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.

18 June 2010

MY TOWN short documentary competition

Call for 3 minute mini-documentary

In 2009 the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association, in collaboration with the Encounters Documentary Festival launched the MY TOWN short documentary competition. After and enthusiastic response from filmmakers and aspirant filmmakers we’ve decided to keep a good thing going and allow it to develop into an exciting annual event.

MY TOWN 2010

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 are invited to make a short 3 minute documentary titled “My Town”. You can interpret this brief any way you like – revisit your birthplace, explore your suburb or township and tell your story.

The 8 best films will be chosen by a selection panel appointed by the Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA). These 8 films will screen at the Waterfront Nu Metro cinema as part of the Encounters documentary festival (as pre- main feature shorts). The 12th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival will be held in Cape Town from the 12th to the 29th of August 2010. One film will be selected as an overall winner by a panel of judges comprising of film as well as arts and broadcast practitioners. The winner will be announced at a function during the Encounters Documentary Festival in Cape Town.

Prizes to be announced will include cash and film-making support

Films will be produced at own expense. The films produced remain the property of the filmmakers. The DFA will endeavor to negotiate broadcast and festival screenings with the filmmakers’ permission. Selected Filmmakers will benefit from on-screen credits and general media exposure through the project. All filmmakers who enter a film will receive a year’s free membership to the Documentary Filmmakers Association (July 2010 – June 2011).

Delivery and Deadline:
Deliver 3 x copies of your film on DVD (DVD’s must be high quality and viewable on home dvd players)

Films must be delivered by 14:00 on 23 July 2010

Deliver to:
7 Glynnville Terrace
Gardens, Cape Town, 8001
For Attention: THERESA MEYER

All films delivered must be accompanied with a signed MY TOWN competition entry form.

Click here to downloaded the WORD version of MY TOWN competition entry form.
Click here to downloaded the PDF version of MY TOWN competition entry form.



18 JUNE 2010

The SOS Campaign representing a number of trade unions (including Cosatu and Fedusa), a host of NGOs (including Media Monitoring Africa, the Freedom of Expression Institute and Misa-SA), CBOs, industry related bodies, academics and freedom of expression activists note the deafening silence from the SABC as regards the illegal appointment of the Head of News.
As civil society we are still in the dark as to what is happening with a number of critical issues. We call on the SABC Board to:
  • Publically explain what action is being taken as regards the actions of the Chair of the SABC Board, Dr. Ben Ngubane. Dr Ngubane’s unilateral decision to appoint the Head of News circumvented the SABC’s own internal processes and contravened good corporate practices and protocols as stipulated in the Broadcasting Act, Public Finance Management Act, the Companies Act and King III. In light of the above SOS would like to know why Dr Ngubane has not resigned or why the Board has not recommended to Parliament that he be removed.
  • Publically explain the disciplinary action they are taking as regards the SABC’s GCEO, Solly Mokoetle. Mr Mokoetle initially implemented Dr Ngubane’s illegal decision to unilaterally appoint the Head of News. Then after the Board had clearly stated this action was illegal, and in a move that seriously deepened the crisis at the SABC, he then again confirmed the Head of News as Mr. Phil Molefe.
Further, SOS has noted with dismay that censorship, reminiscent of the black listing controversy of 2006, appears to have emerged once again. In this regard SOS calls on the Board to investigate allegations that the Deputy Chair of the SABC Board was censored when commenting on the appointment of the Head of News. Further, it appears that certain union (including Cosatu) and NGO (including Media Monitoring Africa) pre-recorded radio interviews were spiked as they critically commented on the appointment of the Head of News. Also, SOS notes the resignation of the Head of Radio News. Allegations have been made that she broadcast, as she was obliged to, the Board’s press statement clarifying the illegal nature of the appointment of the Head of News. For taking this editorially sound decision she was then illegally disciplined which allegedly led to her decision to take early retirement.

SOS states once more that this is a critical moment for the SABC – and in particular the SABC Board. The public are beginning to lose faith in the SABC’s ability to reinvent itself as a well governed, strong, powerful, democracy enriching institution. The Board needs to show its mettle. There is no time to lose. SOS believes that the first step is to publically explain what is going on at the SABC! The World Cup can not be an excuse for inaction.

For more information please contact:

Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator - 082-926-6404
Patrick Craven – Cosatu Spokesperson – 082-8217456
Siphiwe Segodi – Freedom of Expression Network – 072-655-4177
William Bird – Executive Director Media Monitoring Africa – 082-887-1370
Melissa Moore – Head Law Clinic Freedom of Expression Institute – 082-924-8268
Matankana Mathapo – Spokesperson Communications Workers Union – 082-759-0900
Faiza Abrahams-Smith – Director Misa-SA – 076-995-9513

JUNE RFP BOOK - Correspondence from Kamscilla Naidoo to IPO Chair

Dear Members,

The following was received bye the IPO office today. We are glad that at least finally some RPF's will be released, but are keen to see when these result in actual revenue to producers.


Dear Desiree
Our telephone conversation refers.

The June RFP Book will be available to producers on the SABC website at 4pm, on June 21st. We will send out a sms to all producers on our database and other databases of the regional film commissions etc. I will let you know on Monday 21 when producers can pick up hard copies of the book from SABC offices.

Kamscilla Naidoo
General Manager Content Support/Operations
SABC Content Enterprise

15 June 2010

A Country For My Daughter

A Country For My Daughter

A film about Women, Violence and the Law

A Country For My Daughter is directed by DFA member, Lucilla Blankenberg and Produced by Janine Tilley.

South Africa has one of the highest rates of gender based violence in the world. This is not the country that Nonkosi Khumalo, a human rights activist, wants her daughter to grow up in. Nonkosi is the chairperson of the Treatment Action Campaign and mother of a little girl called Owethu. She is also dedicated to the struggle for equality in South Africa, especially for women.

In A Country For My Daughter Nonkosi travels around the country investigating the stories of brave women whose court cases have transformed the law in South Africa for the better. The cases range from rape within a family to holding the Minister of Safety and Security liable where police have committed violence against women. Through these stories, Nonkosi learns of women’s legal rights and how these laws can be applied to protect women in South Africa.

But, in a country where many sexual assaults go unreported, the struggle must extend beyond the courtroom and into communities. This knowledge leads Nonkosi to Khayelitsha, where activists mobilized a community and brought justice to Nandipha Makeke’s family by prompting the arrest and prosecution of those who had raped and killed her.

A Country For My Daughter highlights the gap between South Africa’s good legislation and the real experiences of women living in the country.
The Filmmaker

Lucilla Blankenberg has always wanted to tell stories and found documentary film to be her ideal medium. As a member of Idol Pictures she made several films about aspects of South African society. Lucilla is now Deputy-Director of a non-profit organisation specialising in media, outreach and training, called Community Media Trust (CMT). She is also the director of Siyayinqoba Beat It!, the weekly educational TV show which is produced by CMT and broadcast on SABC 1.

Lucilla is committed to the reduction of gender-based violence in South Africa and uses her films as a vehicle to highlight this. A Country For My Daughter is dedicated to all women in South Africa and to their future.

Take a look at the Facebook page HERE.

A Country For My Daughter (54 mins, 2010)

Director – Lucilla Blankenberg
Producer – Janine Tilley
Co-producers – Zackie Achmat and Jack Lewis

DOP – Karen Landsberg
Additional Camera – Lucilla Blankenberg, Christopher Wessels, Craig Leigh Alsop, Themba Baleni, Jack Lewis

Sound Recordists – Linda Kaiser and Felix Grove

Editors – Aeysha Anthony and Lederle Bosch

Africa on Screen Film Festival Round table

14 June 2010

This week at The Bioscope

TUES 15 JUNE: A State of Mind. 8pm. R35
The opening night of this incredible documentary. UK filmmakers snuck into North Korea to follows the lives of two young gymnasts, as they prepare for the infamous Mass Games. A MUST SEE

WED 16 JUNE: Gods of Brazil . 6:30pm. R 35
ONCE ONLY SCREENING of this engaging soccer documentary. The screening is perfectly timed around the Bafana Bafana game, so that after the film, we all head over to Canteen at Arts on Main to watch our boys. This film is part of a traveling screening project called Soccer Cinema. More films in this series will follow in coming weeks.

THURS 17 JUNE: A State of Mind. 6:30pm. R 35
The opening night of this incredible documentary. UK filmmakers snuck into North Korea to follows the lives of two young gymnasts, as they prepare for the infamous Mass Games. A MUST SEE

FRI 18, SAT 19: The Host. 8pm. R 35
Made in 2006, This South Korean monster film has already earned itself an almost cult status. With sharp political undertones commenting on America's presence in Korea, the film still has all the excitement and action of a big budget blockbuster.

Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking Course

Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking, the award-winning film school, is now offering fully sponsored National Certificates in Filmmaking in Cape Town. The courses are entry level (NQF 4) and intermediate (NQF 5) level and are available to energetic, organized, entrepreneurial, committed, reliable and innovative individuals that are committed to succeed in the film and TV industry.

The NQF 4 course content includes introduction in directing, cinematography, production management/producing, editing, sound, research and understanding script.

The NQF 5 course objective is to expand on current knowledge, upskilling those who have already proved commitment and passion to the industry and want to specialize in their chosen electives.

Training is project focused, working in all disciplines related to the film industry. Tutoring and mentoring are by South Africa’s top leading professionals and using state-of-the-art equipment. At BigFish we also create simulated and actual workplace experiences for course participants.

DURATION: 34 weeks per course (8 Months)
COURSE START DATES: October 2010 & January 2011
TIMES: 09H00 – 16H30, Monday to Friday
COST: Fully Sponsored

Applicants are to be available for a 34 week period.
NQF 4 requires Grade 12 and with proof of passion, commitment and interest in the sector.

NQF 5 requires minimum three years experience in the film and TV sector and/or previous tertiary training or certification in the sector.

Applicants to send their CV as soon as possible to Connie Mosegedi on: or for further information call (011) 482 5599 or
Mappp Seta registration number Bihgh7MAPP08012186

MAPPP-SETA calling for Discretionary Grants

Please click here for DG Call advert that will be published on the Sunday Times of this coming weekend, on 13th June 2010.

Please circulate the advert to our stakeholders in your database, the advert and the applications forms are available on the Mappp-Seta website at

From Business Day report - Film firms face closure, SABC stalls

Film firms ‘face closure’ if SABC stalls further on local proposals

Chantelle Benjamin, Business Day, Johannesburg, 10 June 2010

INDEPENDENT film and documentary producers have warned that they will be forced to close their doors if SABC’s new board does not soon issue proposals for new local programmes, as promised.

The Television Industry Emergency Coalition said the new board, led by Ben Ngubane, had promised them in March that requests for proposals would be issued by the end of last month . The SABC last issued requests for programme ideas in September 2008 and then cancelled more than half of the potential programmes last year to cut costs.

A senior SABC official yesterday told Business Day that the delay was not the fault of the board, but of SABC management, which sent through documentation only towards the end of last month, “giving the board no real opportunity to look at the documents”. The board was expected to “look at some aspects of the RFP (request for programming) books today”, the official said.

Film producers have been hard hit by SABC’s financial problems, with the coalition estimating that 35000 jobs had been lost and “dozens of companies closed”.

Slow payments for shows currently being aired on SABC have led to protests by producers and a number of meetings with the interim board and now the new board .

The coalition said yesterday the SABC interim board had obtained government-guaranteed loans, in part to ensure the commissioning of new local programming , which would be in line with the SABC’s mandate to carry a certain percentage of local content.

The delay in commissioning also raises questions about the SABC’s ability to provide enough local content for the extra channels that will become available after SA’s migration to digital terrestrial television.

According to the coalition, the board told a meeting of some of its members, the Independent Producers Organisation of SA and the South African Screen Federation, that the SABC would release new requests for proposals no later than May 31 this year. The coalition said the board had “failed to approve the expenditure required for the new set of requests for proposals”.

Desiree Markgraaf, a member of the coalition, said the crisis for the production sector was far from over. “The SABC used to commission new content twice a year and there has been no new spend for two years. There are no reports of projects in production for 2011 or 2012.”

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said an internal approval process still had to be concluded before new commissioning could begin.