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.

22 October 2010

SOS Press statement

The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition


22 October 2010

The SOS Coalition notes the outcomes of the Communications Portfolio Committee hearings on 20 October 2010.

The Coalition is concerned about the findings of the CPC, in particular the glaring lack of corporate governance, the lack of leadership and the dereliction of duty by the chairperson of the Board, Dr Ngubane. The CPC stated strongly that it is of the view that the "Board has failed to provide coherent leadership and to ensure proper corporate governance over the SABC." The Board needs to take responsibility. Further to that it is alarming to hear that the SABC Chair, Dr. Ngubane has not signed the delegation of authority document as regards the new Acting GCEO, Robin Nicholson. In effect the SABC is now operating illegally. The Chairperson of the Board needs to take immediate responsibility for this major corporate governance breach.

However, the Board is not the only guilty party in these protracted crises – it is also important to look at the problems of the SABC's oversight structures. The oversight structures include Parliament, the Ministry and Department of Communications and ICASA. Part of the Board's dysfunction stems from a prolonged lack of appropriate and effective oversight. One of the key issues here is Parliament and the executive's inexplicable unwillingness to resolve the stand-off between Dr. Ngubane and the Board. When a Board declares publicly there is a total breakdown of trust between itself and the Chair - urgent action must be taken. Of course the Board should also have called more clearly for Parliamentary intervention.

It was only eventually, after the resignation of a Board member, Barbara Masekela, that Parliament called a hearing. This was in late August when the initial calls had been made in May. Unfortunately Parliament then decided to hold the hearing behind closed doors. This led to the meeting being disrupted and only certain parties being heard. (SANEF won an urgent court interdict insisting the meeting be held in the open. At that Point Parliament decided to adjourn the meeting.) Strangely, Parliament allowed the Chair of the Board to present even though he had not submitted his documents in advance. (He submitted them that day.) Then when it was time to give the rest of the Board a platform, Parliament adjourned the meeting until further notice. Only one side of the story was thus heard and not from the majority of members.

The Minister's role has also been problematic. During this prolonged period of crisis at the SABC, the Minister intervened but seemingly did not support the Board to address the issue of the corporate governance breaches. Strangely his position on the situation was that the problems were merely the result of "factions" on the board. And unfortunately the crisis was further exacerbated by his unfortunate remarks as regards his unhappiness with the appointment of Acting CEO, Robin Nicholson. In terms of the Articles of Association the Board had no choice but to employ Nicholson. The Articles state that only a member of executive management can act in the position of GCEO. The only person available was Mr. Nicholson. Also, SOS wants to note that the Board needs to be very cautious around calling for interventions from the Minister. The SABC is a public not a state broadcaster. Ministerial interventions should thus be strictly limited to strengthening the position of the board to ensure good corporate governance principles and practices are in fact practiced at the SABC.

The SOS Coalition believes that the problems with the Board and oversight structures need to be urgently examined and remedied. The Chair of the Board needs to be disciplined in terms of his failure to sign the delegation of authority document as regards the SABC's Acting CEO, Mr. Robin Nicholson. SOS believes that moving forward it is critical that the SABC operates scrupulously within the framework of the law. Further, SOS believes it will be difficult to find new SABC board members with the necessary integrity, expertise and experience to serve on this most important of public boards if the governance - and oversight structures - do not recommit themselves to these basic principles of good corporate governance.

The "SOS: Support Public Broadcasting" Coalition represents a number of trade unions including COSATU, COSATU affiliates CWU and CWUSA, FEDUSA and BEMAWU; independent film and TV production sector 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), and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-SA); as well as a number of academics and freedom of expression activists

For more information:

Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator – (082) 926-6404
Patrick Craven – Spokesperson Cosatu – (082) 821-7456
Matankana Mothapo – Spokesperson Communications Workers Union – (082) 759-0900
William Bird – Director Media Monitoring Africa – (082) 887-1370
Faiza Smith – Director Misa-SA – (076) 995-9513

Design Indaba 2011 Short Film Call

Step up to the silver screen… at Design Indaba Expo 2011.

Design Indaba is calling on aspirant, emerging or established South African filmmakers, students and hobbyists to submit their short films, music videos and animations for the film festival at the 2011 Design Indaba Expo. Create something new or dust off the one that’s been lying around waiting for an opportunity to be screened.

All submissions will be curated and the chosen entries will be screened at the Design Indaba Expo. The film festival will be presented between the fashion shows at the fashion arena.
Submissions must be less than 12 minutes in length and need to be submitted in high resolution QuickTime. There is no fee for submission or participation.

Submission deadline: 31 October 2010.

For more information and submissions please contact Bev Cupido at or on 021 465 9966.

Request for Documentaries about Fishing

Yvette Mostert received this request for films on fishing:

I am assisting the Marine Stewardship Council ( with a film event at the Labia on Orange on the 9th November. The event will be a follow on from the launch of the new film End of The Line which highlights the catastrophe the world faces if we continue to fish the way we do. We are looking for Int or local films on the topic of overfishing or illegal fishing and the event is to highlight the MSC eco-labelling on certified products in order to get consumers to make sustainable choices. So there will be panel discussions and networking as well.
Would you have any films along this line available? or would you know of any films we may be interested in?
I look forward to your urgent reply.
Many thanks!
Angela Rissik
Event Consultant
072 694 3931

21 October 2010

Right2Know March to Parliament

The Callsheet Monthly Wrap Cape Town

8th Tri Continental Human Rights Film Festival in Cape Town

A celebration of the resilient human spirit comes to town...

Thanks to the generous support of the Cape Film Commission, the 8th Tri Continental Human Rights Film Festival runs at the V&A Waterfront Ster Kinekor Cinema Nouveau in Cape Town from the 26th – 31st October 2010. The festival continues to feature human rights stories and voices from the often forgotten margins of society – from Africa, Asia and Latin America - showcasing beautifully crafted films which celebrate the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity and hosting forums for debate between mass audiences, civil society, the media and the state.

In spite of the hostile global economic climate, the festival continues to commit itself to building a platform for the fearless film artists who insist on telling the stories which challenge injustice, oppression and exploitation. Cutbacks in funding and the recession has meant that it has never been harder to make films, but it seems the stories which document the spirit of social change continue to flower and have become more courageous, more provocative, more irreverent , ensuring that ultimately the truth triumphs ...

Like the films and the film artists we showcase, the resilience of the Tri Continental team has carried the festival into its eighth edition in Johannesburg, Tshwane as well as Durban and through the intervention of the Cape Film Commission we were able to make a Cape Town leg of the festival a reality this year. Cape Town almost missed out on this year’s festival and was only confirmed at very late stage. For this reason we are especially thankful to the Cape Film Commission’s support in bringing the Festival down to Cape Town. This year’s Cape Town Community Inreach component intensifies its efforts to bring in local communities, who are traditionally ignored by mainstream media, to appreciate stories which affect their lives directly.

A series of screenings this year will be dedicated to the fundamental democratic right of Freedom of Expression. These films include, An Independent Mind, a feature-length documentary that details increasing attacks on this cornerstone of democracy and the underpinning of any ‘free’ society; and American Radical, featuring American academic Norman Finkelstein, son of holocaust survivors and an ardent critic of Israel and US Mid-East policy. Mugabe and the White African tells the story of Michael Campbell who took the unprecedented step of challenging President Mugabe with violations of basic human rights in an International Court.

Films from South Africa include Arya Lalloo’s Citizen X, an unflinching portrait of civil unrest in the New South Africa, recently crowned the most unequal society in the world; and Khalid Shamis’ The Killing of the Imam, a fusion of animation, documentary and archive which tells the story of the much loved community leader Imam Abdullah Haron told by his grandson (the filmmaker).

A challenging and thought provoking line up of thirty one films awaits our Cape Town festival audience. Check out or for more details.

We call on film lovers, concerned citizens, artists, civil society and community organisations to support the Tri Continental cinema movement. Let’s continue to show our support of human rights stories and appreciate the risk involved for those who dare to tell them ...
See you at the festival!

Media, publicity and general festival enquiries can be directed to Eugene Paramoer: / 083 504 2089

For enquiries about the Cape Town Community Inreach Component please contact:
Esley Philander: / 078 231 1058
Ferdi Van Tura: / 074 823 5866

Entertainment Master Classes

The ENTERTAINMENT MASTER CLASS - The Format Academy for Entertainment Television – offers a unique 2 day conference session on the international entertainment television industry, especially designed and tailored for executives from South Africa, on the 6th and the 10th November in Cape Town.

Participants have the opportunity to learn from industry leaders, seek advice and guidance, share ideas, and build rewarding networks and professional alliances.

Renowned guest speakers will offer presentations which will provide valuable insights into how the international entertainment television business runs – directing the participants through the process of developing, pitching, packaging, marketing, distributing and protecting their projects.

Guest speakers include:
* Larry Bass, CEO, Screentime ShinAwiL Productions, Ireland
* Paul Boross, The Pitch Doctor, UK
* Gary Carter, COO, FMX, FremantleMedia, UK
* Christoph Fey, Entertainment Lawyer, Unverzagt von Have, Germany
* John Gough, Head of Programme, ENTERTAINMENT MASTER CLASS and formatting specialist
* Patty Geneste, CEO Absolutely Independent & Absolutely Talent, The Netherlands
* Keri Lewis Brown, Managing Director, K7 Media, UK

Dates: November 6 and November 10 in Cape Town
Venue: Crystal Towers Hotel, Century City
RSVP to: Lauren Kotzé:
Registration Deadline: 15h00 Friday, 22nd October 2010

Who is eligible to enrol: The ENTERTAINMENT MASTER CLASS is an executive education and training program that is designed for individuals and companies from both the production sector as well as those individuals from within the networks - the “sellers” as well as the “buyers”. It is ideal for commissioning editors, producers, and directors, especially within the entertainment genre.
To apply: Submit a one-page biography/cv, outlining your film industry experience to Candidates must be able to demonstrate professional experience in TV entertainment along with a high commitment and strong motivation.
***NB: Please indicate whether you would like to attend the session on the 6th November, and/or the session on the 10th November.

Selection Process:
Please note that places are limited and therefore submitting your biography/cv only admits you to enter the selection process. Selection will be on a first-come, first-served basis and at Services SETA’s discretion.

For more information visit or

19 October 2010

How Great Stories are Told

Another online projeqt that seems to aim to collect all the stories in the world!

Out My Window Project

The National Film Board of Canada and Katerine Cizek have launched a 360 degrees documentary project that is completely web based. It is an exciting inner city project in Toronto, Canada that proposes new avenues for documentary filmmakers, using the web, rather than being threatened by it.

18 October 2010

The Callsheet Newspaper Jozi Network Function


18 OCTOBER 2010

President Jacob Zuma has received and accepted the resignation of four members of the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation, (SABC), in his capacity as the appointing body in terms of section 15 (2) of the Broadcasting Act no 4 of 1999.

The resignations received by the Presidency from the Ministry of Communications are those of the Deputy Chairperson Ms Felleng Sekha and members Ms Barbara Masekela, Mr David Niddrie and Mr Makgatho Mello.

President Zuma has thanked the former Board members for their contribution to the SABC and wished them well in their future endeavours.

Enquiries: Zizi Kodwa on 082 330 4910.

Issued by the Presidency


The Most Dangerous Man in America

Are you worried about the Protection of Information Bill currently before Parliament? Join the Right2Know Campaign for a screening of The Most Dangerous Man In America, a documentary which illustrates the dangers of restricted public access to information – even in a democracy - and was nominated for an Oscar in 2010.

The Most Dangerous Man In America will be shown at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town on Monday 25 October at 6:15pm.

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a high-level Pentagon official and leading Vietnam War strategist, concludes that the war is based on decades of lies and leaks 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, making headlines around the world. Hailed as a hero, vilified as a traitor and ostracised even by his closest colleagues, Ellsberg risks life in prison to stop a war he helped to plan.

The Most Dangerous Man In America tells the riveting story of one man’s profound change of heart and takes a piercing look at the world of government secrecy as revealed by the ultimate insider. Characterised by an epic battle between America’s greatest newspapers and its president, which goes all the way to the Supreme Court, this political thriller unravels a saga that leads directly to Watergate, Nixon’s resignation and the end of the Vietnam War.

The scenario described by The Most Dangerous Man In America is incredibly relevant to the situation faced by South African’s at this very moment in time. If you care about your right to access to information, don’t miss this feature-length documentary.

The Right2Know Campaign is an umbrella campaign representing a broad front of over 700 civil society groups. We believe a responsive and accountable democracy able to meet the basic needs of our people is built on transparency and the free flow of information. The Right2Know campaign statement - "Let the truth be told. Stop the Secrecy Bill!" - was drafted following parliamentary hearings on the Bill in July 2010 and demands that secrecy legislation must comply with constitutional values. It is based upon detailed submissions made to Parliament by civil society groups. For more information about the Right2Know Campaign consult

The screening will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion.

Tickets are R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at (021) 424 5927. This is a once-off screening and we strongly recommended that you reserve tickets to avoid disappointment.

This event is presented by the Right2Know Campaign, the Tri- Continental Film Festival, the Labia and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive, non-mainstream documentaries with important social, political and environmental messages to South African audiences.

The Labia:
021 424 5927


The Ministry of Communications held an ordinary quarterly meeting with the Board Members of SENTECH and the SABC to take stock of matters affecting all parties. The first meeting was with the Board of SENTECH and the Ministry received progress report concerning the following:

· An update on the suspension of the Chief Financial Officer and the previous acting Chief Executive Officer;
· The improved cash flow for the six months as at September. The financial statement also reflected that the operating profit margin increased from 7, 2% to 27% and the net profit margin increased from 13% to 32%.
· As at end of September Sentech had R230 million in cash
· Positive feedback and support on its business plan from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications;
· Progress report on the implementation on the recommendations on the Independent Evaluation of Corporate Governance Practices.

The Board also gave the Ministry progress report on the second quarterly performance of SENTECH which currently reflects a R146 million operating profit which can be attributed to the newly introduced cash collections policy plus the implementation of austerity measures.

The Board further gave the Ministry a preliminary report on the progress made on the formulation of a national broadband plan.

On the appointment of the new CEO of SENTECH the Board received thirty applications, and shortlisted some for interviews. The Board also obtained assistance from a recruitment agency to extend the search for a suitable candidate. Of eight candidates who were identified, four were shortlisted for further evaluation. The evaluation results and the interviews conducted by the Board were the basis for the unanimous recommendation to the Ministry of a preferred candidate. I intend to submit the name of the new CEO of SENTECH to Cabinet. I will announce the candidate in due course.

On the meeting with the Board of SABC, the Ministry received progress report on the following:
* Performance against government guarantees
* Issues related to corporate governance
* Unqualified Audited Financial Statements of SABC
* Shareholder compact
* The progress report on the investigations as contained in the report of the Auditor General.
* Vacancies within the SABC Board

The Ministry noted a recommendation from the SABC Board on the withdrawal of the earlier report made by the Chairperson of the Board to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications. The Board will now submit one report when it appears before the portfolio committee on Wednesday. The Board further updated the Ministry on their decision to request the Minister to amend the articles of association of the SABC to allow the Board to appoint an acting Group CEO. I referred all these matters to the Board of SABC for proper consolidation and resolution.

The SABC Board is currently holding a series of governance workshop to deal with matters of Corporate Governance Practices. I closed the meeting with the Board of SABC giving a frank talk on my expectations and the way the Board should focus on their mandate and avoid turning the SABC as a playground for factional interest.

The Department of Communication successfully presented its Annual Report at the Portfolio Committee on Communications in Parliament, Cape Town on the 13th October 2010.

The Annual Report was noted by Members of Parliament as an honest reflection of progress made in the year under review.

The Annual Report captured progress in terms of the following:
§ The role played by SABC and SENTECH in staging a successful Soccer World
§ Digital migration
§ Corporatization of Post Bank
§ ICASA Amendment Bill
§ Public Service Broadcasting Bill
§ ECA Amendment Bill
§ Implementation of International Agreements
§ Filling of vacancies

It was within this context that the PCC raised the following matters that appeared in the Annual Report as alluded by the Department:

§ The Human Resource constrains of the department
§ Possible under-spending
§ Irregular and fruitless expenditure
§ Performance of some State Owned Enterprises (SOEs)

On that basis the PCC passed the following resolution:
§ Urgent need for the department to rectify all matters related to supply chain management and financial matters
§ Attend urgently to issues of filling vacancies especially within Senior Management Services (SMS’s) with suitably qualified and competent personnel.
§ That the department should initiate a process of redefining its strategic priorities so that it is consistent with my performance and service delivery contract signed with the Presidency;
§ Prudently increase the level of spending on core operational programmes.
§ Creation of a specialised division adequately staffed with personnel with requisite skills to manage its relationships with public entities.
§ Undertake a comprehensive skills audit

The Department of Communications notes the resolutions presented by the PCC. However, the Department wants to put it on record that all the issues raised by PCC were presented and identified by the department. Actually the Department is at the tail end in implementation some of the issues identified by the PCC and we remain confident that the Department will endeavour to meet the requirements as outlined by the PCC.

The department also observed that the Auditor General’s office presented a report on the financial status of the DoC and its SOEs which unfortunately inflated wasteful and fruitless expenditure figures. This was later corrected by the AG’s representative.

The Ministry of Communications has appointed a service provider who will henceforth conduct a review on remuneration of Board members of SOEs that fall within the ambit of the Ministry of Communications.

I remain deeply excited and want to congratulate all SOEs for a job well done on the presentation of the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The Department is further humbled by its nomination and election to occupy a seat on the Council of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an important quality assurance structure that facilitates the implementation of member states of the United Nations. This happened recently in Guadalahare, Mexico.


Issued on: Sunday, 17 October,2010

For inquiries kindly contact Panyaza Lesufi @ 0833834517 or