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.

04 June 2010

From the BusinessDay: The SABC finally loses it

Editorial, Business Day, Johannesburg, 4 June 2010

There was some reason to hope, as the administration of President Jacob Zuma took office last year, that the era of idiocy at the SABC might be over. Retired general Siphiwe Nyanda, the new communications minister, was, after all, a military man who could knock together the heads of warring managers and directors at the broadcaster.

Or could he? Sadly, it seems not. Not only has the SABC taken a year to name a head of news, it has compounded its incompetence by naming one without consulting the board of directors so painstakingly constructed to do the job by the government itself.

And now we hear that the SABC, in the middle of a deep financial crisis from which it is being rescued by taxpayers, has spent more than R3m buying World Cup soccer tickets!

How mad can this organisation get? Its spokesman phoned in to a radio show yesterday to “explain” that these tickets were vital to the future of the broadcaster because they would be used to entertain the people who advertise on the SABC’s radio stations and TV channels. You have to understand, he kept on saying, that without advertising there is no revenue and therefore no SABC.

That may be true, but advertisers follow audiences and if the SABC was producing content that audiences actually wanted to watch or listen to, the advertising would follow. It does not require bribery on this scale to keep advertisers loyal.

On the matter of the appointment of a head of news without board consent, it is equally hard to imagine anything more crass and amateurish a political ploy. Gen Nyanda should be ashamed of himself for allowing it to happen and he must make sure the board is able to make a collective decision, as is its right.

Gen Nyanda was looking, a few months ago, for a special tax to finance the SABC through its financial recovery and beyond. But the old soldier must be out of his head of he thinks for a moment that anyone is going to put a hand in their pocket to finance an institution that has, unbelievably, sunk into even greater insanity than when it was run by Essop Pahad.


03 June 2010

SASFED Newsletter – 02 June 2010 to DFA memebers

Dear DFA Member,

While there has not been an update in some time (Pascal has been very busy on a project and I am also quite hectic), I yesterday compiled this industry update for SASFED and thought it would be of value to all of you. It is a good round-up of things industry for the last few months and I hope you will read it and find it useful.

All the best,


SASFED Newsletter – 02 June 2010

Dear Friends of SASFED,

We have not sent an update for a long time, but felt it was certainly time to do so now.

As you are probably aware, despite a continuous effort by many tireless volunteers in our organised industry, and via many of our industry organisations, we are not much better off with especially the SABC than we were almost two years ago! And that’s not because we have not been trying… boy have we been trying and investing a HUGE amount of time in this, even accomplishing much, like getting a new SABC board in place (more on that later)!

For those who don’t know, the IPO (Independent Producers Organisation) with whom the TPA merged last year now is also member of SASFED! IPO decided at its AGM to join SASFED []. SASFED welcomed them [], and we are already proceeding as a truly united industry on many new issues. SASFED is much stronger for the experience and guidance of the producers, who after all represent the business side of our industry.

Other good news: it now appears as if most of the long outstanding payments to independents have now been made (not all of them… but at least most). The TVIEC is continuing to chase this and relies on updates from you, so please send them to:

The bad news is unfortunately so much more: from an ever-changing executive to the never-ending power struggles within the SABC board, [] & [], within the SABC and even between government and the SABC! Most recently SOS [] and others [] have even called for the Chair of the new SABC board to resign! Even more scandal on this story is that it seems SABC is itself interfering in what news it publishes on the matter, even stopping news issued by its Board []!

Add to that the totally unbalanced working framework with independents and that no new RFP’s have been offered by the SABC in almost 2 years, despite a previous commitment from the new board that they would be published in May 2010, and we do not look like an attractive business sector to be in at present! More on this scandal will follow soon… so watch the blog!

With the lack of local content being produced at present, and total lack of planning for the next few years, how is the SABC possibly keeping in compliance of ICASA’s local content quotas, the very quotas that make the public broadcaster have to produce far more local content than any other broadcaster? The very quotas on which our industry has come to rely for its existence! Evidence is clear that ICASA is doing nothing on any of the issues of lack of compliance with SABC or for that matter other broadcasters. They are repeatedly seen as weak, and toothless, and need to be brought back on track. []

ICASA claimed to be working to help equalise the playing field, by publishing their typically fairly “toothless” “Regulations on the Commission of Independent produced South African Programming… “on the 1st of December last year. These very regulations however require that within 120 days of promulgation of the regulations (i.e. the 31 March 2010 or is business days is used 26 May), all broadcasters are required to submit their proposed ‘commissioning protocol’, which would have to describe the entire commissioning process, and ensure it follows a pre-published timeline, and is simple, fair and transparent. These broadcasters ‘commissioning protocol’ documents, would then be reviewed by ICASA within 30 days and then be published on the broadcasters websites. Ok, so we are surely saying that by 30 April 2010 (or any day soon is business days are used) all should have been filed, done and dusted? Why then are we still waiting a month later for the first of the broadcasters to comply with this new regulation and publish anything? Goodness… why possibly would we then assume they take any notice of older regulations, such as the all important Local Content Quotes, which by ICASA’s own admission they have to date had no means to ensure compliance of?

What of the ‘new’ broadcasters? We see M-Net adding to their bouquet with Mzansi Magic (focusing on local content) issuing a request for proposals [], ODM launching Top TV (who will soon be commissioning) and now Super 5 Media launching soon, but these are all Satalite Television Broadcasters, who are only required to have a minimum of 10% of their "Programming Spend" allocated to South African Television Content. Compare that to the minimum weekly average of 55% for Public and Community Television Broadcasting (incl SABC 1&2) and that repeats count only once at half the programs length (once for same channel repeat, once for an omnibus, and also once for a repeat on another broadcaster is allowed… after that nothing … ever again), counted within the hours of 05h00 till 23h00, and you will see why they have the lions share of our business, and why their lack of commissioning means they can’t possibly be in compliance now! Certainly our independent test confirmed they are WAY under for a full month we monitored, and we are now looking at a class action against the monitoring division of ICASA (we need ICASA and a strong ICASA, but clearly their monitoring and compliance is NOT up to scratch).

Despite this do we see any of the broadcasters, who face increasing small budgets adopt global best practice and recognise producers rights to own what they develop and create on risk, even if responding to a “RFP”? When do we see the definition of a “commission” change to that of global best practice where, by default, producers own these rights, not the broadcaster? The respective industry bodies within SASFED (lead especially by the IPO), supported by bodies such as the National Film and Video Foundation have made it clear that new plans have to be implemented regarding broadcasters partnering independent producers so that government monetary incentives can be utilised (DTI rebate etc). In short, relaxing the Intellectual Property regime at South African broadcasters and bringing this in line with global best practice would increase what budget the broadcasters do have available for programming.

The World Cup was supposed to bring us all a great boost to the economy, but even this has not materialised on the whole, with broadcasters focusing on covering the large rights costs paid to FIFA, and have issued a strong priority for covering the World Cup, rather than commissioning any new local content? Remember a foreign production company, HBS, provides FIFA television feeds to the SABC ready-made. []. If nothing else our smaller shoots are now enjoying easier access to locations under pressure from international teams shooting around the World Cup. []

And finally, what of the requirement for independently produced programming in the ICASA ‘SA Local Content Regulations of 2006’ which clearly indicate the requirement for an even spread between the genres of Arts, Drama, Documentary, Information Knowledge Building, Children’s and Educational Programming? Has anybody kept tabs of the one or two half hour Documentary slots on SABC 1 a month of late? How can this possibly be considered an “even spread” of genres?

So what do we have to look forward to … well, perhaps short of the ever-improving DTI rebate, and some possible changes to DTI incentives as a whole for our industry sector, very little. Our industry, which was clearly earmarked for fast tracking by government, has in fact been sidetracked.

Even Provincial Film Commissions such as the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) look likely to be reduced in capacity and restructured with far less money. [] & []. This only moments after SASFED’s engagement helped cancel a strange 3 million US Dollar annual deal with CNBC Africa which saw the GFC spending more than half of its budget on this one line-item. [] NFVF is not helping us much either, and even their budgets are being cut by the Department of Arts and Culture, plagued by internal audits, and corruption allegations. The same department which have ignored our industries submissions since October 2009 [], short of a peculiar last minute ‘mass engagement’ with the president [].

Well what’s new? We have an industry in crisis, corruption, and suspensions at every level within the public broadcaster and even within certain sections in government (really those which most affect us like DAC), cost cutting measures in other areas of provisional and national government which reduce our industries capacity further (NFVF/GFC etc), a lack of certainty on anything, let alone the future, no rights in what we create for broadcasters and a lack of new business in the foreseeable future.

What can we do?

  • Find other business we are capable of, with a better future?
  • Immigrate to another country?
  • Take up positions within a new broadcaster (if you can get them)?

  • Do we continue to fight, and fight harder! To fight harder however, we need YOU! It’s time to get more involved and help those volunteers who are near exhaustion, and to join in defending an industry still at the verge of collapse!

Let’s not re-invent the wheel, and start from scratch… we have leant a lot and those tireless volunteers, have great history on why things that have been tried before have failed.

Join in an area you feel passionate about like Carolyn Carew who has just been appointed to MAPPP SETA Board as SASFED representative! We clearly need more SETA engagement, and Carolyn is an ideal person to do this for our industry. []


In addition to all the above links, so much has been happening that we will provide links to some recent highlights from the blog for you, but as usual we suggest you keep an eye on it regularly

AMAA (The African Movie Academy Awards) Call for nominations – 2011

Nominations from all stakeholders are welcome and open from the 29th May 2010 - 30th November 2010.


Release of - 24TH MAY 2010

More stories on the Furore over the Appointment of the SABC Head of News and the resulting battle with the SABC Board and its Chair can be seen at:

SAGE acronym evening

The South African Guild of Editors invites you to an evening where they honour this year's recipients to use the SAGE Acronym as recognition of their achievements in the craft of editing. Date: Thursday 3rd June 2010

Guide to the World Cup

A useful guide regarding everything members need to know about the World Cup!

Appointment of IPO Co-Chairs, Treasurer and Convenors of Sub-Committees

Chairperson: Desiree Markgraaff and Tendeka Matatu will co-chair the IPO this year.
Treasurer: Eileen Sandrock & Charlene Govender
DTI/SARS Sub-Commitee: Kevin Fleischer
Long Form Sub-Committee: TBC
Broadcast Sub-Committee Co-Convenors: Harriet Gavshon and Lodi Matsetela
IP Sub-Committee : Rehad Desai
B-BBEE Sub-Committee: Marvin Saven
NFVF Sub-Committee: Ramadan Suleman
The following people have been co-opted:
Richard Nosworthy
Ben Horowitz
Mfundi Vundla

From SOS: Communications Minister dissolves Digital Dzonga Advisory Council

The Daily Maverick - CNBC Africa: compromised past, uncertain future

The revelation that local broadcaster CNBC Africa has been getting around R25-million a year from the Gauteng government almost went unnoticed by the local press. Question is, what kind of information have they been feeding us since they launched?

About SASFED and their affiliations

SASFED is The South African Screen Federation, representing the interest of most film and television industry organisations as a collective federation.

Full SASFED Member Organisations: DFA - The Documentary Filmmakers Association / IPO - The Independent Producers Organisation / OSCA SA - The Official South African Casting Association / PMA - The Personal Managers' Association / SAGA - South African Guild of Actors / SAGE - South African Guild of Editors / WGSA – Writers’ Guild of South Africa / WIFTSA - Women in Film and Television SA / WOS - Women of the Sun

SASFED is also formally affiliated to: FEPACI - Pan African Federation of Film – Makers / SOS: Supporting Public Broadcasting / TVIEC - Television Industry Emergency Coalition

All the best,


Africa on Screen Film Festival

02 June 2010

Winter Permit Office Operating Hours and World Cup 2010 Film Update

ECONOMIC & SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT — Economic Development — Film & Events Office

31 May 2010


The City of Cape Town Film Permitting Office (CTFPO) would like to bring to your attention that, as in previous years, the Film Permitting Office will be reverting to Low Season Office Hours for the period 1 JUNE to 31 AUGUST 2010.

The Film Permitting Office Low Season operating hours are as follows:

  • Monday to Fridays – 08h00 to 17h00
  • Saturdays - CLOSED
  • Monday to Fridays – 08h00 to 16h30
  • Saturdays - CLOSED

Please Note: Office hours remain unchanged, viz.
  • Monday to Fridays – 08h00 to 12h30 and 13h30 to15h30
  • Saturdays – CLOSED
Please ensure:

o all applications for permits for shooting over weekends are submitted well in advance;
o all requests for traffic assistance over weekends are submitted by no later than 15h30 on the Thursday preceding the shoot.

This will ensure the Film Office is in a position to facilitate the use of locations and the booking of Traffic Officers and to obtain all the necessary permissions timeously.


The CTFPO would like to draw the attention of the film industry to the information pertaining to the 2010 WC period circulated previously – Annexure A. - Download here
Roadclosures during the World Cup. - Download here.

Please note that the CTFPO will have a contingency plan in place to deal with urgent media – related film activity over the 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP™ period.

Please contact the CTFPO on Tel: 021 483 9060, or;
or T Isaacs on 084 9000 146, or A Davids on 084 3000 057.

Thank you for your co-operation and support during the past season.

01 June 2010

Mzansi Magic calls for locally produced content


    Mzansi Magic will be a proudly South African entertainment channel, broadcasting the very best South African feature films, bubblegum movies, short films, documentaries, music specials, and comedy.

    The Channel’s content mix will comprise of licensed, co-produced and commissioned local content.

    DStv will carry this channel on the DStv Compact and Premium bouquets


    To spearhead M-Net’s increased commitment to stimulating and developing the country’s television production industry, Mzansi Magic is the company’s most recent investment in the local market.

    M-Net currently provides locally focused channels for the domestic market on kykNET, Koowee, Channel O and VUZU.

    Outside of South Africa, Africa Magic, Africa Magic Plus, Hausa Magic and Yoruba Magic, complete M-Net’s local channel offerings.


    M-Net seeks to commission content for Mzansi Magic in the following genres:

    A Drama Series – R10 000 cpm (26 x 48 mins Episodes)

    A Soap Opera – R5000 cpm (156 x 24 mins episodes)

    A Comedy show – R3000 – R7 000 cpm (13 x 24 mins episodes)

    A Reality show – R 8000 cpm (13 x 48 mins episodes)

    Bubblegum Movies – R90 000 cpe (cost per episode) (52 episodes which will be commissioned to different production companies


    DStv subscribers

    LSM 5 - 8

    Adults 25 - 49


    “Authentic South African Entertainment”


    English and other local languages

    All non English to be subtitled in English


    Date and time tbc


    3 COPIES of the proposal must be submitted and all information must be typed. Hand written submissions will not be accepted. Your submission should contain:
    1. A Synopsis
    2. A detailed treatment and approach
    3. Please submit a budget with each proposal.
    4. Please supply detailed CV’s of key creative personnel who will be allocated to the project: director, producer, cinematographer and Editor.
      The budget that you submit should take into consideration the budget range that the broadcaster has given.
      For Drama/Soap submissions, we will require.
    5. A sample script
    6. Character Bible

    In order for a programme proposal to be considered and evaluated, ALL documents requested and information required, without exception, must be provided by the deadline. Failure to give all the necessary information and documents or the furnishing of any false or misleading statement will disqualify the proposal from being considered.


    Production Company information to include
    • Location of registered production Office
    • Post production facilities to be used
    • Estimated production schedule

  10. NOTE

    All costs incurred in the preparation and submission of programming proposals must be borne by the proposer. Under no circumstances will M-NET be liable for meeting any of these costs.


    31st July 2010


    30th October 2010


    By 15th November 2010


    ADDRESS TO: Lebone Maema
    Mzansi Magic 2010 Commissioning
    Telephone: 011 686 6000
To view information on Mnet Corporate page click here.

Invite you to the first screening of The Battle for Johannesburg (2010)

The Centre for Indian Studies in Africa and the Faculty of Humanities

Invite you to the first screening of The Battle for Johannesburg (2010)

Dir: Rehad Desai

The Battle for Johannesburg captures the changing face of a city that’s preparing to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It’s a tale of property developers vying for sections of the crumbling city with renewed excitement, of a city council determined to create a world class city and ultimately of how this affects the hundreds of thousands of people who have made the city slums their home. There is money to be spent, even more to be made and conflicting interests are at stake. As whole areas around stadiums get a brush up and the middle classes, black and white, begin to move back in, beneath the scramble for property and space is a human story of survival. The eyes of the world are on South Africa. The film raises universal questions such as does urban development have to mean gentrification and is it possible to create a world class city for all?

Followed by a panel discussion

Thuzulini Sithole – Coordinator for Inner City Resource Centre
Lael Bethlehem – Director JDA
Rehad Desai - Filmmaker

Date: June 04 2010
Time: 1800 hours
Venue: Graduate Seminar Room, SW Engineering Building
University of the Witwatersrand

For further information contact Prof. Dilip Menon, Mellon Chair in Indian Studies, or cell 0763983407

Carolyn Carew appointed to MAPP SETA Board as SASFED representative

On May 20th, 2010, SASFED was informed by the CEO of MAPP SETA Mr Bheki Zulu, of the appointment of Carolyn Crew to the Accounting Authority (Board) as SASFED’s representative. Carolyn had been nominated by SASFED following the SETA’s call for nominations in April 2010.

Carolyn holds a degree in Social Sciences and Post Graduate studies in Human Resources Management from the University of Cape Town. She served as a council member on the inaugural National Film and Video Foundation board from 1999 - 2002. During the 1990’s she spearheaded major television training initiatives in South Africa for the SABC that produced some of south africa’s top young producers and directors. Prior to working at the SABC she headed the production department at the Newtown Film and Video school.

Her appointment is with immediate effect and will remain until March 2011 when the SETA will be subject to a review by the Minister of Higher Education and Training.

31 May 2010

DFA Member Offers Place to Rent for last minute World Cup Visitors

DFA Memeber Michel Lee has aksed us to advise you that while he has mostly filled his homes with World Cup volunteers he does have one home left free plus a few beds in the other home.

If you have any visitors coming or knowledge of anyone needing a place to rent please let him know at

You can check at or also refer to the info below. Pix at the website.

152 Caroline St – 14 beds in 7 bedrooms
(1 single, 5 doubles, 1 triple)

83 Barnes Rd – 8 beds in 4 bedrooms
(1 single, 2 doubles, 1 triple)

83A Barnes Rd – self-contained unit, 3 beds, 2 rooms + kitchen and bathroom