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.

07 March 2008

summer academy

IDFA Summer Academy


The Amsterdam based IDFAcademy is introducing Summer School 2008. It is a training programme aimed at helping filmmakers develop their documentary film projects. It is taking place in Amsterdam on 14-19 July. The application deadline is 25th April.

IDFAcademy Summer School offers the opportunity to meet and work with filmmakers willing to share their knowledge and experience with young up and coming talents eager to learn. The Summer School is open to first-time or second-time directors.

The IDFAcademy Summer School aims at filmmakers working on a film project that would be interesting for the international market and needing some additional help in getting it out there.

Themes to be touched during the summer school are:

- How to structure your initial film concept to a film project with a strong narrative.

- Where to find the help making a clip that will introduce your film project to an international market audience and help you pitching?

- When to develop your film project with multi media potential to a high quality cross media project?

Read more about the Summer Academy here

IDFA 2008
Dates: 20 - 30 November.
Deadline for submission of work: 1 May and 10 August

The FORUM 2008
Dates: 24 26 November.
Deadline for submitting projects for this co-production pitching forum:
1 September

Docs for Sale 2008
Dates: 21 - 29 November.
Deadline for submitting work: 1 October

Jan Vrijman Fund
Deadlines for entry: 1 June 2008

IDFAcademy 2008
Dates: 21 - 23 November.
Deadline: 1 October

films to watch


In 2006 Martin Scorcese filmed the Rolling Stones in concert. The documentary is titled ‘Shine A Light’ and it premiered this week in Berlin.

Journalist Denis Seguin saw the doc and his less than flattering but quite hilarious review appears courtesy of the Guardian film blog

Has Scorsese shone a light, or turned over a rock?

Shine A Light, Martin Scorsese's film of the Rolling Stones in concert, is less an embarrassment of riches than rich in embarrassment - some of it my own.

I am an unreconstructed fan of the Rolling Stones' recordings. It is perhaps unwise for a 45-year-old father of three to admit it, but I listen to their music at high volume in my minivan. So while other journalists in attendance at the Berlin film festival scoffed at the nonsense of a Stones concert opening Berlin, I thought, "Oh goody."

Two sets, 18 songs, filmed by a team of ace cinematographers, directed by the film-maker who has crafted brilliant movie moments around their music: bring it on.

At first, disorientation: who's that old man stumbling around with a guitar? Jesus Christ, look at the state of Keith. And the geezer behind the drums - Charlie, is that you? And what happened to Mick - how did he get so raddled?

OK, I'm old too. I've got some gray happening. And look how happy Jack White of the White Stripes is, singing Loving Cup with his grandfatherly hero. This is all good. If I'm dry-humping the next Christina Aguilera onstage in 2028, good on me.

But then Mick did something unforgivable. The trouble began with Some Girls, the lead track from the 1978 album of the same name. The song features perhaps the Stones' raunchiest, most racially charged line. After cataloguing the peccadillos of a United Nations harem of women, Jagger complains, "Black girls just wanna get f***** all night, I just don't have that much jam." That line is mysteriously absent from Shine a Light.

Having passed too many teenage nights between the speakers of my parents' beyond-bad phonograph, my brain is tattooed with Mr. Jagger's loquacity. Suffice it to say, if you play with me, you're playing with fire. As soon as I heard - or rather, didn't hear - that line, I visually checked out of the filmed performance and started listening for missing bits. I started to feel spiritually old.

Not that the Stones haven't engaged in self-censorship before. For their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, they infamously complied with their host's demand to rephrase the chorus of Let's Spend The Night Together as "let's spend some time together."

But that was when the Stones were just beginning to roll, when they needed the bread, man. How lame now, at this stage of the game, in the penthouse of wealth, to pander to the masses. Particularly when that means airbrushing one of the most fascinating histories in popular music. And then they did it again. Baby, it hurt.

Also gone awol was the bit about killing the Kennedys from Sympathy for the Devil. Why might this be so? One can only assume it was because the concert was introduced by the last Democratic president (Bill Clinton) and attended by the potential next Democratic president (Hillary Clinton). But really - were the band (or the film-makers) honestly worried about offending them with the reminder of the deaths of a political dynasty whose surviving members mostly seem to be endorsing Obama anyway?

True, Mick left some racy material intact. In Shine a Light, black girls are not allowed to come, but the dead man of Start Me Up can. Others made the grade by dint of subtlety. In their duet of Live With Me, Uncle Mick grinds against Aguilera while they sing about the senseless French maid who is "wild for Crazy Horse" - code for heroin. But this only served to make the other omissions all the more perplexing.

As the credits rolled, I fell into a depression. The mawkish introduction by Clinton, the plastic grin of Hillary, the audience pimped with gorgeous young blondes who would not otherwise be caught dead at a show. I know the Stones were "over" long ago - a point rammed home here by juxtaposing the concert with archival interviews from the band's heyday - but their recordings have stayed with me across time and format: LP, cassette, CD, MP3. Their lyrics are the band's last tenuous connection with rebellion: lose them, and there is nothing.

It was the old interviews, spliced between images, in living colour, of time's fiendish way with flesh, that pinned my heart to the floor. Jagger was never beautiful in the Bowie manner but, at the zenith of his rock-star ascendancy, he was magic. And when his 1968 voice belts out songs like Monkey Man and Live With Me, I still imagine a big happy mansion brimming over with joyful hedonism, I remember the original 24-hour party people, and how they helped me keep teenage reality at bay.

Shine a Light shined a light. You can't go back. Extreme close-ups on Mick Jagger are a bad idea. They will be excruciating on IMAX.


This film for the YouTube generation convincingly uses the appearance of documentary truth /realism to create a work of dramatic fiction. The hook is as follows:

"Documentary Filmmaker looking for suicidal individual to follow from first preparation to final act." Cut from 142 video tapes, this project sheds light on the tragedy following the infamous internet ad.”

Director Daniel Stamm, interviewed by Erik Childress for eFilmCritic, says:

“My roommate was a documentarian. He had the idea to make a film about a suicidal person. So I made a movie about a documentarian making a movie about a suicidal person. We shot 120 hours, so the writing was really done in the editing room.

I showed a very early work-in progress cut of the film during the SkenaUp festival in Kosovo. People were breaking down and crying, an American girl screamed at me "Your film is evil, you are a murderer, you shouldn't be allowed to make movies!" and the festival's organizer warned me not to go outside after the screening because "a mob" had gathered to deal with me. That is my festival experience so far ...” The completed film screens this month at the South By Southwest (SXSW) 2008 Film Festival in Austin, Texas:



“It was hard to believe this was a documentary, it was more like a hilarious romp with a devastatingly naughty ugly American. The camera work is brilliant and the editing unrelenting. Life is stranger and funnier than fiction.” – Viewer post on

Robert Fischer is a manic Jewish American artist who ventures to Melbourne to seek the fame and recognition that has eluded him in his own country. By ruthlessly manipulating the media and Melbourne's art world, Bob creates a chain reaction of ill-fated events that veer wildly from the hilarious and bizarre to the disastrous. Shot over several months, this documentary by Maciek Wszelaki paints a hilarious picture of Melbourne’s small-town willingness to be dazzled by an American of questionable talent.


The following download links appear courtesy the British Documentary Website

Click here to download these useful production documents:

Standard release form: A standard, non-payment, release form for use with documentary subjects
Confidentiality Agreement : For times when you're dealing with sensitive information
Freelance Agreement
Location Agreement
Sales Agent Agreement
Music Recording License: For the use of copyrighted music in your film

04 March 2008




Taking from the culture around us to make new things is what culture is about. Culture is that which we use to communicate. Who owns pictures? When your camera opens its aperture and greedily gobbles all the light reflecting off the surfaces of buildings, faces, t-shirts, paintings, sculptures, movies, and photos, are you breaking the law? Does your camera's mic infringe when it captures the perturbations made by speech, song and soundtrack?

If these seem like silly questions, blame the law, not the questions. Copyright, a system that is meant to promote creativity, has been hijacked. Today, copyright is as likely to suppress new creativity as it is to protect it.

During this week's European Media Event a meeting on Fair Use will be held to discuss and share documentary-makers', producers', and broadcasters' thoughts on the future of copyright. The meeting will take place in Brussels on Thursday March 6th.

Under the headline "Is Copyright Helping or Killing Creativity?" the meeting will start with an introduction to the concept of Fair Use and questions concerning copyright. Afterwards a discussion on the future of copyright will be initiated and documentary-makers are encouraged to bring their own experiences to the discussion and DVD's with examples.

During the meeting there will be a presentation of the Resolution on Free Speech and Information in Documentaries and an announcement of a European study on copyright in the documentary practice.

For more information, click here

funding application



Getting European co-production partners on board your project is one way to get your feature doc funded. For starters, these co-production partners can access funds from EURIMAGES.

Eurimages’ first objective is cultural, in that it endeavours to support works which reflect the multiple facets of a European society whose common roots are evidence of a single culture.

The second one is economic, in that the Fund invests in an industry which, while concerned with commercial success, is interested in demonstrating that cinema is one of the arts and should be treated as such.

Bearing this in mind, Eurimages has developed four funding programmes:
- Assistance for co-production
- Assistance for distribution
- Assistance to cinemas
- Assistance to digitisation for Eurimages funded projects

EURIMAGES supports full-length feature films and animation as well as documentaries of a minimum length of 70 minutes.

Because the support is for co-production, all projects submitted must have at least two co-producers from different European member States of the Fund.

The participation of the majority co-producer must not exceed 80% of the total co-production budget, and the participation of the minority co-producer must not be lower than 10%.

The conditions concerning the European origin of projects are fundamental. This is evaluated according to the provisions in the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production and the sources of financing.

If you have a documentary project that meets these criteria, click here to download application details.

03 March 2008

first Wednesday



This Wednesday 5th March the DFA’s Johannesburg branch will hold a documentary screening evening at:
House of Nsako, 101 High Street, Brixton, Johannesburg

The evening is scheduled to kick off at 18h30 for 19h00.

The following films will be screened:

* An 8 minute 45 second promo for David Forbes' documentary ‘THE CRADOCK FOUR’ followed by a Q & A with David of Shadow Films

* KEISKAMMA, A STORY OF LOVE: a 90 minute documentary by Miki Redelinghuys and Plexus FIlms


David Forbes interviewing Alex Goniwe

David’s 8 minute 45 seconds clip is an extract from his feature length documentary work in progress that tells the chilling life story of four young idealists who challenged the powerful Apartheid state in the early 1980s. As the Eastern Cape region of South Africa 'went up in flames', Matthew Goniwe and his colleagues were blamed, and the general’s secretly ordered their 'permanent removal from society'. It became one of the most notorious incidents of the regime – and an unsolved mystery. The film focuses on who these four young men were, what they represented, and why they died. It is a universal tale of a hero whose virtuous ideals were not tempered by realism – a fatal error.

Status of the film: In Production. NFVF involved with funding. Seeking further funds and international sales.


The 90-minute documentary KEISKAMMA: A STORY OF LOVE, directed by Miki Redelinghuys, was screened at RIDM RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALE DOCUMENTAIRE DU MONTREAL in November 2007.


KEISKAMMA - A STORY OF LOVE: In the tiny Eastern Cape hamlet of Hamburg a fully-fledged war is being fought. Grandmothers, the hospice and the good doctor Carol are fighting for hope, human dignity and the will to live. The women’s faithful fight to give to keep their community fit and on ARVs has been manifest in an incredible altarpiece, painstakingly sewn by 130 members.

This sensitive and studied portrait relays the strength, passion, tears and laughter of the wonderful characters in the altarpiece: the gogo Eunice who is such an essential figure in the hospice that she forgets to look after herself, the musician/prophet that runs designs into the sand, the doctor constantly checking that her patients have taken their medicine, and the lost boy searching to find his place in the world.





Pitching du Réel is a co-production and financing meeting for feature length documentaries. Organisers are Visions du Réel, Doc Outlook-International Market, and EDN, together with Danish, Finnish and Swiss broadcasters and film institutes, who have joined forces to create this third edition of Pitching du Réel in order to put a special focus on feature length documentaries. Deadline for submitting your project is on March 15th, 2008.

By selecting creative feature length documentary proposals, the aim is to enable funding for some of the most interesting new projects by established filmmakers as well as secure their quality through discussions between filmmakers, producers, commissioning editors, film consultants and distributors fighting for this genre.

Each of the selected projects will have half an hour for presentation and discussion, leaving time for in depth conversations about the style, narrative and content of each project.

Present to take part in the discussion and give feedback on the projects will be a panel of broadcasters, film institutes and distributors focusing specifically on feature length documentaries.

How to Participate:
In order to submit a project for Pitching du Réel, please fill in the registration form. Here you can download the Pitching du Reel registration form.

We prefer receiving submissions with visual material. Either in form of a 3-4 minute DVD-promo/trailer or a copy of your previous work.

You registration form should be send by email to:
Cecilia Lidin:

Visual material should be posted to:
Att: Cecilia Lidin
Vognmagergade 10, 1st floor
1120 Copenhagen K

The participation fee is 300 Euro for each project.

If you want to participate in Pitching du Réel as an observer please contact Carine Bernasconi at: The price for participating as an observer is 50 Euro/70 Euro with networking dinner.
EDN Contact
Cecilia Lidin
Phone + 45 3313 1122

Please visit the Visions du Reel website for further info:
Please email the DFA if you would like an application form:




Al Jazeera Children's Channel (JCC) has established a Documentary Production Unit (DPU) to produce original and exclusive films for the channel. DPU has contacted EDN to make an international call of projects for the channel. The deadline for submitting treatments is June 30th 2008.

“JCC is interested to open a new horizon for western and other cultures in order to have a trust-worthy professional source for production ideas,” says the head of the unit Fayçal Hassairi. JCC is interested in potential co-productions and full commissions.

Al Jazeera Children's Channel is a Pan-Arabic edutainment channel based in Doha, Qatar. It opens up avenues for Arab children to learn about different environments and cultures, as well as enhances children's sense of belonging to their countries and their Arab-Islamic culture with all its diversity. JCC addresses all the families and places a special attention to audiences between the ages of 6 to 14 years.

JCC_s Documentary Production Unit was established on August 2007. During the last 6 months DPU has started 24 productions with Arab and Western production companies of various documentary films worldwide, including exclusive production of 7 feature length productions.

Upon receiving this call for proposals exchanged the following Q&A with Fayçal Hassairi.

Q:Why does JCC want to direct its interest to western kids, family life and environment? 

A: We believe that in the Arab world some life experiences have not been sufficiently exposed. Either they are still a taboo or they do not exist. Obviously we have to deal with these subjects with a vigil eye.

Q: Are you interested in projects where children are not the main characters? 

A: We do understand that the world of adults is interesting for children as long as it's presented in a way tailored for children/families.

Q: How does one submit the proposals to JCC? 

A: We deal directly with producers/production companies. The treatment should include the concept, an advanced visual treatment of the subject, an artistic vision, CV of the director and the filmography of the production company.

Q: What is the required length? 

A: We produce documentaries of 6 minutes, 13 minutes and 26 minutes for broadcast on JCC. However for film festivals and distribution we accept treatments for 52 minutes.

Q: Do you need documentary series? 

A: The main task for which DPU was created is to fill the need of documentary series of 4 to 12 episodes. The series should follow a unified theme.

Q: You broadcast in Arabic and you don't use subtitles. What about the Arabic dubbed TX Master? 

A: A dialogue list with time codes should be included from the original language to English or French. It will be translated to Arabic by JCC. The details of the dubbing and voice over will be discussed case by case in the contract phase between JCC and the second part.

Q: Where can the producers send the proposals? 

A: You can email your proposals to:

The postal address is:
A l Jazeera Children's Channel
Fayçal Hassairi,
Documentary Unit Manager,
Programs & Production Division,
Education City, P.O. Box 23190,

Tel. +974 48 24 333
To visit the Al Jazeera Children’s Channel website, click here.



The Hungarian company IKO Media has launched the light factual channel DoQ, which will show both regional and international documentaries.

DoQ will be an alternative to the Discovery channel, said Mr. Radu Morar, who is representing the channel in Romania. The programming focus will be on biographies, travel documentaries, factual entertainment programmes, etc. 

Programmes will primarily be dubbed with a voice-over in Hungarian, but the films will be subtitled in the languages of all the countries where DoQ will be seen. This is currently Poland, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary and Romania.

IKO Media is also the broadcaster behind other niche-channels like the channel for children Minimax, Sport Klub, Cool TV and Film Plus.

IKO Mediagroup Hungary


IKO Romania S.R.L.
Str. Gh. Marinescu nr. 53, ap. 2, sector 5, 

Tel+4021 410 43 41 
or +4021 411 40 67


National Geographic Channel Asia has started Nat Geo Junior, a 2 x one-hour block on National Geographic Channel for young viewers.

Through its educational documentary programmes Nat Geo Junior is created to inspire young viewers to explore modern world beyond the classroom. From the little known facts of how things work to the every day science and the secrets of the wild, Nat Geo Junior documentary programmes are informative and offers fresh insight into our world.

Nat Geo Junior will air every weekday for one-hour from 10.00 am to 11.00 am and from 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm (HKG/SGP/MAL) on the Hong Kong and ASEAN regional satellite feed. 

With the launch of Nat Geo Junior in Asia, young viewers in the key markets of Hong
Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and other ASEAN countries will join viewers in India, Turkey and the Netherlands where the programming block is already available. In Asia, Nat Geo Junior is expected to reach over 6 million households for viewers aged 7 _ 16 years old.

Visit the Nat Geo Asia website here.

The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund offers finishing funds to feature length documentaries promoting social change and highlighting critical issues absent from mainstream media. 2008 applications must be postmarked by April 11th 2008

The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund is seeking feature-length documentaries that are in production or post-production with the intended premiere exhibition in 2009. Eligible films include those examining or document people who are ignored, ostracized or otherwise marginalized; people fighting for social or political change; or broad social movements. 

The fund is looking for films, which challenge the status quo not just as pertains to subject matter but also in form. Films should be able to sustain a festival and/or theatrical run and should resonate with a mainstream U.S. audience. Favor will be given to films with a dynamic and creative approach to the use of source material.

 Some of the criteria for applying are:
- Foreign language documentaries are eligible, but must be subtitled and suitable for an American audience

- Submissions must be non-fiction motion pictures with an intended length of at least 70 minutes and should creatively document subjects and issues that promote social change

- Submissions must be in the production or post-production stages and must not have aired on any form of television, been screened publicly or have been distributed in theatres or via the internet.

The Gucci Tribecca Documentary Fund will offer grants ranging from $5,000 - $30,000 in 2008 totaling $80,000. Fund recipients will be announced by August 1, 2008.

Submissions must be postmarked by April 11, 2008. There is an entre fee on $40 USD per submission. 

Please feel to contact The Gucci Tribecca Documentary Fund 
if you have any questions regarding the entry process:

+1 212 941 3926

You can also check out the website here



Beeld Voor Beeld is a documentary film festival dealing with culture and representation. Rooted in visual anthropology, the festival screens documentaries on various subcultures in a format combining screenings, discussions and seminars on different themes. You can submit your film until March 14thth 2008

Beeld Voor Beeld offers a meeting place for filmmakers and audiences from different cultural backgrounds. Entry submission is open to every production that either deals with subjects of anthropology, sociology and social issues or fits in with the overall theme. A special program of student films will be part of the festival. The section on student films is open to all educational programs on visual anthropology or documentary filmmaking fitting in with the overall format of the festival.

Apart from general film screenings, Beeld Voor Beeld will have as one of its themes: 
The Fringes of Europe: Romania and Turkey
The admission to the European Union of Romania on the 1st of January 2007 and the possible admission of Turkey have sparked off the discussion about the identity of Europe and the supposed threat these two countries on the fringes of Europe pose to this imagined identity. Striking in the discussion is the scarce knowledge and the pre-conceived ideas about these societies that exist in the rest of Europe. Beeld voor Beeld wants to counterbalance this lack of knowledge by showing films that give an inside view of these societies. 

Beeld Voor Beeld will have all the filmmakers present for the festival screenings, and much attention is paid to the discussions between them and the audience. The festival takes place on:
- June 4-8 2008, Tropentheater, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- June 5-8 2008, Center for World Cultures Zuiderpershuis, Antwerp, The Netherlands

For more information and entry forms please refer to:

Tel. + 31 20 568 8520

The above news alerts appear courtesy of the European Documentary Network (EDN):