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 August 2010

Canon 5D - information evening

If you are an editor, cinematographer, producer or student in film - this is the one session you should not miss. Wether you are planning to shoot your next film on the Canon, are busy shooting your film on the Canon, busy editing your film on the Canon or want to learn more about the possibilities for using the Canon on your film - you will be able to ask all the questions you need to.

When: 7th September
at: 7pm to meet and 7:30 to start
Venue: AFDA - Johannesburg
Fee: R100 for SASFED affiliate members if paid and RSVP'd before Friday the 3rd of September.
R20 for AFDA students if paid and RSVP'd before Friday the 3rd of September.
R200 at the door on the night

Tea and coffee will be provided, and a cash bar will be available.

Panel so far:
  • Melanie Jankes-Golden (Chair and will present the workflows and Budget implications for producers)
  • Frank Meyburgh and team - will bring a camera and will present and answer all general technical questions.
  • A cinematographer who will be finalised soon.
  • We may also get a producer on the panel
SAGE would like as many producers as possible to attend this evening, as they are picking up many issues around producers not understanding the needs and process of working with this camera.

Please also inform any cinematographers that they know of this evening, as SASC is not part of SASFED they will not know about this workshop through this.

But also inform anyone that may be interested in coming.

Please make a transfer into the SAGE account:

South African Guild of Editors
Melville branch # 643-005
Account # 40-5630-2496

Please make this your reference: "5D your name"

24 August 2010

Making HERstory - WoS Film Festival

Making HERstory

Women of the Sun, in conjunction with the Goethe Institute, the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) and the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC), are putting African women filmmakers on the map with the launch of a seven day film festival to celebrate African Women Filmmakers, in Johannesburg (2nd – 9th September). The Women Of the Sun Film Festival (WoS Film Festival) will be the First African Women Film Festival to take place in South Africa, featuring 25 films by 23 talented women filmmakers from 15 African Countries with 15 of the filmmakers present at the screenings.

The festival offers a unique opportunity to see great films and to meet the exceptional women behind them. It’s open to all – and there’s something for everyone. The selection will showcase some of the best examples of the filmmaking craft, crossing a diverse range of genres and styles, from family drama to social justice documentaries to experimental films.

Guests include Jyoti Mistry with her film The Bull on the Roof (South Africa), from the Sudan Tagreed Elsanhouri "Mother Unknown and All About Darfur", from Kenya Hawa Essuman’s and her film that is latest film festival sensation ‘Soul Boy’, produced by acclaimed German director Tom Tywker (Run Lola Run/Perfume). Other guests are Burkino Faso’s Fanta Nacro (Night of Truth), highly acclaimed Algerian director Djamila Sahraoui (Baraka!t), Zimbabwe’s award winning novelist and film director Tsitsi Dangarembga and the first Angolan woman to ever make a feature film, Maria Joao Ganga (Hollow City).

This is a festival that will challenge the notion that only certain people make films and that only certain places/countries have a film industry. It will open our eyes and ears to distinct female voices from far flung places across the continent and highlight emerging industry and talent.
“The time is ripe to change the widely held belief that filmmaking is a male domain,” says Eve Rantseli, Director of Women of the Sun. “Women in film have much to say and are saying it with unique vision and flair. The launch of this annual women’s film festival will be the start of getting women filmmakers and their works part of the mainstream.”
The Women of the Sun Film Festival is running alongside the African Women Filmmaker’s Forum. Hosted by the Goethe Institute, the forum gathers a delegation of 30 women filmmakers of all levels of experience from sub-Saharan Africa, the USA and Germany to network with and gain inspiration from colleagues. The Forum is a platform for Africa women filmmakers to assess the situation and develop strategies to strengthen their presence in the industry. It’s all about creating inspiration and supporting women in the industry to make more films, and once films are made, getting work widely distributed to audiences. Invited participants include world-renowned women filmmakers and festival programmers, distributors and local and international directors, producers and academics.

The festival’s red carpet launch will take place at Arts on Main on the evening of the 2nd and will be attended by some of the biggest names associated with women and film. Among them are renowned professor of media, culture and gender theory, Dr. Christina von Braun (Germany), Berlinale Programme Director, filmmaker and journalist Dorothee Wenner and Director of New York based distribution company, Women Make Movies, Debra Zimmerman,
  • The festival runs from Friday 3rd September to Thursday 9th September at the Bioscope Cinema on Fox Street
  • Opening Night Thursday the 2nd at Arts on Main (RSVP crucial)
  • The Forum takes place from 1st to 4th August at the Goethe Institute. Day 4 is open to members of the public (all filmmakers).
Eve Rantseli

Executive Officer: Women Of the Sun (WoS)
Vice Chairperson: The South African Screen Federation (SASFED)
Tel: +27 72 143 1825 | Skype: women.of.the.sun | E: | W:
PO Box 2608 Houghton 2041, Johannesburg, South Africa

“WOS thus already serves as the nucleus of creativity amongst women in the sector. While it cannot claim every achievement by women (in south Africa), many of them are to its credit.” former minister of Arts and Culture Dr. Palo Jordan

23 August 2010

SOS press statement re: Parliamentary hearings, details of Parliamentary hearings

The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition

Civil society welcomes Parliament’s intervention to rectify corporate governance breaches at the SABC

23 August 2010

The “Save our SABC” Campaign representing a number of trade unions including COSATU, COSATU affiliates CWU and CWUSA, FEDUSA and BEMAWU; independent producer organisations including the South African Screen Federation (SASFED); and a host of NGOs and CBOs including the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-SA) and the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF); as well as a number of academics and freedom of expression activists, welcome the fact that Parliament has taken the decision to intervene to ensure that there is proper oversight over our public broadcaster, the SABC.

SOS’s understanding is that at the heart of the SABC’s ongoing troubles is the persistent undermining of the governance role of the Board. The most immediate manifestations of this are power battles over the performance of the GCEO, Solly Mokoetle. Mr Mokoetle has ignored and over-turned Board decisions and has been supported in this by the Chair of the SABC, Dr. Ben Ngubane, who appears disinterested in the opinion of the majority of the Board. Dr. Ngubane does not appear to believe that he needs the approval of his Board on any matter, or indeed that their strong disapproval should sway his unilateral decisions. Board members have declared a “vote of no confidence” in the Chair. Since, May 2010 board meetings have been constantly cancelled leading to a situation where no real interrogation and action is being taken against the Chair. Further, no real oversight has been taken over key governance and financial issues for a number of months.

SOS notes that there was a very active and transparent public nomination process for the new Board, which in general provided us with a competent set of board members with the requisite integrity and skills to hold the confidence of organised elements of civil society including the SOS. However, over the last months, effective oversight and leadership of the SABC has suffered deeply due to stand-off between the Chair of the Board and CEO and the rest of the Board members. This has deepened the political, economic and governance crises the SABC has faced over a number of years.

After eight months in office the Board has not been able to draft a critical turn-around strategy for the corporation. In addition the lack of board meetings have meant none of the policy issues addressed to the SABC by the independent production sector – or the unions - have been addressed

SOS believes that the prospect of the resignation of numerous members of the Board, that in general has the confidence of the public, will be devastating for the future of the public broadcaster.

The SABC can only be stabilised and begin to thrive if the foundational governance principles are adhered to. At present the institution is being torn asunder for what can only be described as dubious reasons. SOS believes strongly that the control of the SABC has to be in the hands of the Board that was put in place by a public and democratic process. Without this SOS believes the SABC is no longer accountable to the public.

Without a functioning board the public will continue to see the unabated strategy of repeats on their screens, the independent production sector will continue to shrink alongside SABC’s income, and the morale of staff at the SABC will continue to drop, leading to the loss of talent in and outside the SABC. The SABC will continue to lose audience share in an increasingly competitive environment.

SOS thus welcomes Parliament’s decision to exercise its oversight role over the SABC and to investigate the controversy around the appointment of the Head of News, progress (or lack thereof) related to the drafting of the SABC’s turnaround strategy and the overall functionality of the Board. Further SOS expects, in light of the overwhelming evidence that exists of corporate governance breaches at the SABC that Parliament, as the “appointing body”, in line with the amended Broadcasting Act, will take action in terms of the Chair of the Board.

For more information please contact:

Kate Skinner – Coordinator – SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition – (082) 926-6404

Now SABC has to face the music


Ben Ngubane, the SABC board chairperson, is girding his loins for next week's showdown in Parliament, convinced that members of the corporation's board are trying to have him sacked.

"It's going to be messy and I don't really have the appetite for it," Ngubane said this week. "But I will certainly defend myself if I have to."

Also in the firing line is Solly Mokoetle, the SABC group chief executive, who reportedly stormed out of a meeting this week after the board had asked him why he should not be suspended for dereliction of duty. He is accused of failing to draft a turnaround strategy for the SABC.

The Mail & Guardian has seen exchanges among board members and between Ngubane and Parliament, which highlight the crisis at the top echelons of the corporation.

On Tuesday Ngubane, Mokoetle and the other board members will appear before Parliament's communications committee to report on the board's "functionality", the SABC's turnaround plan and the filling of the job of head of news, controversially occupied by Phil Molefe.

In his submission to Parliament, Ngubane complains of "vitriol" in emails from, and conversations with, the board.

He cites a recent email sent by media consultant David Niddrie to the rest of the board on the presentation to Parliament, saying that it exemplified the "acrimonious and confrontational environment in the board".

"These are the hallmarks of a dysfunctional board," Ngubane says.

Niddrie says it would be inappropriate for Ngubane to prepare and make the presentation "because an irrevocable breakdown of trust exists between the chairperson and the other 11 non-executive directors and because the functionality of the board is a subject on which the committee wishes us to make an input".

'Materially conflicted'
Niddrie says that Ngubane "may, of course, wish to exercise his right to make a separate submission. He may not, however, do so on behalf of the corporation nor, in my view, may he make use of SABC resources to do so." In particular, Niddrie says, because Ngubane and Mokoetle are "materially conflicted" about filling the post of head of news and current affairs, they cannot be relied on to prepare and submit an accurate report on this.

He says Mokoetle should play no role in the parliamentary submission because he has been placed on terms by the board for his apparent dereliction in regard to the turnaround strategy and is guilty of "improper actions with respect to the news appointment process and other governance matters".

The board members handed in to Parliament this week their submission, which included Ngubane's alleged flouting of corporate governance and the complaints against Mokoetle.

The submission says Mokoetle missed a March deadline to deliver a turnaround strategy for board approval.

The board was angered by his backing for Ngubane's unilateral appointment of Molefe as head of news, which members say was irregular.

In another startling disclosure board members told the Mail & Guardian that the acrimonious tone was set by an incident in May during which Ngubane "screamed at" ANC stalwart Barbara Masekela and board member Pippa Green in the Auckland Park car park after a board meeting. The flashoint appears to have been Ngubane's drive to appoint Molefe as head of news.

This week Ngubane denied screaming at them. He said he had simply expressed his frustration because they had abstained from scoring shortlisted candidates for the head of news job after interviews.

He also denied saying to Masekele and Green that President Jacob Zuma wanted Molefe for the post, as some board members allege.

"That would be completely foolish if I did say such a thing," Ngubane said. "You can't talk about the head of state like that."

Masekela and Green would not comment.

"I'm not in a position to comment on my resignation or anything else," Masekela said this week.

Board members said she had been ill recently and had handed in her resignation last week because she found the tension unbearable.

Ngubane, a former Inkatha Freedom Party stalwart, was appointed board chairperson by Zuma. This week he confirmed that he was now a member of the ANC, as some board members had claimed.

But he denied that his controversial appointment of Molefe was political. He said board infighting had created "exceptional circumstances", which gave him the right to act.

The breakdown of relations on the board is also highlighted in an internal memorandum written by Mok oetle to Ngubane on August 3 this year, which was leaked to the Mail & Guardian.

Mokoetle complained that he had been overwhelmed by 524 emails from the board between January and July this year, each taking him about an hour to answer. Although there was usually a limited number of board meetings each year, he said he had been called on to attend at least 55 meetings with board members during this period.

Mokoetle alleges in his memo that some board members, whom he did not name, were driving an "agenda of turning the SABC into an employment agency for themselves and their cohorts".

He claims that he and officials in his turnaround planning unit were "bombarded with names" that the board recommended for employment.

On investigation, he said, some turned out to be relatives of board members or their friends.

Board members had interfered with his job by seeking to take over executive functions, including a management role in developing the turnaround strategy.

"I have not been given a reasonable chance by board members to work with my management team to develop the long-term turnaround strategy, which we all agree is a requirement to ensure the sustainability of taking the SABC out of the financial crisis it is facing, including its ability to pay back debt and fulfil the government guarantee requirements going forward."

One board member, who asked not to be named, described the allegations as "absurd".

The SABC's losses for the period April 1 2009 to March 31 this year have been halved, from R980-million to R485-million, insiders told the Mail & Guardian this week.

These figures will be presented at the end of September after the SABC's annual general meeting.

But, according to the insiders, the flattering figures were achieved simply by "not spending", especially on programming.

Revenues were flat, they said. Losses had been reduced only because of extreme cost-cutting measures.

The previous board was dissolved in June last year, after it was blamed for not averting the financial crisis at the broadcaster.

An interim board, led by businesswoman Irene Charnley, came to the rescue and arranged a financial bailout in the form of a government guarantee of R1,47-billion.

However, this came with strict conditions that still have to be met.

According to the national treasury, a "draw-down" of R1-billion was made available immediately to settle urgent outstanding financial obligations. But the remaining R473-million is still subject to the broadcaster presenting clear revenue targets and cost-cutting measures, to enable effective oversight and monitoring.

The new board, which took over in January, with Ngubane at its helm, will account to Parliament next week for the delays in drafting a turnaround plan.

The M&G also understands that the board has hired three independent financial advisers to investigate audit, risk and finance for the public broadcaster.

TechCentral - Digital Migration might be delayed, Nyanda

This article was posted by Editor on Aug 20th, 2010 and filed under News, Top.

Government remains committed to switching off analogue terrestrial television, and completing the switch to digital broadcasts, by November 2011. But communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda has conceded the deadline may have to be revisited, especially if the country decides to adopt a new standard for digital television.

Nyanda was speaking at a press conference in Pretoria, where he announced the new members of the Digital Dzonga advisory council, who will advise government on the country’s planned migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television.

Nyanda said the council will advise him if the final implementation date for digital terrestrial broadcasts will need to be moved back. Government will then make a decision about a new date.

He said this may be necessary if SA decides to abandon its commitment the European standard, digital video broadcasting terrestrial, in favour of a hybrid Japanese-Brazilian system known as integrated digital service broadcasting terrestrial.

The minister said a Southern African Development Community (Sadc) task team, appointed to consider whether the region should adopt the Japanese-Brazilian standard over the European system, will report back to a meeting of ministers “soon”. There’s no indication yet of what the task teams’s findings are.

Commercial broadcasters have expressed deep unhappiness over government’s decision to revisit the standards debate, arguing it could set back SA’s digital migration by years, and possibly even put the country’s commitment to the International Telecommunication Union to achieve full switchover by mid-2015 in doubt.

The standards debate is likely to result in heated discussion among the new members of the Digital Dzonga. They have been appointed following a decision by Nyanda earlier this year to dissolve the previous council because of “conflicts of interest”.

The new members of the Digital Dzonga council are: Mamokgethi Setati (chairman), Ruddy Rashama (deputy chairman), Nomvula Batyi, Dingane Dube, Calvo Mawela, Karen Willengberg, Zubair Munshi, Sabelo Silinga, Richard Paulton, Cawekazi Mahlati, Llewellyn Jones, Julia Hope, Masodi Xaba and Hlukanisa Zitha.

The department of communications is also expected to nominate an official to take a seat on the council. The council members have been appointed for a five-year term. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral