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.

04 January 2011

Reminder: Call for Entry Jan Vrijman Fund | Call for Entry: Docs for Sale

04 januari 2011

Dear documentary professional

First of all, we would like to wish you a happy and inspirational New Year!

The 2010 edition of IDFA was a great success. Almost 2.500 guests attended the festival, more than 180.000 tickets were sold and net receipts increased by almost 10%. IDFA's markets, The FORUM and Docs for Sale, were well attended and productive as ever.
IDFA 2011 may still seem far off (16 - 27 November), but IDFA is now active throughout the year with Docs for Sale online, workshops for Dutch filmmakers and the IDFAcademy Summer School. The first round of the Jan Vrijman Fund is also rapidly approaching.

2011 Deadlines:

Jan Vrijman Fund first round: 15 January

Docs for Sale online first round: 1 February

First deadline entries for IDFA festival: 1 May - The entry form will be available online by mid March. Information on the IDFAcademy Summer School will be announced shortly.
We look forward to receiving your inspiring documentaries and projects!

Warm regards,

The IDFA team

Call for Entry: Docs for Sale Online

As Docs for Sale online enters its third year, it is increasing the number of deadlines: from 2011, new films will be put online every month. This gives suppliers ultimate flexibility when launching their films, without having to wait for a market or festival. It also means buyers can easily keep up-to-date with the latest productions, thanks to the Docs for Sale online catalogue.

The first deadline in 2011 is 1 February. Films submitted during this round will be put online at the beginning of March. Please go to our website to view the regulations and all upcoming deadlines.

Reminder: Call for Entry for the Jan Vrijman Fund

The aim of the fund is to stimulate local film cultures and to transform creative documentary into a truly global film art form. The deadline to submit a project for the first selection round of this year is 15 January 2011. For the new regulations, the online entry form and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our website. Please note that different regulations and documents apply to the different categories. All documents can be sent digitally, attached to an e-mail, to

Submit with MyIDFA

In order to submit a documentary or a project, you will first have to create a MyIDFA account, or use your MyIDFA account from previous years. This will allow you to submit films and projects to Docs for Sale Online or the Jan Vrijman Fund.

You can login or register for our website.

Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival Call for Entries

Related Links

Entry Form

World Congress of Science and Factual Producing

DFA Board Member, Simon Taylor, attended the World Congress of Science and Factual Producing in December 2010. Please read his report below:

Simon Taylor's (Periphery Films) report from The World Congress of Science and Factual Producing

I was the fortunate recipient of an emerging markets producer bursary to attend The World Congress of Science and Factual Producing. The bursary was funded by the Congress in an effort to engage with markets outside of Europe, North America and Australia. The Congress is an annual meeting of broadcasters, sales companies, producers and festival organizers. It provides a platform for meetings and discussions about projects that can broadly be defined as scientific factual programming. There are a number of large presentations and smaller discussion groups on all aspects of the business of factual programming. There are no screenings, there is no festival and it is not really a market place but more of a meeting environment to connect and engage rather than do hard pitching and sales.

It is an environment where I found open and honest discussions between broadcasters and producers about what is possible, what is viable and how we might work together to provide better factual programming in the future. As an environment to gather information about the state of factual programming internationally, understand trends and develop a network to work through it was invaluable. One discussion was called "is factual f…..ed" and I was very impressed with the candid nature top broadcasters and producers engaged in honest discussion of what is required in terms of new business models and marketing structures to enable factual programming to survive into an ever uncertain future of the genre.

Small sessions and work groups enabled broadcasters and sales companies to introduce themselves and answer questions in a relatively informal environment (where pitching is literally not allowed) giving producers a chance to see how best they can engage with that particular company.

The most useful aspect of the Congress for me was informal one on one meetings with other delegates, especially distributors and sales companies who can usefully represent my projects and films in the international market place.

I would recommend the WCSFP to producers who have experienced the international market place and international festivals and are looking for a deeper engagement with the business of broadcast documentary. A general understanding of the business environment around international documentary financial structuring is essential to making sense of the Congress. It is not a place to discuss art house documentary form or engage in debate about the politics and sociology of documentary film. For me having got my hands dirty the last few years with very low budget documentary projects it was the perfect opportunity to engage with prospective partners who I can do business with to raise the budget level of my films and engage with the international market from an increasingly empowered position.

On a personal level I found great inspiration and on a business level I found a number of people to work with to more effectively raise finance for my projects internationally.

The Congress have shown an interest in hosting a South African delegation at next years event and asked me to put that together with them.


'The Montpellier International Festival of Mediterranean Film has a cultural purpose consisting of knowledge of the cinema of the Mediterranean zone, the Black Sea, Portugal and Armenia. In a spirit of tolerance, it enhances discussion, seminars and studies on the common components that link these cinemas.'

To read further, click here and seleect the English page.

03 January 2011

Why We Fight for the SABC

The Big Read: With the stench of mismanagement, many have prematurely proclaimed the death of public-service broadcasting.

I hear, with alarming frequency: "Why bother fighting to restore the SABC? There are bigger challenges facing South Africa, such as providing basic healthcare, primary education and housing."

It is, indeed, hard to compare issues of health, safety and education with broadcasting, unless one digs a little deeper and asks what value does, or should, the public broadcaster bring to the lives of South Africans.

Unlike many of the other challenges our country faces, public television and radio is the one service we can give almost equally to all immediately - and through it we can speed our delivery on education, not only curriculum, but also the many other nuanced forms of education, such as life skills, cultural understanding, tolerance and respect for language.

We use it to restore dignity by telling the stories of all our people in a way that validates and shows respect. We use it to collate our history and keep it alive and relevant. And don't underestimate the value of pure entertainment - making people laugh and encouraging time for families to be together. We use radio and TV to stimulate and provoke conversation about ourselves as a society, as a country.

In all the debates about the SABC and what to do with it or to it, the one I hear least is: How do we ensure we are doing what the South African public wants?

There is plenty of evidence to prove that the public broadcaster plays a vital role in our country and is loved by audiences. Just think of the popularity of programmes such as Soul City, which consistently achieves high audience ratings and is clear evidence that entertainment and education can be merged. HIV/Aids statistics indicate infection rates are starting to fall, condom use is on the rise and prejudice is decreasing. This would not have been possible without the information provided by Soul City, Isidingo, Tsha Tsha, Intersexions and others on SABC radio and TV.

Or what about languages? There is little available in print or on commercial platforms in the many languages of South Africa. Without the SABC, especially radio services that broadcast in minority languages, these languages will slowly die and with them a valuable part of our heritage because they are not financially viable for commercial broadcasters. Does that mean they are not important to our society? Of course not.

The importance of education, language, history and such on the public broadcaster is often used as an argument for why the SABC should get more money from the government, or for why it ran into financial trouble. I do not agree with this.

To read further, please click here.