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.

25 February 2010

Minutes of TVIEC Meeting with SABC GCEO

25 February2010

TVIEC Meeting with SABC GCEO
20 March 2010: General Meeting of TVIEC

Dear fellow industry professionals

As you are probably aware, the TVIEC recently met with the new GCEO of the SABC, Mr Solly Mokoetle. You will find the detailed minutes of what went down at that meeting by clicking here.

Please don't forget that we are holding a general meeting of the TVIEC for all industry stakeholders on 20 March 2010. We can confirm that the venue for this meeting is the Auditorium at the Goethe Institute, 119 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood Johannesburg. The meeting will commence at 3pm.

Best regards

Charl: 082-6813680

This update 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 CWU (Creative Workers Union).

TVIEC Steering Committee: Charl Blignaut, Rehad Desai, Levern Engel, Harriet Gavshon, Stan Joseph, Desiree Markgraaf, Lodi Masetsela, Kgomotso Matsunyane, Marc Schwinges and Robbie Thorpe

DFA partners with prestigious AFRICADOC - South Africa - Documentary Scriptwriting Residency

DFA is a supporter of the first South African Documentary Scriptwriting Residency in Johannesburg from the 12th till the 24th of April 2010.

AFRICADOC itself is however not a new venture in French Speaking Africa, and has a proud history of success. This is its first venture into an English Speaking Territory and DFA is thrilled to be associated with the program.

Founded in 2002 by French film producer and director Mr. Jean-Marie BARBE who, more than 20 years ago, created the festival “Les Etats Généraux du Film Documentaire de Lussas” in France, AFRICADOC is a programme for the development of African documentary cinema, led by a French association, Ardeche Images, together with local partners wherever Africadoc is already implemented.

The aim of Africadoc is to develop, together with all African countries, a training network to meet the needs of a new generation of documentary filmmakers, and to set up a network of professionals working in the documentary world.

Currently Africadoc is well developed in Francophone Africa. They’ve created:
  • A Master’s Degree in “Creative Documentary Filmmaking” at the University of St Louis (Senegal);
  • 5 documentary writing residencies per year in various African countries.

Louma is the name of the African Documentary Encounters of St-Louis (Senegal): A one-week annual event gathering around one hundred audiovisual professionals (filmmakers, producers, distributors and film sponsors) from Africa, Europe as well as Canada, and featuring several highlights: The Tënk (Co-production Encounters) and The Video Library.

TËNK (Co-Production Encounters)
The Tënk, which has eventually become the must-attend co-production event in African documentary film, will this year again, for its 8th edition showcase approximately thirty young African filmmakers offering them the opportunity to present their film projects. African and European members of the trade (producers, distributors and funders) will all participate in the event with one objective: Developing these with the aid of a North-South co-production. The Meeting includes two parts: Tënk (pitching) sessions and private appointments that enable the directors-to-be to easily approach the trade participants who are interested in their film projects. In 2010, thirty projects will then be presented at the 8th Tënk Encounters Co-Production, which will include participants from the South African Writing Residency.

A catalogue of approximately 150 African or Africa-related documentary films will be available for African buyers and buyers from the rest of the world (TV channels and organizations for film distribution & broadcasting). The rights owners of these films will previously have commissioned Africadoc for extraordinary direct distribution to the buyers attending Louma. These buyers will be offered the opportunity to finalize purchase on the premises, more specifically contracts concerning DVD sales.

In 7 years of existence, Africadoc has been supervising many film projects, from conception to distribution. With a view to reinforcing their identity, these remarkable films have been gathered in the Lumière d’Afrique Collection, which acts as a production “label”. Every year, the series expands by ten new documentary films developed during the writing residencies and produced thank to the Tënk Encounters.

Africadoc is also a pan-African documentary network carried by young professionals (authors and producers) and their desire to create. As such, various Africadoc associations have been created in several African countries (Togo, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso) making it possible to structure the Africadoc network, to relay the programme locally as well as to ensure the long- lasting anchorage of the network of professionals developed over time.

For the first time, South Africa has been invited to be a part of this project and eight young local documentary authors / filmmakers will be hosted for a 12 day workshop in Johannesburg to further help develop their projects. This method of documentary script development may not work for all kinds of documentaries, but certainly there are projects where this kind of intimate script development process is essential. After the workshop 4 the 8 documentary filmmakers will be selected to attend the 8th Tënk (co-production encounters), which is taking place in Saint-Louis in Senegal, in June 2010, to pitch their project developed during the writing residency.

This is a very exciting opportunity for Pan-African co-operation, as well as European-African knowledge and development assistance!

To read more and download the CALL FOR APPLICATIONS, please click here for the PDF (1.88mb) file or click here for the WORD (291kb) file.

Applications including the filled in form and the required documents (see list on form) must be sent by email and before 06th of April 2010 – midnight.

If you are able to understand French, you may also visit the project web site: Please note however the Residency will be provided in English and translators will always be on hand. It may however be an advantage if you are also able to communicate in French.

24 February 2010

DFA Member looking for collaboration for inspiring Project

I have researched and refined a 2010 Soccer World Cup docie called
"Vuvuzela From My Eyes" for three years which dives deep in what does
2010 Soccer World Cup mean to a blind person. This 24 min docie is
told through Londeka a 10 year old visually impaired girl who fell in
love with soccer. The 2010 Soccer World Cup is hailed an epic event in
the history of Africa let alone Mzansi and for the first time we
record the anticipations of a visually impaired individual.

While South Africans are waiting in bated breath to see in flesh
their international football stars, while ordinary people wait to
welcome and see the world ascending on our shores, Vuvuzela From My
Eyes explores the world we all asume as dark and has no visuals. As
the producer of this concept I am lookig for a co-production
partnership for this project as I want to get to production in the
beginning of April 2010 for the World Cup build up.

I am based in Gauteng and the story will be shot in here. Production
Companies, Distribution Houses and Filmmakers interested in being
involved in this project in any way imaginable can contact me anytime.

Always on Call

23 February 2010

Jozi the movie

Our friends at ToM pictures, who are active on the SASFED board produced this fantastic new film. Be sure to watch it!

SA delays digital TV

18 February, 2010

South Africa's transition from analogue TV broadcasts to digital broadcasts has been postponed by possibly two years or even longer. by Thinus Ferreira

The reason was that the South African television industry and the digital Set Top Boxes that viewers would have to purchase to watch TV in future, would not be ready in time.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) recently published the final digital migration regulations for the transitional process from digital terrestrial TV (DTTV) in the government gazette.

The countrywide switch to DTTV, which was originally set for completion in November 2011, would now possibly only happen by November 2013 or even later.

In a separate document about the migration, Icasa said a new final date would later be announced when analogue broadcasts had to cease and only digital broadcasts were available.

At the time of the switch, there would be "double illumination" - the broadcast of separate, parallel analogue and digital signals by the SABC, and M-Net, but TV viewers who received only analogue signals would have to buy a Set Top Box (STB) to receive the digital TV signals.

Icasa blamed the department of communication, which drove the STB production and distribution process.

The department released no information on how the distribution of STBs would work, nor how government's intended subsidy programme for STBs, which had to be manufactured in SA, would practically be executed.

Cabinet already approved a subsidy amount of R2.45bn to help poor households buy a STB, which is calculated to cost between R400 and R700.

In the regulations, Icasa said the date for the commencement of the DTTV switch had to be postponed "due to delays experienced by the department of communication and the probability that STBs will not be readily available by the proposed date".

Icasa would later release a new date for the switch.

Posted by Pascal Schmitz

DFA Member's exciting new Documentary Release

"Saam op soek na God" 45 min/Afrikaans
Dokumentêr gaan oor:
Gewone mense en bekendes word gevra: Wie is God? / Hoe kommunikeer jy met God? / Wat vra God van jou? / Het jy enige bewyse van God se bestaan?
Ons het gelowiges tot ateïste, New Agers tot Wikka hekse gaan vra. Bekende teoloeë, yogi’s, filosowe, professors tot by mode ontwerpers en bekendes soos Gerrit Pienaar, Natania van Heerden(Kruispad) en Steve Hofmeyr is reguit gevra oor om oor hulle oortuigings en geloof te praat.
Kyk gerus na ‘n kort preview by
This documentary is part of the Sentrum vir Eietydse Spiritualiteit ‘s mission to bring open, honest and un judgmental debate to the Afrikaans speaking community.


Dr Abel Pienaar

Direkteur; Sentrum vir Eietydse Spiritualiteit

Posted by Pascal Schmitz

22 February 2010

BBC World Service "My World Competition"

A reminder to DFA fans that the BBC World Service "My World Competition" is closing soon... so please enter for some great prizes. Details follow:"



As part of the BBC's SuperPower season, take part in the MyWorld competition - make a two-minute video about how you see the world and you could be broadcast by the BBC around the world.

No-one sees the world the way you do. The BBC wants to see things from your perspective - and create a unique picture of our lives today across the planet.

We are asking you to use any camera you can find - a mobile phone, a point-and-click, or a friend's camcorder - and shoot a two-minute documentary with the theme MyWorld.

We are looking for original films that you think the world should know about and will shortlist films that are emotionally touching, important or visually impactful.

The best will then be selected by a panel of the world's top documentary makers and assembled into sequences showing the stories of each continent.

About the competition

We are looking for entries from across the planet.

You can interpret the MyWorld theme any way you choose. Your film could be a compelling personal story, tell of a place that is changing, or document the joy or difficulty of your work life.

Each film must be relevant to one of the five major continents - Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania - and must be tagged as such. You can shoot a single shot documentary, if appropriate to your story, or edit your film with any editing software available to you.

A selection of all work received may be shown on TV and online and an ultimate winner will be selected based on the judging criteria.

After submissions close, five prestigious MyWorld curators will each be assigned films from a particular continent. From each, they will choose and assemble a sequence of up to ten of the best films creating a fascinating portrait of the world today.

Finally each of the five curated sequences will be available to view online and on BBC World News. An overall winner will then be chosen and receive a prize of a semi-professional HD mini DV camcorder.


Americas - Cara Mertes
Director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program

Africa - Mandisa Zitha
Festival Director, Encounters Documentary Festival

Europe - Greg Sanderson
Executive Producer, BBC Storyville

Asia - Fujioka Asako
Director, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival Tokyo Office

Oceania - Stuart Menzies
Head of Documentaries, the (ABC) Australian Broadcast Corporation

(Closing date 1600 GMT March 5 2010)

You can enter by following the link below:


21 February 2010

Free Archival Portal - Nelson Mandela and Twenty Years of Freedom

There are probably very few people who have to be told that 2010 marks the 20th year since Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

Arguably South Africa's greatest hero and one of the greatest advocates of freedom and peace the world has ever known - Nelson Mandela needs little introduction.

There will, no doubt, be many filmmakers eager to explore facets of his life in their own unique way and Doxa Productions with the Visual History Archive have partnered with the Nelson Mandela Foundation in creating a free archive portal which will no doubt prove to be highly useful to documentary filmmakers.

The portal is "to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Nelson Mandela'’s release from prison on 11 February 1990.
Users can explore archival documents, photographs as well as raw and edited news footage and other audio-visual material related to the release and the political events directly preceding and following it – much of which has not been seen by the public. The archival material has been seamlessly contextualised in both time and space through Doxa Productions’ interactive Natural Knowledge™ architecture developed in conjunction with FormFunction Digital Consultants."

Take a look at this fantastic site HERE.