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.

19 February 2010

Invite to preview screening of Mugabe and The White African

UPDATE 23 Feb 2010 - 14h30

UNFORTUNATELY this screening is now fully booked out! We regret that further tickets can no longer be accommodated.

The response to this film was OVERWHELMING, with over 100 confirmations in just over 3 days and still 3 days till the screening!

DFA is pleased invite its Gauteng based members to an exclusive Johannesburg Preview of the Multi-Award Winning controversial film: Mugabe and The White African with Directors in attendance! Screening will take place at the exciting new Bioscope at Arts on Main Venue. This is one NOT to be missed… so let us know immediately if you can come and how many tickets (up to 4) you need.

Film on Zimbabwean farmer challenging Mugabe in international court nominated for BAFTA award

The directors and producers of the documentary film, “Mugabe and the White African” have been nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award in the category “Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer”.

The award recognises and encourages the most promising new British writers, directors and producers making their debut in feature filmmaking. It is presented in honour of Carl Foreman.

Shot under cover in Zimbabwe, this documentary feature follows Michael Campbell, one of the few hundred white farmers left in Zimbabwe since Robert Mugabe began his violent ‘Land Reform’ program in 2000.

In 2008, Michael took the unprecedented step of challenging Mugabe in an international court, accusing the President and his government of racial discrimination and violations of basic human rights.

What follows is an intimate, moving and often terrifying account of one man and his family’s extraordinary courage in the face of overwhelming injustice and brutality.

Following a total press ban in Zimbabwe, much of the footage for the film had to be shot covertly; to have been caught would have lead to imprisonment for filmmakers Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thomson.

Initially funding the project themselves, they eventually approached Arturi Films, and producers David Pearson and Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock were able to secure private investment, public funding awards from the Film Agency for Wales, and a post-production deal with Molinare, enabling them to work with some of the post-production team from 2008’s Oscar and BAFTA-winning Man on Wire.

This enabled Bailey and Thomson to concentrate on the difficult task of maintaining high production values while filming illegally in a dangerous and chaotic country.

Since its launch last year, “Mugabe and the White African” has already won three prestigious awards:

  • Best Documentary – British Independent Film Awards (Winner 2009)
  • Grand Jury Prize – Silver Docs Documentary Festival (Winner 2009)
  • Special Jury Prize – Hamptons International Film Festival (Winner 2009)
  • Outstanding Debut Film – British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nomination

Commenting on the BAFTA nomination, Ben Freeth, who has worked tirelessly with his father-in-law, Mike Campbell, to develop Mount Carmel farm into a highly successful commercial enterprise, said: “We are delighted with the film’s exceptional achievements. Although it focuses on our family and farm workers, it is the story of all Zimbabweans, both black and white.

“We are grateful to the directors and producers for having the vision and courage to make the film under such difficult and dangerous conditions,” he continued.

“As they delved deeper into the crisis of our farm saga, which epitomizes the general situation still prevalent throughout our country, they went beyond the call of duty to make the very best film to reach the widest audience and raise the profile of the plight of Zimbabweans,” he said.

Freeth also played a pivotal role in taking the case to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in Windhoek, Namibia. Subsequently 77 other commercial farmers joined the case and the SADC Tribunal ruled in their favour, a judgement which the Zimbabwean government has failed to respect.

Freeth has dedicated his life to restoring commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe so that the now impoverished African country, dependent on food aid since the disastrous land grab in February 2000 by the Mugabe regime, can once again become food secure.


For more information on the film, visit the “Mugabe and the White African” website:

For more information on the awards, visit the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) website:

Information on the directors and producers:

Lucy Bailey (director) has a background in anthropology and over ten years experience as a director in television, with the majority shot in Africa, often covering sensitive subjects. Her recent work includes appeal films for Comic Relief, which earned her a nomination for the One World Media- Popular Features Award 2008.

Andrew Thompson (director) is a BAFTA and RTS nominated cameraman with over 12 years experience filming all over the world for Channel 4, BBC, National Geographic and Discovery, often in hostile environments. Previous credits include Sex Traffic (C4, 08), Inside the Kingdom (BBC, 07), Brian Keenan in Lebanon(BBC, 07) and Ross Kemp in Afghanistan (Sky, 07).

David Pearson (producer) has over thirty years experience in television, as a director, producer, executive producer & commissioning editor. He has won an RTS awards, and has been twice nominated for both a BAFTA and the Grierson Award.

Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock (producer) began her career at Working Title Films, before spending ten years as a leading talent agent representing actors and directors, and then became a Film Finance Executive at MHFTV. She has been a script development executive and development producer on various feature films through her company, Wild Films.


A Preview screenings of the film are taking place in Johannesburg next week and DFA members and the media is very welcome to attend.

However, since the film has not yet been released on circuit, these screenings are “By invitation only”, ie they cannot be publicised in advance in the media.

The London-based film directors, Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey will be in South Africa for the Johannesburg screening and will be joined Ben Freeth himself.


Johannesburg: Host: The Documentary Film Makers’ Association

Friday 26 February at 21h00 “Arts on Main”, cnr Berea and Fox Streets, Johannesburg
For directions see:

Limited seating.
RSVP (up to 4 places per member) –

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