
For a third year, SILVERDOCS is joining forces with ACE to offer a grant to filmmakers for the creation of a documentary of 40 minutes or more highlighting an animal issue. This year the grant has been increased to $25,000!

SILVERDOCS and ACE will select the top five or six proposals. These filmmakers will be provided a complimentary pass to attend SILVERDOCS and invited to pitch their projects to a distinguished panel of broadcasters and distribution executives in a closed session of the International Documentary Conference at the next SILVERDOCS, in June 2008. The winning pitch will be announced at the SILVERDOCS Sterling Awards Ceremony on June 21, 2008.

Along with the $25,000 grant, ACE will also consult with the winning filmmaker and assist with the promotion and distribution of the documentary – including an article in The Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) – All Animals Magazine (distribution: 600,000), promotion to the 10 million members of The HSUS, a featured
presence on HSUS and ACE websites, an announcement of the win in the HSUS monthly e-newsletter, a special Los Angeles screening of the film to HSUS donors, announcement of the grant at the nationally televised Genesis Awards, to which the filmmaker will also receive two VIP tickets.

The process includes three steps: submit a proposal, panel review, pitch session.

DEADLINES & IMPORTANT DATES:
Deadline: March 14, 2008
Notification date: May 16, 2008
SILVERDOCS: June 16-22, 2008

Interested? Download the guidelines for submission here.

Submission

silverdocs

SUBMIT YOUR FILM TO SILVERDOCS - THE MOST TALKED ABOUT INTERNATIONAL DOC FEST IN THE UNITED STATES

SILVERDOCS
June 16 - 23, 2008
International Documentary Conference

SILVERDOCS is an international film festival celebrating the creative vision of independent filmmakers and the power of documentary to expand our world-view and enhance our understanding of the world around us. Entering its sixth year, SILVERDOCS has become the most talked about documentary festival in the United States.

SILVERDOCS provides business and creative connections among filmmakers, broadcasters, distributors and funders from both established and emerging media markets at the International Documentary Conference. The conference includes over 60 panels and workshops and is attended by over 650 filmmakers and guests from around the world. Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore delivered the keynote address in 2006, and speakers from every major documentary media outlet regularly participate. AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis delivered the 2007 keynote address.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION IS FRIDAY MARCH 7th 2008

To find out how to submit your film, click here


competition

intl.doc challenge

INTERNATIONAL DOC CHALLENGE

WHAT IS THE DOC CHALLENGE?
The International Documentary Challenge is a timed filmmaking competition where filmmaking teams from around the world have just 5 days to make a short documentary film. The 3rd annual event will take place March 6-10, 2008 with the finalists premiering at Hot Docs in April 2008!

It is sponsored by Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival, the International Documentary Association, SILVERDOCS AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the Documentary Organisation of Canada and Film Action Oregon.

THE PREMISE
Filmmaking teams have just five days to make a short documentary (4-7 mins). All creativity - research, writing, shooting, editing and adding a musical soundtrack - must occur beginning Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8 AM and ending Monday, March 10, 2008.

On Thursday, to make things interesting, each team is given the choice of 2 genres for its film, be it Biography, 1st Person, Historical, etc. In addition, all filmmakers will be given a broad theme (such as "Freedom") that must be addressed at some point in their film. To ensure the films were made within the required time frame, each team must prove the date the film was made by adding a time element to the film or credits (such as the main subject holding a newspaper.) Then the film must be sent to IDC Headquarters with a postmark no later than Monday. The top 12 films (determined by a panel of judges) will screen at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto where the Grand Prize Winner will be announced. After the premiere, their will be additional theatrical screenings in major cities, possible television exposure and eventually the top films will be available for viewing and voting on documentarychallenge.org.

Every documentary film completed within the IDC rules, and within the competition period, will be eligible for prizes and judging.

Don't think a good film can be made in 5 days? View the films from the 2006 International Documentary Challenge in the screening room.

There is still time to register your team! Click here to register your team now! There is a registration fee of R895. Registration is on a first come first served basis. The first 250 teams from around the world to register will be accepted into the event.

Final Registration Deadline: March 5, 2008 (4:00 p.m. Central Time USA)
Event Dates: March 6-10, 2008
Hot Docs Premiere of Finalists: April 2008

Further questions? Email: info@documentarychallenge.org

gadgets&gear

SACHTLER’S NEW F-CELL BATTERY

fsb cell

Sachtler has introduced the new F-Cell battery, supplying 8-hour power to new generation DV and HDV cameras while adding ballast weight for tripod or handheld operation. It's a 7.2V lithium-ion rechargable battery that fits
under the camera where the sliding plate (on bigger cameras) goes. Works with F2 or F6 heads. The extra weight helps with challenging pans and tilts on lightweight heads & cameras. Has "snap 'n go" attachments top and bottom to connect camera and tripod, and slides to improve balance of camera on head. Used with Sony, Canon and Panasonic cameras, and can connect with optional adapter cables. Comes with F-Cell charger (90-250V, 50/60Hz input). The battery’s weight (0.65 kg / 1.4 lb) is positioned directly over the fluid head. This optimizes camera control, by acting neutrally when balancing the camera. The result is added stability and uniform, smooth camera pans. DFA member David Forbes, says: “As a working cameraman, I think this is VERY clever thinking, innovative design.” Check it out on www.sachtler.com

hot tips

docagora

DOCAGORA

WHAT IS DOCAGORA?
Conceived as a non-profit catalyst, DocAgora is a new, open initiative created by an association of international, independent docmakers, media producers and representatives from an array of organizations.

The DocAgora team believes we are facing a period of transformation where the international and local documentary communities and all the new financial, platform and content players need to be introduced to each other, while continuing a dialogue with documentary’s traditional commissioning editors, who work within organizations that are also adjusting to the new realities. The DocAgora team believes that this is a very exciting time. It’s a time to join forces and together identify new financing sources, create a new database and partnerships, explore new forms and models.

At IDFA 2007 Neil Sieling gave a talk about the possibilities and future of online technology and resources available to documentary filmmakers. A complete list of the links and some notes from the talk are available here:

USEFUL TEXTS ON FINANCIAL MODELS/INFORMATION
Getting Paid: Sites that Help Makers of Film and Video Make Money
Compiled by Scott Kirsner
www.scottkirsner.com/webvid/gettingpaid.htm
-------

The Future of Web Video: Opportunities for Producers, Entrepreneurs, Media Companies and Advertisers
By Scott Kirsner
stores.lulu.com/kirsner
(this costs $15 and you can get a hard copy or online iteration
-------

Maximizing Distribution
By Peter Broderick
Download pdf at www.peterbroderick.com/writing/writing.html
A useful text on how to self distribute works and make more money by using online tools and savvy target marketing instead of being entirely dependent upon distributors and sales agents.
-------

USEFUL BROADCASTERS / WEBCASTERS
Link TV
www.linktv.org/
www.linktvstore.org
www.linktv.org/mosaic
Neil helped launch Link TV in 1999 and it is one of the biggest and most accessible venues that present international documentaries. The license fees aren’t big, but a large percentage of Link’s programs are subtitled, works can be of varying lengths and subjects, and there is no censorship.

The Link Music Store is a good example of a new revenue generating enterprise. And the Mosaic series is an excellent example of how thousands of programs can be created for almost no money by aggregating news feeds from the Middle East.
-------

The Sundance Channel
www.sundancechannel.com/home/
-------

One World
us.oneworld.net
OneWorld is a solid aggregator of news and content from well over 1,000 human rights groups from around the world. Their website is a low cost sift of content form the member groups and OneWorld does a lot of interesting experiments in the online dissemination of information and also for documentaries.
-------

TRADITIONAL FUNDING SOURCES

The Sundance Institute Documentary Fund
www2.sundance.org/applications.html
-------

Independent Television Service
www.itvs.org/international
-------

FILMANTHROPY
Ted Leonsis on Filmanthropy
ted.aol.com/docs/Silverdocs_Presentation_files/v3_document.htm

( Leonsis is a very wealthy man who just put up $2 million for the documentary “Nanking” and is trying to facilitate the process of having more wealthy donors help fund and otherwise support worthy documentaries. The lecture is also useful for how he lays out a broader ranger of criteria for success and other motivations.)
-------

Participant Productions
www.participantproductions.com
Found by Jeffrey Skoll, a company that specializes in high-profile documentaries and dramatic features with a social mission.
-------

NEW REVENUE MODELS / BOTTOM UP

Revver
one.revver.com/revver
support.creativecommons.org/videos
www.beet.tv/2006/11/viral_video_and.html

Revver is a new peer-to-peer service that both helps deliver and track media across the internet. They add a “Revver tag” to any content and track the media anywhere. The primary application for now is an advertising model, but Revver could also be used to offer proof of audience impact to public funding institutions and other funders. The Coke/Mentos short made something like $40,000 on Revver, but that is the exception.

Revver also has relationships with other public purpose media groups, for example The Creative Commons.
-------

Global Giving
www.globalgiving.com
www.globalgiving.com/cb/newheroes
www.globalgiving.com/ggfilmfest.html

A new company that uses peer-to-peer tools to more directly connect individual donors to worthy projects in need of money. They call themselves “eBay for philanthropy.” While the model is currently focused on helping fund projects in poor countries, it will inevitably be turned toward funding media projects about these areas. They are already harvesting lots of video from the projects.
-------

Care2
www.care2.com

An aggregator of social issues groups that has over 7 million members. People can go to links connected to issues of their choice and make contributions or get more involved. There are many links that get thousands of contributions or tangible help each day.
-------

The Interra Project
www.interraproject.org

Neil helped found this group that is designed to connect the values of communities of members and cardholders to their everyday purposes. Dee Hock, the founder of Visa, was instrumental in the formation of this group.
-------

REDUCE COSTS OF PRODUCTION AND REACHING AUDIENCES

dotSUB
www.dotsub.com
This is the collaborative translation toolkit that Neil presented in München. Any program can be uploaded and easily subtitled into dozens of languages. The dotSUB system is easy to use and is modeled after the collaborative culture of Wikipedia. They also have a more professional translation/subtitling service for groups and programs with money. This service costs less than standard services.
-------

Center for Social Media
www.centerforsocialmedia.org

Neil work as the New Media Fellow for The Center for Social Media and it is a useful research group as well as a convener for gatherings on Fair Use and other copyright/intellectual property issues. The Fair Use work can help filmmakers reduce their costs for archival clips and other proprietary media. The New Deal 1.5 text was co-authored with the Independent Television Service and is a use snapshot of internet-based revenue practices to date.
-------

Creative Commons
creativecommons.org
http://support.creativecommons.org/videos

A good group for demystifying a lot of what goes on with rights. Their website has an excellent introduction for filmmakers wanting to have a particular rights relationship to anyone using their work and the process of generating a license can take mere minutes.
-------

Internet Archive
www.archive.org/index.php

An amazing resource that offers free streaming to those filmmakers willing to put their work in their system with a Creative Commons license. The Internet Archive was created by Brewster Kahle, who made hundreds of millions of dollars in online technologies and who is putting all of these resources into a noble mission of “universal access to public knowledge.”

Here are a few highlights from the Internet Archive:

The Wayback Machine, listed on the home page, is the only archive of past websites and has over 85 billion web pages. The Archive has almost 200,000 live music recordings, over 300,000 texts, and over 100,000 “moving image” works.
-------

Democracy Player / Miro
www.getdemocracy.com

Democracy Player, set to be called Miro Player with its next release, is an open-source video player that works for almost every type of video file. With an interface similar to iTunes, it also has a channel guide where you can set up automatic downloads of your favorite Web show. The download system greatly reduces the cost of delivery and can do full screen playback.
-------

NEW NETWORKS/DELIVERY PLATFORMS

Joost
www.joost.com
Created by ex-Kazaa and Skype founders, Joost is a new download service that features revenue sharing and tools for securing content. Joost already has lots of deals with major content providers. An advantage of Joost is that, unlike Google Video that requires hundreds of hours of content to do a deal, a Joost channel can be created with only 10 hours of programming.
-------

Jaman
www.jaman.com

A new online delivery service that features work from around the world, particularly programming that comes from the growing number of film festivals.
-------

Babelgum
www.babelgum.com

Babelgum is another online delivery service that feature shared revenues from advertising. The company recently signed a deal with over thirty distributors, mostly European, to present work from their catalogues. They also have a specific page targeting film directors and distributors at http://www.babelgum.com/contentowners/
-------

Open Student Television Network
www.ostn.tv

A new online network that has over 3 million students from around the world as its key audience. An example of the more narrowcasted channels proliferating on the internet.
-------

GROUPS/WEBSITES ON HOW TO AMPLIFY AND MEASURE AUDIENCE IMPACT

Participant Productions
www.participantproductions.com
participate.net
-------

Active Voice
www.activevoice.net
-------

Working Films
www.workingfilms.org
-------

USEFUL TOOLKITS FOR WEB-BASED MEDIA WORK

Mashable
www.mashable.com

A fairly amazing repository of free social networking tools and web media production help.
-------

USEFUL SITES FOR UPGRADING THE VISUAL STYLE OF WEBSITES

Infosthetics
www.infosthetics.com

Browse Goods
browsegoods.com
-------

USEFUL TEXTS ON “DOUBLE BOTTOM LINE” AND GREEN MEDIA

The Future of Independent Media
By Andrew Blau/Global Business Network
www.gbn.com/ArticleDisplayServlet.srv?aid=34045
-------

The Double Bottom Line Media Industry: An Investment Opportunity
A paper by The Investor’s Circle, sponsored by the Ford Foundation

www.investorscircle.net/index.php?tg=fileman&idx=get&inl=1&id=1&gr=Y&path=&file=DBL+Media+Finance+Summary.pdf
-------

Entertainment Industry: A Longer Look at The Long Tail
By Bear Stearns Equity Research

www.bearstearns.com
-------

Clay Shirky on Meganiches
www.wired.com

An excellent article on maximizing the value of increasingly sustainable “meganiches” between the usual mass/niche argument.
-------

Digital and Tangible: How DVDs Are Impacting Independent Media
By Neil Sieling

renewmedia.org

A little dated, but still helpful on the place of DVDs in media culture and how to make the most of the useful format that has had more staying power than many believed, given the onset of so many online delivery platforms.

27 February 2008

NEW_WORK

KING NAKI AND THE THUNDERING HOOVES: A DOCUMENTARY IN PROGRESS BY PLEXUS FILMS

horses01

Miki&Tim

Set in rural South Africa, this is a surprising story about an unconventional horse race and a humble man who is risking his livelihood to win it. It's about a dream, passion and blind faith, against the odds.

Mr. King Naki has the greatest and most successful racehorse in the whole of upper and lower Bolotwa. People travel to his tiny village to see the famous horse in the stables he built himself . He was raised to follow in his
father's footsteps, working as a stable hand in the city. But he had bigger plans, so he quit the stables and spent all his savings (R8000) to buy a horse. The people in his village thought he was crazy to blow all his money
on a horse. He responded by calling his horse "Thula Sibone" - Wait and See! His dream is to win the annual Amateur Horseracing Championships.

Miki Redelinghuys (producer) & Tim Wege (director) - pictured above
Researcher: Zukiswa Pakasa
www.plexusfilms.co.za



KING NAKI AND THE THUNDERING HOOVES was one of 23 projects selected from more than 140 entries from around the world, to participate at the DOCS BARCELONA pitching forum in January. Producer, Miki Redelinghuys and director, Tim Wege pitched the film to a very positive response. Although they don't yet have real investment, the strong international interest in the film was very encouraging.

index_002

docs_barcelona

association

edn

EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY NETWORK
While in Barcelona, Miki used the opportunity to forge links between the EDN (European Documentary Network) and the DFA. The DFA was offered a free annual membership to the EDN, giving the DFA access to forum discussions, contacts of international commissioning editors and being part of the greater international documentary community. This is an exceptionally good thing since annual EDN membership usually costs R1 125 per person. The DFA will be providing additional information on accessing contact details for Euro commissioning editors through the EDN website. www.edn.dk

gadgets&gear

image

MOBILE CAMERA SUPPORT

This mobile camera support can be bought from French company VideoNeill at a cost of R2600 excluding shipping and import duties. For more information, email: contact@videoneill.com

25 February 2008

NEWS_1
BEST DOCUMENTARY OSCAR FOR WHY DEMOCRACY’S TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE
don

Cape Town-based Don Edkins (pictured above) of Steps For The Future and Day Zero Film Productions is executive producer on the inspired Why Democracy? project comprising of ten one-hour films and 18 short films. These films focus on issues relevant to contemporary democracy and are broadcast internationally. This week, the Why Democracy? film "Taxi to the Dark Side" won the Academy Award for best documentary. This is an extraordinary achievement for filmmaker Alex Gibney (pictured below) as well as Don and the Why Democracy? team. The DFA would like to extend its warmest congratulations to Don - viva! You have done South Africa, and our filmmaking community, proud.

Alex Gibney_Oscar
oscar



ABOUT THIS FILM (courtesy of the Why Democracy? site):
Over one hundred prisoners have died in suspicious circumstances in U.S. custody during the "war on terror". Taxi to the Dark Side takes an in-depth look at one case: an Afghan taxi driver called Dilawar who was considered an honest and kind man by the people of his rustic village. So when he was detained by the U.S military one afternoon, after picking up three passengers, denizens wondered why this man was randomly chosen to be held in prison, and, especially, without trial? Five days after his arrest Dilawar died in his Bagram prison cell. His death came within a week of another death of a detainee at Bagram. The conclusion, with autopsy evidence, was that the former taxi driver and the detainee who passed away before him, had died due to sustained injuries inflicted at the prison by U.S. soldiers. The documentary, by award-winning producer Alex Gibney, carefully develops the last weeks of Dilawar’s life and shows how decisions taken at the pinnacle of power in the Bush Administration led directly to Dilawar’s brutal death. The film documents how Rumsfeld, together with the White House legal team, were able to convince Congress to approve the use of torture against prisoners of war. Taxi to the Dark Side is the definitive exploration of the introduction of torture as an interrogation technique in U.S. facilities, and the role played by key figures of the Bush Administration in the process.

To read more about Taxi to the Dark Side, please visit the film's website

Discovery Channel dropped the documentary due to concerns that it was "too controversial" as the film investigates the most egregious abuses associated with the so-called "war on terror". Alex Gibney discusses his film, below:

Part 1 of 2



Part 2 of 2




NEWS_1
SA FILMMAKER AND DFA MEMBER KARIN SLATER SELECTED FOR MIPDOC 2008

MipDoc2008

Oscar winner Alex Gibney will be guest of honour and will deliver a keynote speech, “The Power of Documentary”, at MIPDOC 2008, the international showcase for documentary screenings, 5 – 6 April 2008. Gibney will also MC the 2008 Trailblazers Awards, where he will award the five global innovative and creative directors selected this year, which includes South African documentary director and DFA member Karin Slater (pictured below).

karin_slater

Chosen for their innovative and pioneering work, the five MIPDOC Trailblazers of 2008 are: Rea Apostolides, producer (Greece); Bon Hwan Ku, director (South Korea); Yufuko Kuroda, director (Japan); Daniel Cross, director, producer and executive producer (Canada); and Karin Slater, director (South Africa).

They were selected by a global jury of reputed international documentary associations and festivals, including Documentary Organisation of Canada, European Documentary Network (EDN, Denmark), Encounters Documentary Festival (South Africa), EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF, South Korea) and the association of All Japan TV Programs (ATP).

The third MIPDOC International Trailblazers is also partners with the Sundance Channel, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and the Korean Broadcasting Institute (KBI).

“MIPDOC's vitality is driven by the creative and innovative professionals that network together from all across the documentary world. As the world's largest screening event for the Documentary genre, MIPDOC gives these programmes and, indeed, all doc projects a chance to shine,” says Paul Johnson, television division director of Reed MIDEM.

For more information, please visit: www.mipdoc.com.


DEBATES_1
URANIUM ROAD
uranium

In November 2007 MNet’s Carte Blanche broadcast "Uranium Road", a documentary attempting to stimulate debate on our energy future. The documentary invoked the ire of the nuclear industry and a complaint was lodged with the BCCSA. A hearing was scheduled for February 20th 2008. The following riposte from Ingela Richardson appeared on the website of the Environment South Africa Forum :

"URANIUM ROAD"ON CARTE BLANCHE

Many South Africans have been extremely pleased that Carte Blanche has had the courage to screen a documentary like "Uranium Road" which for once shows the destructive side of the nuclear process.

Unfortunately, since the nuclear industry has had millions of taxpayers' rands in support from government, they have also dominated the pro-nuclear lobby and those who are opposed to nuclear - perhaps most especially the more disadvantaged communities that are sited close to nuclear reactors - often have had no opportunity to express their grievances.

Engineers who design nuclear power stations would never want their work questioned. They would never want to think they could be responsible for contamination of water supplies, or radioactive accidents, or even contemplate the possibility of smuggling of nuclear parts on the "black market". Unfortunately, all of the above have happened. Sellafield in the UK is an example of leaks from a nuclear reactor, the people of Hicksville in the US are suing due to radioactive-contaminated soils and cancers in their community and the people of Oyster Bay in the US found that heating of coastal waters by the nearby reactor caused fish to die off in multitudes.

There is also the mining of uranium that feeds reactors - which pro-nuclear lobbyists do not like to discuss. There is a reason why the Navajo people of the United States have legally forbidden any further uranium mining on their lands - too many of their people have succumbed to cancers caused by the deadly radon dust that blew into homes and leached into water sources and soaked into the soil.

In Canada, primary cancers are recognized as an occupational health hazard of uranium mining - but most South African uranium mine workers may not be aware of this, or awarded the same kinds of compensation if they develop cancers. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah in the United States was responsible for increasing compensation figures to those victims who developed cancers due to uranium mining. But of course money does not replace the loss of a loved one - be it a breadwinner or children - who have been most susceptible to leukaemias from uranium mine dusts.

Aside from health costs, there are the extreme costs of decommissioning uranium mines. It is virtually impossible to rehabilitate an area once uranium has leached into water sources - flowing through rivers and into dams - and settled in vegetation and soils. As with Chernobyl, the area remains contaminated for a very long period of time and it is very difficult to calculate the numbers of people who get cancers from radioactive pollutants in this way.

If this were not bad enough, the United States war on Iraq has proved the devastating effects of Depleted Uranium - not only on "the enemy" but all civilians for a very long time to come. Photographs of babies horribly deformed by DU would shock South African audiences - probably into never even considering a nuclear option. It is no longer necessary for terrorists to use plutonium to create "weapons of mass destruction". They need only use DU to create havoc that destroys the fertility of an area and its ability to produce food, as well as the fertility of the people - basically a genocide since the uranium targets the human reproductive system and deforms DNA.

Jenny Hunter's documentary "Uranium Road" was by these standards, quite innocuous. If the South African people knew the true threat of a nuclear programme - not only from uranium cancers, but also from the spread of nuclear terrorism - they would understand why the association of atomic scientists have themselves put the Doomsday Clock forward. A nuclear programme that involves export of uranium and reactors to countries like Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Rwanda etc? It does not take much imagination to realize the full impact of what this means in terms of basic security. There is a reason why North Korea is being "assisted" to dismantle its nuclear reactor - it is a very short step from a civil programme to a weapons programme.

I truly hope that South Africans will be shown more of the truth on Carte Blanche, and not subjected to cover-ups and plain propaganda that has been the order of the day from the pro-nuclear faction thus far.

Yours faithfully

INGELA RICHARDSON


Then, on February 19th 2008, one day before the schedule BCCSA hearing, this notice appeared on the Environment South Africa Forum by Jenny Hunter who had worked on the film:

Hi all,

The BCCSA informed me this morning that a settlement was reached between the complainants and M-net last night so there will be no hearing tomorrow. Apparently she spoke to the NIASA people this morning and they said they were satisfied with the settlement that had been reached - I am fascinated to know what it was and I think we are being cheated out of hearing NIASA put their case in public.

I think it is important for us to find out what the settlement involved is, as I suspect it will be all hushed up to avoid any more publicity ( - the publicity has been fantastic - its been on 702/ Cape Talk, the Cape Times, many websites such as Urbanspout and Evironment.co.za,etc ) - thanks to everybody for everything they have done. I am sure all the letters to the BCCSA put NIASA off having to go public. It is just a pity we did not get an opportunity to hear them out in the open - more secrecy... Maybe any one of you with press contacts should ask the press to find out what they can. In fact maybe it is grounds for another press release.

Please circulate the info about the hearing being cancelled to as many people as possible to avoid people making a fruitless trip there.

Thanks so much
Jenny Hunter


Has there been a hush-up? We will contact Jenny and let you know …


SCREENINGS_1
'FIRST WEDNESDAY' DOC NIGHTS: SUBMIT YOUR WORK FOR SCREENING!
thriller

The DFA is launching "First Wednesday" documentary nights in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The next screening will take place on Wednesday 5th March 2008. Given that March commemorates Human Rights Day, we would like there to be a thematic tie-in. At the moment, we will be showing a documentary by DFA member Miki Redelinghuys on forced removals in District Six as well as an 8 minute trailer for DFA member David Forbes' documentary on the Craddock Four.

So anyone with a work in progress or a completed film film on a human rights theme that could meet this schedule, please do submit. We can screen on DV, DVCAM, or DVD.

The time and venue of the screenings will be posted soon!

Should We Do It?
wedding

In honour of Valentine's Day, on February 18th 2008 the DFA held a screening of a work in progress by documentary filmmakers Karin Slater and Steven Bartlo, titled 'Should We Do It':

"Feeling that marriage is one subject for which people are poorly prepared by most societies, a filmmaker couple set out around the world to have an honest look at marriage far beyond the honeymoon and the "...happily ever after" cliches. Only then do they decide whether or not to take the giant step themselves. "

The screening was held at the House of Nsako, 101 High Street, Brixton, Johannesburg.

SUBMIT WORK_1

KIDS FOR KIDS AFRICA CALL FOR FILMS BY CHILDREN
.Venda -Tshisahulu Village_Girls3_Feb16th2008

If you are a child aged 6-18 years, live in Africa, and have made any moving image (film, video, television programme, computer game, animated photographs, etc), then Kids for Kids Africa invite your film to Nairobi, Kenya.

If you are an audiovisual media trainer or teacher working with children and youth in any part of Africa, or if you are a parent in Africa and know any child who has made a film, Kids for Kids Africa would like you to assist such children in submitting their creations to its 2nd all-Africa competition in Nairobi, Kenya.

If you are a member of the public who knows of any child or youth in Africa who has made a film, please contact Kids for Kids Africa with the information so such filmmakers may be invited to submit their work to Nairobi.

Please pass on this announcement to your family, friends, colleagues and contacts with a request that they pass it on to any one likely to benefit from it.

Kids for Kids Africa is calling for films made by children resident in any part of Africa.

First held in Johannesburg, South Africa in March 2007, the 2nd Kids for Kids Africa festival will be held in the framework of Lola Kenya Screen in Nairobi, Kenya (August 4-9, 2008).

Eligible films are those made by African children or children residing in any part of the 53-nation African continent.

All kinds of moving images--animation, experimental, documentary, fiction--will be considered. Any film in a language other than English must be sub-titled in English. All entries will be received, processed, assessed and awarded by a film selection committee and jury comprising children selected by Lola Kenya
Screen. Winning entries will represent Africa at Kids for Kids international festival later in 2008.

The 2nd Kids for Kids Africa festival is organised by Lola Kenya Screen, International Centre of Films for Children and Youth, and Children's Broadcasting Foundation for Africa.

The DEADLINE for receiving entries is April 15, 2008.

Films are submitted to:
Lola Kenya Screen
Philadelphia (Old East) Hse, 4th Fl
Tom Mboya St/ Hakati Rd junction
Tel 254 20 315258, 254 20 2213318, 254 733 703374
P O Box 20775-00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya (EA)

The film entry form and regulations are online at
.www.lolakenyascreen.or.ke/admin/filmentryform.rt
www.artmatters.info


INITIATIVES_1

MOBILE FILM SCHOOL
mobile

From Texas, USA comes this inspiring project:

"The Mobile Film School’s filmmaking workshops provide instruction in story development, digital camera operation, video editing, lighting, and recording. By the end of each course, students will have produced one short documentary film. Students are encouraged to try a little of everything but have the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest – such as directing or editing – paving the way for future education and employment opportunities. Equipment and study materials are provided to workshop participants, and all meals are served on-site. This allows students and teachers quality time to discuss the film projects and develop strong bonds that encourage them to stay in contact upon completion of the program.

The Del Valle workshop will be the MFS’s third in the Central Texas area. Later this year, the nonprofit plans to expand to other areas of the state, offering programs nationwide by 2009.

As digital technology plays an increasingly influential role in our global society, MFS believes young people must be media literate if they are to achieve success in today's marketplace. MFS strives to narrow the digital divide in lower income communities and rural North America by increasing access to the art and technology of filmmaking. The effect of MFS’ workshops on students’ self-esteem is life-changing and uplifting.

Recently recognized as Movie Maker Magazine's "Film School of the Week," MFS is a highly collaborative, multi-disciplined film and video arts program. The school is administered and led by industry professionals and offers a wide variety of creative and technology-based programming. MFS fosters future filmmakers who, frame by frame, contribute to the America’s rich cinematic and cultural tradition."

To find out more about this wonderful project, visit the website: www.mobilefilmschool.org

Or contact:
Lisa McWilliams
MFS Executive Director and Founder
Mobile Film School
+1 (512) 906-2420
lisa@mobilefilmschool.org


FESTIVALS_1

THE BEST OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA FILM FESTIVAL
diaspora

This week sees The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Festival highlights include:

Made In Jamaica
Directed by Jerome Laperrousaz, Jamaica/France/US
This thrilling musical documentary presents an overview of the reggae music movement from past and present. Touching on issues including ghetto violence; the history of slavery and colonization; the legacy of Bob Marley; the Rasta movement; and sex, women, and their role in reggae, Made in Jamaica explores the multifaceted reality of reggae music. Features interviews and performances with artists Capleton, Elephant Man, Bunny Wailer, Toots & the Maytals, Bounty Killer, Gregory Isaacs, Tanya Stephens, Beres Hammond, and more.



Iron Ladies Of Liberia
Directed by Siatta Scott Johnson and Daniel Junge, US
After nearly two decades of civil war, Liberia is a nation ready for change. Follow Liberia’s newly elected president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first freely elected female head of state in Africa, and other extraordinary women she placed in leadership positions, as they strive to improve the daily life of their people, renegotiate the debt, face internal corruption, and multiple other social, economic and political crises during their first year in office.


Youssou N'Dour: Return to Goree
Directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud, Senegal/Luxembourg/Switzerland
Youssou N’Dour, the internationally renowned Senegalese singer, gives a Jazz concert on the island of Gorée in honor of those who started their journey in life as slaves in the New World and created, against all odds, one of the most important and celebrated musical expressions in the world.



BIRD'S EYE VIEW: WOMEN IN FILM
birds_2008

The Bird's Eye View Festival takes place in London, UK in March 2008. Providing a varied cross-section of genres, subjects and styles, the festival is a showcase for contemporary films created by women filmmakers. Please visit the festival website for more details.




ECOVISION 2008 - INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ENVIRONMENT & CINEMA
ecovision

June 5th, 2008 - June 10th, 2008
Palermo, ITALY

This year, the topic of the festival: "the environment", seen from all its facets. The aim of the festival is to intensify and promote the cinematographic and documentary production having as topics the relationship man-environment, the safeguard of the territory, the human rights, the felling of forests, the relationships with the city and new technologies, the radioactive tests in the several worlds’area, the eco-sustainable development, how the concept of environment in rich countries differs from that belonging to poor countries, but also mere descriptions of meaningful environmental areas, and all the productions concerning any aspect of environment and nature.

Works from any country, realized from 2006 to 2008, can take part in the EcoVision Festival 2008, having as topic the object of the Festival: the “environment”, considered both as natural and cultural environment, with all questions correlated with them. The Festival will consider as a preferential title, the unpublished films presented.

It is possible to download the new regulations and the entry form in the Download section in the menu. Please send all the indispensable materials, as indicated in the regulations.
final submission deadline: March 14th, 2008

For more information you can contact: EcoVision c/o DoC Via Francesco Bentivegna, 55/57 90139 PALERMO Tel. +39/091/33256 Fax +39/091/324397 E-Mail Headship: danieleottobre@ecovisionfestival.com E-Mail Secretary: irenechiazzese@ecovisionfestival.co
e-mail: info@ecovisionfestival.com
web: www.ecovisionfestival.com

BOOKS

chanan

chanan2

In late 2007, Michael Chanan released 'The Politics of the Documentary' through BFI Publishing:

"When the film‐maker Morgan Spurlock told an American festival audience ‘we live in a world where independent documentary film has truly become the last bastion of free speech’ he won a round of applause from the packed house. Michael Chanan’s wide‐ranging and illuminating study of international documentary film‐making re‐ reads its complex history and present flourishing from the perspective of this fundamentally democratic aim.

This book traces the history of the documentary from the first Lumiere films to Grierson and his contemporaries, through to Free Cinema, Cinema Verite and Direct Cinema, up to the current resurgence documentary with high profile films such as those of Michael Moore. The book’s thematic approach takes in topics such as the documentary before documentary, how documentary film language works, the veracity of the image, the construction of the soundtrack; the migration of documentary to television, political documentary, censorship, first‐ person film‐making, and the relation of the archives to history and memory. Drawing on examples of documentary cinema in Japan, Iran and Latin America as well as Europe and the USA, Chanan argues that documentary provides a crucial public space in which ideas are debated, opinion is formed and those in authority are held to account."

The book can be bought on-line from the BFI .