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.

03 July 2009

New "Perspective" Interview

Finally another interview at ‘Perspective’ with one of South Africa’s top documentary filmmakers, Francois Verster. Verster’s latest film, ‘Sea Point Days’ will premier in South Africa at the Encounters Documentary Film Festival this Friday the 3rd of July.
Please read the interview at: http://dfaperspective.wordpress.com and don’t miss the film!

Encounters Master Classes

11th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival 2009

2-19 July, Nu Metro Cinemas, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

For further details go to www.encounters.co.za

Velcrow Ripper

Sound has the ability to evoke a deep resonance, emotions and memory, similar to the effect scent can have. It can be both subtle, or a sledgehammer. Used with artistry, it can transform a film. One of the distinctive aspects of Ripper’s films (Fierce Light, ScaredSacred) is his exquisite and multi-layered sound design. Many documentarians neglect sound, but for Ripper, sound is as important as the visual element of a film. In addition to sound designing his own films, Ripper has created the soundscapes for such seminal documentaries as The Corporation by Mark Achbar, and A Place Called Chiapas by Nettie Wild.

Saturday 11 July • 9am – 12 midday

Yoav Shamir

How do you gain access to subjects when dealing with sensitive issues? Sometimes

you are an insider, sometimes an outsider, but without access it’s difficult to achieve

what you set out to do. Access and trust, not budget, are the key elements of documentary filmmaking and will produce remarkable results. Shamir is an award-winning filmmaker who has made numerous films where he has gained the unique trust of, and access to, his subjects. His films often deal with sensitive political issues, but through building trust with his subjects he has managed to take us into a world we normally would not see.

Saturday 11 July • 2pm – 5pm

Venue

Protea Hotel, Victoria Junction,

cnr Somerset and Ebenezer Rd, Greenpoint

Booking Details

Master Class bookings contact: Irmgard Schreiber – project@encounters.co.za.

Tickets: R50

For all other enquiries and information


The Sponsors of the Encounters Film festival are:

The National Film and Video Foundation, Cape Film Commission, Jan Vrijman Fund/IDFA, Pro Helvetia and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Vivien Cohen and the Human Elephant Foundation, the Africa Centre, French Embassy, British Council, High Commission of Canada, Business & Arts South Africa, Tempest Car Hire, Goodman Gallery, The Times, Exclusive Books, Nu Metro and Cape Town TV.

TVIEC - Press Release 01 July - To Meet Communication Minister

Dear DFA Member or Friend,

The below release is probably the most important one you will have read in some time, please ensure it gets the coverage it deserves.

1 July 2009

PRESS RELEASE

EMBATTLED TV INDUSTRY TO MEET COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER

While the nation’s attention is focused on the mud slinging and blame shifting that has been unfolding in parliament between the SABC’s dissolving board and senior management, the harsh reality is that production companies are continuing to haemorrhage as we lay off staff due to the ongoing non-payment by the public broadcaster.

The TVIEC will be meeting with Communications Minister Nyanda on Friday 3 July. We shall be providing the minister with insight into the realities on the ground facing the television industry and also be addressing the false information supplied by the SABC and the dangers that such misinformation poses to the thousands of jobs that make up the production sector.

On June 4 the TVIEC, who make all local TV content for the SABC [except for the news and sport] marched to SABC headquarters to highlight a crisis of national importance. This march was prompted by the simple fact that the SABC owes us (independent producers, actors, writers, directors, technical crew) millions of rands for work already done or in production. We were met with platitudes from the senior executive about working together through the crisis and promises of weekly meetings to resolve the crisis.

Our industry is still owed millions of rands and, a month on, there is little or no communication at all from SABC’s senior management.

In the midst of this long-running crisis, not a single board member or executive has accepted accountability for this mess. Instead they play a blame game. They gave themselves fat bonuses and continue to take home large monthly pay cheques. Worst of all, individuals on the board and the executive continue to lobby for positions. They have misread the mood of the country and have ignored President’s Zuma’s call for accountability of public servants. The present SABC cannot be trusted to save itself. We are calling for urgent action by the imminent interim board to lance the rot.

The TVIEC is heartened by the announcement of the Minister setting up a Ministerial Task Team looking broadly at broadcasting policy and legislation issues and shall be seeking to have representation on this team. We believe the failings of our public broadcaster are endemic and require fundamental review and correction.


A RESPONSE TO THE SABC’S MISINFORMATION

The SABC has attempted to mislead the public and the government by stating that their crisis is a result of the global economic recession and downturn in ad spend. This is a dangerous lie.

Anyone analysing the SABC’s annual financial reports (which have clearly been designed to make that task difficult) will quickly see that most of the SABC’s loss of revenue is entirely self-inflicted. The national broadcaster lost substantial sports sponsorships partly because it lost lucrative sports rights, but allegations also point to a turf war between its internal sports department and its sales department. The result of this mismanagement of sports revenue is a larger contributing factor than the economic recession.

Moreover, the SABC has mismanaged advertising rates and relationships as well as commitments resulting in significant refunds to advertisers.

Surprisingly for an institution of its size, it is also mismanaging revenue collections. To blame the loss of revenue on a downturn in advertising spend is misleading. Why are the other broadcasters not facing this crisis?

The SABC’s financial crisis is not merely a story of lost revenue. This is also a story of an organization that spends money recklessly with no concern for its core business – serving the public.

Perhaps an anecdote best represents this disregard for financial management: The SABC, eTV and DSTV all source foreign TV programmes from an annual four day jamboree in Hollywood, USA. DSTV sends three or four of its managers there to source content for 21 channels. The SABC sends more than 20 people there to source less than 30% of its content for three channels. Shockingly, even board members have attended this market over the last five years.

While anecdotes of board-endorsed profligacy abound, the other substantially mismanaged cost drivers include news and an increase in management staff.

The cost of news has increased substantially with no increase in news output for South African viewers nor an increase in the quality of coverage. Many costs can be attributed to vanity projects which deliver neither value for money nor adherence to license conditions. The SABC arrogantly walked away from its news offering on the DSTV platform to viewers across the continent for which it was paid R20-million per annum. Instead, it chose to create an expensive (reportedly more than R200-million per annum) 24-hour news service on the Vivid platform that has few, if any, viewers.

Over the last five years the SABC has substantially increased the headcount of its middle managers, especially in content. Just five years ago, some 25 commissioning editors commissioned content for three channels. Now more than 100 people populate the Content Hub, with no equivalent increase in workload. This increased layer of the “muddled middle” has caused major organizational confusion between content procurement and channel transmission. The SABC’s international acquisitions arm has acquired more than R75-million worth of content that the channels cannot use. It has also mismanaged its programme stock, resulting in wasteful write-offs. At the SABC, no manager gets fired for poor performance. They merely get redeployed and replaced with another person. This is how the headcount has increased across the board.

The SABC has also been peddling the myth that to solve the present crisis, they will produce content “in house”. The truth is that presently less than 40% of the content budget is spent on “outside” production – ironically on its most-watched genres. The SABC produces its news and sports “in house” at substantially higher costs per minute than it spends on independently produced content. While the SABC has some respected producers, journalists and crew, any production of its popular genres in-house will be a disaster because of its poor management capabilities.

We need real change, not empty promises.

The present leadership has over the last five years presided over some monumental blunders – not least of which was the loss of local soccer from our screens. The present crisis could lead to a loss of more programmes. As viewers we notice the small things too - the increased amounts of technical errors in transmission, the programmes that never run on time and the many changes to the schedule. This is not merely a financial crisis. This is mismanagement at its worst. Public institutions can be well run, responsive to society’s needs and financially self-sufficient. There is clear proof of this in other sectors. We deserve the same for the SABC too. But we need a real sense of urgency to fix it. We need a commitment to professional leadership. We deserve a public broadcaster we can all be proud of.


TVIEC’S RECOMMENDED WAY FORWARD

The TV Industry Emergency Coalition believes that the following actions will go some way to solve the present impasse and lay the foundations for the creation of a vibrant TV industry:

IN THE IMMEDIATE TERM:

· APPOINT A NEW LEGALLY CONSTITUTED BOARD. We are encouraged by the dissolving of the current board and an interim board being put into place to stabilize the organization while a new board is constituted. We call for the appointment of people committed to public service broadcasting, including representation from the independent TV production industry for the new board. We call upon the interim board to urgently meet with the production sector in order to assist us in this difficult period and to help with damage control where possible.

· APPOINT NEW EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP. A new Group Chief Executive must lead the turn around strategy of the SABC and restore public confidence in the organisation. S/he must build a core team of competent and enlightened leaders unencumbered by the individuals who are tainted with the present mess.

· MAKE A PUBLIC COMMITMENT TO IMMEDIATELY PAY OUTSTANDING DEBTS. The SABC needs to create a ‘fast-track’ emergency system of payments of outstanding debts – including payments of repeat fees to actors, writers, musicians and producers. Its present excessive bureaucracy compounds the problem of cashflow. This schedule of payment must be made transparent to creditors. Despite numerous meetings and promises our industry is still largely unpaid and carries the burden of debt.

· CONDUCT AN INQUIRY/AUDIT INTO THE PRESENT CRISIS. An Inquiry must be conducted to properly investigate the causes of the present crisis and hold the present board and executive accountable in terms of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The public needs to know what the leadership has spent the money on – including a report of the expense accounts of the top leaders. A culture of accountability will go a long way to prevent future abuse of the SABC.

IN THE LONGER TERM

· REVIEW AND MODERNISE COMMISSIONING AND TERMS OF TRADE. The SABC still uses apartheid-era production contracts that fix prices/rates for talent as well as apartheid-era business practices including blacklisting, bullying, and micromanaging independent businesses. There is an urgent need to change this. Moreover, the terms of trade are unfair. They place all risk on the producer and undermine any possible self-sustainability. These terms of trade should be negotiated under the guidance of an independent mediator. In addition, the SABC must commit to commissioning programmes in regions other than Johannesburg.

· PLACE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN THE HANDS OF ITS CREATORS. Presently, the SABC owns all the intellectual property rights of the content we develop and produce. The SABC has failed to exploit this content by selling it to broader markets. This discourages creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. After a lifetime of content creation, the creator owns nothing. Independent producers are unable to build a sustainable industry if they cannot own what they produce.

· AN ICASA-LED REVIEW OF COMPLIANCE TO REGULATIONS. We believe that the SABC is in danger of being in flagrant violation of broadcast regulations. ICASA needs to act urgently to protect the integrity of the broadcast environment and to act in the public’s interest. This review of SABC compliance should cover all aspects of its license conditions and include public hearings on SABC performance.

· REVIVE THE SPIRIT OF PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING. The SABC has killed the spirit of public service broadcasting that was initiated at the dawn of democracy. The spirit of inclusiveness, consultation and citizen partnership created by the new government must benefit public broadcasting too. The new SABC must act in partnership with the independent production sector and other important civil society stakeholders to create great public broadcasting.

Again we state our commitment: We are not fighting against the SABC, we are fighting for the SABC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: tvcrisis@gmail.com

This press release is written on behalf of the TVIEC (Television Industry Emergency Coalition) which consists of: IPO (Independent Producers Organization), SASFED (South African Screen Federation), TPA (The Producers Alliance), DFA (Documentary Filmmakers Association), WGSA (Writers Guild of South Africa) as well as the CWU (Creative Workers Union).

01 July 2009

DFA My Town 3 minute Documentary Competition Finalists

Presents

MY TOWN
3 minute Documentary Competition

The town we come from/live in shapes who we are. We occupy its space, it occupies us. In this short 3 minute documentary competition, filmmakers, aspirant filmmakers, artists and students were invited to make a short 3 minute documentary titled “My Town”.

8 films were selected to screen at Encounters from all the entries. The winning film will be announced at a special screening on 18 July @ 19:00, NU METRO, V&A Waterfront.

ALEX, My Township by Matome Senyolo

Affectionately known as Gommora or Dark City, Alexandra is known to many for its dilapidation. Despite this, Alex holds special memories for its inhabitants. This poetic narrative film is a love letter to Alex, a letter that bares all and forgives all, sees beauty where others see damnation. A walk down memory lane. An insight into what makes this a township within a township. A true confession from one of its sons.

Hoedspruit by Warrick Grier

Hoedspruit is a small town on the Blyde River, in Limpopo province. It is a town where wild animals and humans co-exist. The hippopotamus has been called the number one human killer. However, the interface of human and animal settlements in Hoedspruit has set the scene for a rare and unique bond to be formed between a wild hippo and a hunter. This documentary looks at the extraordinary relationship of Tonie Joubert and Jessica, the hippo.

I Used to Come Here When I Was Little by Panayota Athanasiou, Ruth Heyns and Russel Grant

In this nostaligic film the filmmakers explore, “their town”, Johannesburg, as a place filled with childhood memories. They revisit special places form their childhood to see whether or not memories have made them greater and more magical than they are.

Le Marché Oriental by James Webb

The Cape Town Oriental Plaza was an Apartheid-era shopping mall designed to control Indian trade. Artist, James Webb invited Sheikh Mogamat Moerat of District Six’s Zeenatul Islam Majid mosque to sing the Adhan (call to prayer) inside the empty remains of the building a few weeks prior to its demolition in 2008. Le Marché Oriental is a poetic documentation of this experience.


My Town by Caroline Hillary and Johann Vorster (Mzansi Media)

The filmmakers explore jail as a theme for “My Town”. With the rising crime figures, many young men are making a new home inside the jails, and in turn it is becoming “their town”. Filmed at the Maximum Security Division of the Leeuwkop prison, this film seeks to make a poignant comment on “home” in South African prisons.


My Townships by Ayanda Mncwabe

In this hard-hitting film, Mncwabe draws a link between crime and childhood neglect in South African townships. She wonders if parents are to blame for leaving their children at home while they make sure everything is in order at ‘madam’s quarters’? Or are they just trapped in a cycle of poverty as they, ironically, need to care for other children to feed their own.


Rubble/Iron by Garreth Bird

Performing the tasks of disposal services, recyclers, and garbage collectors, the clip-clopping cart horses are a familiar feature of the Cape Town landscape. The horse steels itself, leans into its load and heads off steadily down the road, carting away the rubble left by the formal economy. This film reflects on the quiet heroism of the cart-horses and their owners, who lead a life of long hard days with minimal reward.


Woodstock by Lesedi Mogoatlhe

Mogoatlhe has moved from a township in Johannesburg to find a place of belonging in Woodstock, Cape Town. The film is about living amongst people she doesn’t know or understand, yet feeling at home. Feeling a sense of familiarity with the constant noise, the colours, the art, the diversity of people, and the hardships that bring everything to a standstill. There’s peace and laughter, then violence and silence.

PRIZES SPONSORED BY:

Logos: visual impact group, syntech, dds, media film services, dfa

Special thanks to

Encounters documentary festival, Nu Metro cinema

30 June 2009

Invitation to Producers - Short Documentary Commissioned from Africa by Netherlands Broadcaster

Dear DFA Member, the following letter was received via a Dutch contact, and may be of interest to you.

It applies to African short documentary production, and is for commissioned short documentary pieces b a Netherlands Based broadcaster!

You can find the latest Guidelines for this program and submission here, and are encouraged to read them carefully.

The latest set of themes suggested by the TV Show can be seen below and here.

Note: DFA has not directly confirmed the legitimacy of this offer, and asks members to use common sense when dealing with any channel they have not dealt with before.

--------

Dear Potential Correspondent,

Thank you for showing interest in participating in the Metropolis TV program. The weekly television show (25 minutes long) is scheduled to appear on NED3, one of three Dutch public channels. The target audience for Metropolis TV is 'youthful' between 17 and 50 years old. It’s a late night show.

We believe that the Metropolis TV program is a great opportunity to show our young television audience in The Netherlands some mini-documentaries about other cultures (and their subcultures). Every television broadcast will be built around a certain topic.
What’s our main interest? To give some insight in the everyday life of various people in the world. The Metropolis TV program wants to highlight the differences and similarities between countries and cultures, without being too academic, filmed from a documentary point of view. We’re not looking for perspectives and comments by so called specialists (scientists, sociologists, etcetera). Instead, we would like to focus on the ‘smaller stories’, the details that provide insight in the bigger issues. It’s all about citizens, their daily lives and their thoughts on bigger and smaller topics. All filmed in a documentary fashion, and always from a personal point of view. Each episode of the show will consist of 7-8 small documentaries from varies parts of the world, which will be 3-5 minutes each.
Style and pace
Because of length of the documentary (3 – 5 minutes) it is important to quickly embark upon the essence in all the shot’s and interviews. Humor and satire might be a tool to get the messages across to our youthful audience, but is by no means a necessity. The shape of a bottle of cola is known all around the world. But things that might be normal in your country and culture might stun a West-European audience. Bear in mind that the audience is Western European.

--------

If you want to extend your work to making television mini documentaries and make some good money doing it:
We are in the continuing selection procedure to find African correspondents to cover themes (subjects) we offer them. The criteria we use are;
1. The storyline you send in on a theme (subject)
2. and we do want to see at least one example video that you have made before. Please enable us to see a short video you made either online or by post DHL or Fedex.
We have created a way for the video's to be sent via the YouSendIt upload service. With
YouSendIt you can send large files (max 2 GB) over the internet. Go to
http://dropbox.yousendit.com/metropolis and upload your videos. Maximum file size is 2GB
so you probably have to compress your video item before sending it.
Alternatively you can use the YouSendIt Express standalone application for PC or Mac
(http://www.yousendit.com/cms/standalone-app) and obtain an account from us (send an
email to T.vanden.Hoff@vpro.nl) to upload your files and use metropolis@vpro.nl as the
recipients address. This program has a feature which will prevent interruptions in file transfer and might save you some valuable time, especially on flaky connections.


Our fedexnumber is: Vpro metropolis 413623480
Our DHL account number is: 960958461

VPRO Metropolis
t.a.v. Alaye van Empel - Aderemi
Sumatralaan 49
1217 Gb Hilversum
The Netherlands


These are all the suggested themes (subjects) for the comming episodes. The sooner we get a nice short storyline on the theme, the sooner you might get the contract to make the story. Please do consider the style we are looking for expressed in the attached documents.

There is still a lot of room for new proposals, no contracts have been handed out yet. Plenty opportunity for you to get a contract. Be sure not just to give a report of the current situation in your country but let me know how you would want to cover the subject.

Please send me your storylines on these new topics as soonest.
Hoping for good, original and strong storylines

Having a baby
Here we look for stories that demonstrate what it means to have a child in your country. How important is it in your country to have children, how far do parents go to get children, do people have preference for a boy or a girl?
How many children should one have and what is the role of the man and the woman?

Against the system
In every country, there are some who don't want to be a part of society. They take the (deliberate) step to isolate themselves physically or mentally from the masses, the mainstream ideology or political arena. Artists, animal activists, lone thinkers, anarchists... people who want to build their own world and have very strong opinions about the way society functions. Can you find us a surprising non-conformist in your country?

Fathers and Sons
An episode in which we focus on the relationship between fathers and sons.
We're looking for personal stories of sons who have followed their fathers'
footsteps. And about sons who have gone in an entirely different direction than their fathers (a butchers son who's become a vegetarian spokesman, or son who's very right wing with a leftist father, etcetera etcetera). What is expected of a son in your community? How normal is it that a son follows his fathers footsteps? Do you know an interesting father and son story?

News Hunters
Every country has them: the star journalists, crime reporters, and others, hunting for news. In this episode, we want to find out what it's like to be a journalist in your country. And through following the reporter find out about the bigger stories and issues in your country. See for instance this contribution from correspondent Stef in Nicaragua on Calulo, the radio reporter who's hunting for car crash victims:
http://www.metropolistv.nl/?p=229&lang=en
Calulo is an example of a very disturbing form of journalism, and we would like to see what sort of journalists your country has and if you can think of a character that would be interesting to follow around in his/her job. The main
thing: it has to be an interesting character, and we have to go out to where the stories are with him/her. No newsrooms, but out on the job, hunting for news.

Justice will be done
In this episode we look for different ways of doing justice. Each country has its own law system that prescibes which punishment one deserves for a certain violation of the law. Who decides upon this, how does the law system work and who enforces the law? Please tell us your stories that demonstrate how people in your country think about justice and punishment. (An example:
The 31-year-old Iranian is demanding the ancient punishment of "an eye for an eye," and, in accordance with Islamic law, she wants to blind the man who blinded her.
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/02/19/acid.attack.victim/index.ht
ml) Or send us stories on different kinds of punishment.


Pilgrimages
Catholics go to Lourdes, Muslims go on the hadj to Mecca, and Elvis-fans travel to Memphis, Tennessee. See for instance this contribution from
Poland:
http://www.metropolistv.nl/?p=645&lang=en
In this episode, we want to visit all different kinds of 'holy' places, with the people that visit them. Can you think of an interesting pilgrim and pilgrimage?
Surprise us!

Problem Quarters
Every city has its own worst quarters. Where crime is high, where most people don't want to live, where sometimes the police is afraid of going in at night. In the Netherlands a campaign was launched recently to clean up and improve the 40 worst neighborhoods. By building more expensive housing, by investing in the police force and subsidizing all kinds of small activities, such as a biking course for immigrants wives.
But of course, Hollands worst neighborhoods are paradise compared with some other parts of the world. We want to find out what life is like in the worst parts of your city. And how your city deals with difficult neighborhoods.
For instance, in Rio de Janeiro a wall was built right around one of the worst neighborhoods, so that the people there can't get out easily. In other slums, the army is sent in to 'solve' problems. How's this in your city and can you think of a personal angle to this story? How harsh or how soft is the approach towards these quarters and the people that live there?

The impact of tourism
In this episode, we want to find out what kind of tourism takes place in your country and how it affects the culture, environment, and social relations where tourism is big business. We'd like to receive proposals on different sides of this story:
- What's are some of the most unexpected / unknown forms of tourism in your country? (For instance, in Burkina Faso, every year Westerners travel there to fulfill their dream of shooting a lion)
- What's the dark side of tourism in your country? How does it affect the country? (and what kind of people would you propose to follow?)
- What's the upside of tourism in your country? Sometimes, tourism has a great effect on a country. We'd like to hear about that side too. (here too, please tell us what kind of people you'd want to follow)

Development Aid
Nowadays, development aid is a multibillion industry. Entire countries have become dependant on the money from other countries. We would like to hear about cases in your country, from either the giving side or the receiving end. Some stories that we are interested in at first sight (and please feed us with other options):
- How do people in Africa feel about Western volunteers?
- Do you know projects that are still active but have no effect at all? How?
- Do you know development projects that have a second intention, next to helping people? For instance spreading a faith? Or other ideas?
- If you live in a country that receives help, what kind of results has development aid had on your country?

Crookes and thieves (and how to fight them) From small time crooks to 'super gangstas', we're looking for stories about people who by stealing, cheating or dealing, break the law to make their money. What are their tricks, what's their view on life, who do they fear?
Also, if you have an interesting story to tell on how criminals are fought in your city let us know as we're considering to include both sides of the medal in this episode. Here's one example:
http://www.metropolistv.nl/?p=581&lang=en

Women worldwide
In this episode we want to discover what it's like to be a woman in various cultures around the globe. We look for stories that show the position of women in your society. Women who have found a clever way to take advantage of their position as 'underdogs'; examples of women dominating men; or women that break with the local conventions of what women are supposed to do or think. Of course, feel free to suggest any story that you think involves an unexpected 'feminine' touch. An example from Iran:
http://www.whydemocracy.net/film/14

Giving birth
Stories on all kinds of issues connected to birth: how and where do women give birth, what are the rituals connected to this, what is the role of men?
And is the birth of a new human being something special or business as usual, or is it celebrated extensively?
Dear regards,

Dear regards,
Alaye

Alaye van Empel - Aderemi
Tel: 0031 35 6712688 / mob 0031 6439072
www.metropolistv.nl

SOS Update: What's happening THIS week.

The following update for this week form SOS on the SABC issues.

Just a quick update re: latest developments at the SABC. This week is going to be another busy week. The SABC's Chief Financial Officer, Robin Nicholson is going to be presenting a 100 page document on SABC finances to the Comms Portfolio Committee. Further, the Portfolio Committee has recommended to the President that the Board be dissolved. It seems that a new interim board will be place by the end of the week. It is very urgent that the interim board is put in place speedily. There are a number of important contracts that need to be signed without further delay. Some of these are linked to 2010.
Warm regards
Kate
Kate Skinner
Campaign Coordinator - Save our SABC
(082) 926-6404

SASFED AGM 2009 - Minutes of AGM, Chairs report & Treasurer's report

Dear DFA Member & Friend,

Last week was a very busy one for SASFED. Not only was a new board and treasure elected, at their AGM, but the new board and committee met again on Wednesday the 24th to decide on the various board positions, and to confirm that SASFED will join FEPACI. As such SASFED will be the only organisation in South Africa as part of the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers, and will hold the South African Vote for this prestigious pan african federation.

They were also honoured to have the Treasurer General of FEPACI, Mr Albert Egbe, attend the SASFED AGM as observer. He commented that he was "truly impressed by the transparency of the election process".

The AGM followed a strict agenda, and MINUETS of this meeting are available here.

A full recording podcast of the meeting can be downloaded or streamed here.

Within the AGM the outgoing Chairperson, Rehad Desai, delivered his 2009 CHAIRS REPORT. This can be seen here.

The Treasure confirm the FINANCIAL REPORT he delivered to the larger forum at the SAGM, and it can be seen in two parts here, for the covering report and here for the figures.

Pictures of the AGM can be seen in a pervious article here.

We congratulate the 2009/10 board as can be seen here as announced perviously.

We thank the previous board for their service and growing the federation to where it is today.

SASFED - A week of turmoil as reported in the media.

The following appears on SASFED and we thought it of use to DFA members. It's a taste of the media coverage our industry has had of late.

The list of recent events is hard to sum up by literally massed of media coverage. It seems there is so much to say about the SABC, ICASA and our industry in general, what with only one board member left on the SABC, and a former CEO back at SABC, parliament lambasting the SABC board, the board blaming management (not that they are not also to blame), the new Minister of Communications getting ready for a bail out, but still not actually meeting with our industry, and ICASA refusing to regulate despite SASFED making a very clear case to do so. Lets take a look at some highlights we found for you. Articles where if you missed them, you missed out:

Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda on Wednesday called for state funding for the embattled SABC to be increased. However it seems he made it clear government wont be paying a majority towards SABC, just an increased amount.

A blog by Brenon Edmonds wrote a really great piece on the SABC debacle on the Mahala blog. The article raises some very interesting points, including that according to the article, 38% of the operating budget went to staff costs last year. But only 22.5% went to film, sport and broadcast costs! Considering broadcast costs are high, you can be sure we are talking a low percentage to content. To argue therefore that "local content" is the large expense area of the SABC appears to simply not be true. The article argues that the "headcount costs" and especially senior headcount is disproportionate to content.

It seems ICASA feels there is no need to "regulate" or level the playing fields, when the broadcasters have called for "self regulation", why not give it to them Also seems as if the idea of balancing the IP rights in terms of trade is also something they would rather not get involved in. Seems they have been persuaded by the broadcasters to shift responsibility exclusively to Department of Trade and Industry and the Companies ad Intellectual Property Registration Office. Former SASFED chair Rehad Desai is quoted in this article as disappointed with ICASA's position, and point to the lack of regulation in an unbalanced relationship between broadcasters and independents.

SASFED Board positions for 2009/10 year announced.

Following on the 2009 AGM as detailed previously where the new board was elected, at the first combined meeting of the new 2009/10 SASFED board & committee, on Wednesday the 24th of June 2009, the positions within the board for 2009/10 were decided. We are fortunate to have FIVE DFA members on the final board, so our interests should be well looked after.

SASFED take pleasure in confirming the 2009/10 board positions as follows:

Co-Chairs: Kgomotso Matsunyane & Feizel Mamdoo (DFA)
Vice Chair: Eve Rantseli
Treasurer: Michael Lee (DFA)
Co-Secretaries: Thandi Brewer & Khalid Shamis (DFA)
Legal: Stacy Koma
Communications: Marc Schwinges (DFA Board)
Additional Members: Rehad Desai (DFA) & Dan Jawitz

In the interests of transparency, minuets of this combined board & committee meeting can be seen here.