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.

09 June 2010

TVIEC PRESS RELEASE: Local Content Crisis Deepens at SABC

8 June 2010 (Updated 10 June 2010)


Independent Producers this week expressed concern at the fact that commissioning briefs (RFP’s) for the industry, due to be released on May 31st, have not been issued.

Historically the SABC issued Request for Proposals (RFPs) twice a year for new cycles of programming. This is the way SABC procures local content. There have been no RFPs issued since September 2008, of which half were cancelled when the financial crisis hit in April 2009. The estimated annual value of local programming is R1-billion.

Local content is the most popular content on SABC, generating substantial revenue. Not issuing RFPs will result in few or no new programmes on air in the future.

The TVIEC is concerned that not releasing these crucial RFPs will deepen the local content crisis at the broadcaster – and further cripple the local television industry.

Without new programming, the broadcaster has come to rely on a strategy of repeats. This has led to a significant loss in audience share and has battered the independent production sector. Over 35 000 jobs have been lost and dozens of companies have closed their doors.

Acutely aware of the consequences on the industry, the SABC Interim Board obtained government guaranteed loans, in part to ensure that the commissioning of new programming could resume. They informed the independent production sector that this would be in January 2010. This did not happen.

In March this year, at a meeting with the industry, the newly-appointed SABC Board acknowledged the damage caused to the industry by the delay in commissioning and made a commitment that the SABC would release new RFPs no later than 31 May 2010. This has again not happened as the Board has failed to approve the expenditure required for a new set of RFPs.

The TVIEC has no option but to assume that the requisite approval did not occur because of the internal problems that have once again beset the board and management at the SABC.

The industry has offered the Board new strategies and proposals for local content partnerships with the SABC. Industry bodies, supported by bodies such as the National Film and Video Foundation and IDC, have repeatedly put proposals on the table for revised funding models, including working with government monetary incentives for the creation of new local content and where a new approach to the sharing of intellectual property can unlock new programming and funding support for the SABC.

The TVIEC would like some answers from the SABC. What budget does the public broadcaster have available for new local content? When will the promised RFPs be released? What is the SABC doing about its ICASA-regulated mandate to fulfil local content obligations?

Without answers to these questions we see no way forward but to once again mobilise our industry and take to the streets to make our voices heard.


Charl: 082-6813680

This press release is written on behalf of the TVIEC (Television Industry Emergency Coalition) which consists of:

CWU (Creative Workers Union) and SASFED (South African Screen Federation) who represent as industry federation: 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)

08 June 2010

DocLove 02 - American Foulbrood by Carlos Francisco

This is just a reminder for everyone in Johannesburg that we will be screening DocLove JHB 02- American Foulbrood by Carlos Francisco tomorrow night at the Bioscope at Life on main. Please come out and show your support for this DFA members film and for the Doclove initiative.

The film is by our longstanding member Carlos Francisco who started on a bursary as an aspiring docy filmmaker and has now produced and directed a serious masterpiece in my opinion. The last DocLove was a serious disappointment concerning DFA member turnout, as not a single DFA member came and we still had 70 people at the screening despite it being rained out. I urge all DFA members in the Johannesburg area to come through and show your support. If the Bioscope always brings the crowd and no DFA members who have free entry don't show they will eventually figure they can do it without us and that would be rather sad. DocLove is an important initiative to promote the genre of documentary in South Africa and should really be supported by all members. Remember that you will all benefit from it in the long term, as more South African get switched on to the beauty of Documentary filmmaking and even gain insight into how they are made and get to engage with the filmmakers.

At a time when globally bee populations are dramatically collapsing, African bees show no signs of being affected, they are flourishing.

Early 2009 witnesses the unexpected and sudden outbreak of ‘American Foulbrood’ this, the world’s worst bee disease and historically prevalent in all countries, has finally arrived in South Africa.

Filmed over a period of a year we follow some charismatic South African beekeepers as they come to terms with and react to this, the worst of all bee diseases. The wild South African bees have handled every disease thrown at them before, how will they do this time with the worst bee disease known. The viewer is taken on several personal journeys into learning the secrets behind the African bee which until now has been unaffected by the rest of the worlds problems.

The film brings forward the dilemmas people are faced with when livestock fall prey to diseases. Is it time for man's attitude to control everything to be reconsidered? The story brings about a comparison between the practice of keeping wild bees in South Africa as to the mass breeding and artificial insemination techniques of America and Europe.

The film and its characters raise the question, is it not perhaps time to turn to nature for the answers? Will all the world's disease finally put the African bee in the same situation as the rest of the world or can she pull through one more time.

PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT. Get more details from the event on Facebook at!/event.php?eid=121765907856599

Children's press conference on the World Cup

Talk Back!!

Listen up Fifa!
Pay attention Ministers!
And we’ve a message for the media too!

For a fresh critical perspective come to our children’s press conference!

Children’s Press Conference
Date: 12th June 2010
Location: Witwatersrand University, South West Engineering Building Seminar Room
(Room #5).

One day into the World Cup, children from two local schools (Naturena Primary and Saxonwold Primary) are going to be giving their verdict on Bafana Bafana’s first performance, and letting you know how they feel about the big stories hitting the headlines. Come and hear their calls for change, and their views on what we can do better!

Photo opportunity at 12.45pm
Press Conference at 1pm

Contact Laura Fletcher
Advocacy and Research Officer
Media Monitoring Africa
Tel: +2711 788 1278
Cell:+27 73 046 3404
Fax: +2711 788 1289

07 June 2010

Encounters 2010-Call for Volunteers

Call for Volunteers

The Encounters - South African International Documentary Festival are calling on documentary enthusiasts to volunteer for the 2010 Festival. Encounters is a well-established film festival, which showcases local and international documentaries and runs various workshops, panels and master classes.

This opportunity is open to all people regardless of experience but the following criteria would be an advantage: Communication skills; Computer Literacy; Technical skills; Writing skills; Own car and Cellphone and Film Industry Experience.

If you are interested, send a 1 page CV with contact information to Nazeer at by Friday 25th June 2010. Some candidates can be appointed immediately.

2010 Festival Dates : Cape Town : 12 – 29th August
Nu Metro, V&A Waterfront

For more information on the Festival please visit our website or call Nazeer – 021 465 4686