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.

28 July 2010

UnionDocs Collaborative Program Now Accepting Applications-Follow Up

I’m writing to inform you of an opportunity for emerging documentary producers in Brooklyn, NYC, called the UnionDocs Collaborative Program. We are earnestly seeking the diversity in perspective that international participants would bring to this alternative approach to media education and production.
We understand that you promote and present documentary film projects, and we believe emerging producers associated with your organization could benefit from the opportunities UnionDocs provides.

The UnionDocs Collaborative is a one or two-year program; both a rigorous platform for exploring contemporary approaches to the documentary arts, and a process for developing an innovative group project. The program focuses on providing what we believe are the most effective educational resources for individuals at the beginning of their careers:
  • Mentorship toward the production of an original work.
  • Dynamic interaction among a network of talented peers.
  • Direct contact and structured exchange with visiting artists.
  • Exposure to a wide variety of practices and models.
  • Regular group critique sessions.
  • Exposure through a toured exhibition and/or publication of annual project.
The first iteration of this year’s UDC project, "Documenting Mythology,” premiered at Doc Fortnight 2010: The Museum of Modern Art's International Festival of Nonfiction Film, and will be presented in Boston next month by The Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University. A wider international distribution effort and tour is planned for the coming fall.
The hope is to make the UDC as much of an international experience with documentary arts as possible. UnionDocs is a media arts non-profit, not a not an accredited university. Options beyond student visas for travel may need to be pursued. To the best of it's ability, UnionDocs will attempt to help selected participants with this process and also provide residency options as available. The application deadline is August 1st, and further details are available online:
Please forward this opportunity to any networks, organizations, or individuals you think may be interested.

Encounters South African International Documentary Festival 2010

Encounters South African International Documentary Festival is kicking off its 12th edition on Tuesday12 August in Cape Town and Monday 18 August Johannesburg. In both cities the festival will run until the 29th of August being held at NuMetro V&A Waterfront and The Labia On Orange in Cape Town, and at The Bioscope in Johannesburg.

This year's lineup is very exciting with some documentaries featuring in the Heritage Focus, Green Movies and the Focus on Reunion Island.

Click here for PDF or here for WORD doc of our press release.

For more information visit our website and also join our facebook page to check out trailers and have updates on the festival and other Encounters activities.

BREAKING NEWS - Fair Use Victories on the DCMA

The following report on a Fair Use Victory in the USA, by the same people who have been working in Fair Dealing provisions of our own copyright act in South Africa with the DFA. For more see the main DFA web site, under projects.

As a friend of the Center for Social Media, we thought you'd like to get some of the best news we've received recently.

Another victory for common sense and fair use came today from the Librarian of Congress, acting on recommendations from Copyright Office. The latest ruling on exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act greatly expands access to encrypted, copyrighted works for fair use purposes.

Now, college teachers of all kinds, university film and media studies students, documentary filmmakers, and makers of noncommercial videos can all break encryption on commercial DVDs to quote motion pictures, for the purpose of criticism and comment. Breaking encryption is the kind of thing you do with HandBrake and other software programs that let you copy material that the provider has digitally "locked." The DMCA makes illegal most breaking of encryption for any purpose; however, every three years the Copyright Office can grant exemptions for petitioners who suffer adverse effects from the law.

In May 2009, college teachers, documentary filmmakers, media literacy teachers and remixers, especially makers of video fan fiction or "vidders,"petitioned the Copyright Office for the right to quote copyrighted and encrypted film in their own work. They petitioned because they understood the value of fair use, and they mostly got that understanding by creating, within their communities of practice, codes of best practices in fair use. The Center was instrumental in shaping these codes, along with the Washington College of Law's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP). For Pat Aufderheide's report on their presentations, go here.

The communities represented in these petitions were supported by a network of fair use advocates, including not only the Center and PIJIP but the Washington College of Law's intellectual property clinic, University of Southern California's intellectual property clinic students and director Jack Lerner, Los Angeles lawyer Michael Donaldson, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The rules are broader than many expected, but still involve strict restrictions. The exemption for use of motion pictures on DVD-which lumps together doc filmmakers, college teachers and film/media studies students and noncommercial video creators such as remixers--is limited only to criticism and commentary, not to all potential fair uses; the excerpt must be "relatively short"; a new work must be created; and the maker must have a reason why an inferior quality (such as one shot off a screen or from a VHS) is not good enough. The rule only applies to DVDs, not to all audio-visual material--for instance to video games or slideshows. But the Librarian made no quantitative restrictions, in fact refusing to define "relatively short," which means that makers can judge the length according to their critical or commentary needs; and the decision about whether high quality is necessary is left to the user.

As well, the Copyright Office granted the Electronic Frontier Foundation's fair-use argument for making "jailbreaking" a smartphone (breaking your iPhone's encryption to install non-Apple-approved software) legal.

Not everybody won. Media literacy teachers, said the Copyright Office, were not included in the class of people who can quote movies on DVD because the Copyright Office did not believe that they really need high-quality versions to do their work. However, media literacy teachers and their students frequently produce non-commercial work, and such work will be covered under the granted exemption.

In the 2012 hearings, expect to see some of these petitioners return, either to increase the range of materials they can use or with more evidence that they need to break encryption to do their work. And don't be surprised if you see even more petitioners, who have come to realize the value of their fair use rights.

The Center for Social Media
--helping people make media that matters

27 July 2010

Invitation to Dr. Pierre Merle talks on European Broadcasting Environment

Discussion around the state of the broadcasting industry, co-production and independent filmmakers with… Dr. Pierre Merle: Commissioning Editor Drama Department of Arte France.

Date: Monday, 2 August 2010
Venue: Alliance Francaise CT 155 Loop Street
tel: 021 483 9070



Morning Session: 10h00 - 12h00
Enhancing the Relationship betweenBroadcaster and Independent Producer


Afternoon Session: 14h00 - 17h00
Current Commissioning Trends in Europe: Exploring the Universe of Co-Production

SOS News Support Public Broadcasting Submission on the ICASA Amendment Bill, 2010

Here are the FINAL versions of the SOS News Support Public Broadcasting Submission on the ICASA Amendment Bill, 2010.

Click here to read SOS Submission on the Proposed ICASA Amendment Bill 26 July 2010 as a PDF or here to read as a WORD doc.

Click here to read Annexure B - SOS proposals on broadcasting regulation - 26 July 2010 as a PDF or here to read as a WORD doc.

26 July 2010

Moderators required for Encounters

To the Cape Town DFA and those of you in Cape Town around this time please see below received from Encounters:

Dear DFA Members,

We would like to schedule a meeting with those DFA members interested in assisting us with moderating Q&A's. We think it will be better if we all meet (for a very short meeting) and select the films we are interested in, as well as to provide you with DVD copies should you wish to view the films ahead of the screenings.

The proposed time is Tuesday, 5pm at the Encounters office - 1st Floor, 27 Caledon Street.

Please kindly forward this message to other interested members and I look forward to your support.


Misael Gallery screenings

Dear DFA Members

Ayanda Holo, the director of Misael Space in Cape Town is planning regular Monday night screenings at the gallery and is looking for content/ filmmakers who would like to be part of this programme.

Please contact him if you are interested on 083 255 7665