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.

23 July 2009

Press Release - Encounters announces Audience Award Winners

11th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival 2008

Encounters announces Audience Award winners

The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is proud to announce the Winners of this year’s Audience Award.

The Best South African Documentary winner is:

Fokofpolisiekar “forgive them for they know not what they do” directed by Bryan Little.

And the Best International Documentary winner is:

RIP: A remix manifesto directed by Brett Gaylor (Canada)

Fokofpolisiekar received the highest votes overall.

The audience award referee Professor Tim Dunne, Head of Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Cape Town analyzed 6245 ballot forms submitted by the Cape Town festival-goers.

“It is evident from this year’s Encounters that there is a recognizable demand for celebrated documentaries in the country. This year we experienced several sold out screenings, and held some of the most interesting Q&A’s and panel discussions”, said Festival Director Mandisa Zitha.

The Festival experienced financial difficulties prior to its commencement, before embarking upon a public campaign to raise funds for this year’s edition.

Zitha further added that, “the Festival funders, partners and Friends of the Festival really made the Festival possible. We are grateful that they showed their commitment and enthusiasm for the Festival. Of course it would all be in vain without our audience, who attended in large numbers to get their annual dose of the independent non-fiction genre”.

This year’s line-up featured many award-winning films and festival favourites. The final programme of 40 films - including 20 local documentaries, was derived from a record entry of over 600 films from around the world. Of the 8 sold out film screenings experienced during the Festival, four were local ones.

Between the 2nd and 19th July, 10,248 doccie lovers walked through the Encounters cinemas at the Nu Metro, V&A Waterfront. This is a 25% increase on last year’s attendance numbers.

The Top 5 South African Films are:

1. Fokofpolisiekar by Bryan Little

2. Rewind by Liza Key

3. For Which I am Prepared to Die by Lindy Wilson

4. Sea Point Days by Francois Verster

5. The Invincibles by Mark J Kaplan

The Top 5 International Films are:

1. RIP: A remix manifesto by Brett Gaylor

2. Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman

3. Burma VJ – Reporting From a Closed Country by Anders Hǿgsbro Ǿtergaard

4. Music from the Inside Out by Daniel Anker

5. Rough Aunties by Kim Longinotto

This Festival and its projects are supported by:

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, Cape Town Magazine.

For general queries contact:

Refiloe Khobane

Production Assistant

(021) 465 4686


Mandisa Zitha

Festival Director

(021) 465 4686


CWU Press Release - Strike elevated against stubborn SABC



Communication Workers Union and its members are to embark on a second phase of the protected strike action against the SABC as a result of the Public Broadcaster’s management’s failure respond favourably to the union’s demands.

As indicated to the SABC management on the 10th July 2009, CWU is not prepared to accept anything less than the 12.2% salary increment as agreed upon by parties in the multi-term agreement. CWU still maintain that its members and workers in general cannot be expected to be the ones hard hit by the mismanagement and misappropriation of funds by the management.

The rescue request made by the SABC of 2billion Rands from government cannot exclude rescuing itself from preventing the current strike by ensuring that the SABC respect and adhere to the signed agreement.

CWU believe that the prioritization of cost cutting as embarked upon by the SABC should among others be aimed at making it possible among others to implement the multi-term agreement to ensure the much needed stability within the organization. In prioritizing, the SABC must affirmatively consider the “Loyalty Begins At Home” principle.

The CWU National Working Committee meeting that will be held on the 24th July 2009, will among others discuss a more effective strike action program against the SABC, its forms and durations, and these will include among others; “Go Slows”; Work-to-rule”; Picketing and National “Stay-Away’s” The SABC strike will be bolstered by the impending strike against Telkom SA and the possibility of a “Secondary Strike” of all CWU members in the ICT Sector.

The SABC need to seriously consider implementing the 12.2% or brace itself up for a crippling “Rolling Mass Action”, as our members’ determination and anger is nearing explosive levels.

For any queries, please contact

Gallant Roberts

General Secretary

Communication Workers Union

082 692 9777

21 July 2009

"MY TOWN" Award winning Films

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.”


"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.


G Tech GDriveQ 500GB Hard Drive, courtesy of SyntechSA and the Visual Impact Group.


"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.


LaCie Hard Disk Triple Design by Neil Poulton 1Tb, courtesy of DDS and the Visual Impact Group

R20000 Gear sponsorship from Media Film Services

R2500 cash prize from the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association.


"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.

Press Release - SABC Claims Cash from Unpaid Producers



Despite some erratic payments at the end of June 2009, SABC still owes independent TV producers tens of millions of rands for shows that have already been broadcast. And payments of millions of rands more are being delayed for months on end because of the SABC’s controversial asset control system. As part of that system, seemingly random fines of up to R100 000 are being imposed on producers for alleged lost assets.

The commissioning process is mired in red tape – nowhere more so than the signing off of a completed production. One aspect of this sign-off is assets. When a production company creates a series for SABC, everything that is bought for the production – sets, props, wardrobe, dressing and the like – becomes a SABC asset. At the end of the season the producer – who has invariably had to store these assets at their own cost or, more recently, leave them at an insecure SABC facility – must account for them. Down to the last sock, assets must be ticked off against a ledger of acquisitions. SABC appears to have only one Asset Controller covering all of their commissioned productions, a Ms Lerato Thage.

It can take months or even years for the SABC’s Asset Controller to get to checking a production’s assets. Until she does so, final payment for that production is withheld. Some production companies have been waiting for longer than a year and up to two years for this to happen.

Now production companies are also facing bizarre claims that vast amounts of assets are missing when the controller eventually does her checks. The industry has gone so far as to photograph assets in order to prove that they are accounted for – but SABC seems unwilling to engage over the issue. They seem intent on witholding money from production houses as a matter of course.

This may seem like a trivial issue, but it is causing even further delays and crises in outstanding payments to the industry – it is clearly a ruse to alleviate the SABC’s cashflow crisis at the cost of the independent production sector. The TVIEC demands honest, fair and efficient terms of trade with the national broadcaster.


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).

A message to those attending the Durban Film Festival

Anyone who is attending the Durban Film Festival and would like to be interviewed for or otherwise appear in the film "State of Emergency?" which we are shooting at the DIFF, please let us know. The film chronicles filmmaking in South Africa over the past 30 years, examining the question of how to develop a South African identity beyond the past, as a society and by extension as filmmakers. The DIFF is 30 years old this year and we are using the opportunity to reflect on the past (and next) 30 years.

Contact us at or call Connie at 082 730 0653. Thanks!