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.

21 January 2011

PUMA Creative Impact Award

Today PUMA.Creative and Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation announced the launch of the PUMA.Creative Impact Award, a major new annual award to honour the documentary film creating the most significant impact in the world. This 50,000 Euro award acknowledges the film's makers and will help the continuation of the film's campaign work.

The PUMA.Creative Impact Award will be selected by a jury which includes Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; Morgan Spurlock, Academy Award-nominated Director of Super Size Me; Orlando Bagwell, Director of the Ford Foundation Social Justice Media Initiative; and Emmanuel Jal, musician and activist.

"Finally, an award which acknowledges the unique role documentary film plays in society," said Morgan Spurlock. "I am proud to be invited to join the first jury and I encourage documentary filmmakers everywhere to take a look at this initiative. It is really going to make a difference."

"With a financial reward that encourages best practice in the filmmaking community, the aim of the PUMA.Creative Impact Award is to draw attention to the finest creative, social justice, peace and environmental filmmaking in the world," said Jess Search, CEO, Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation.

Recent high profile releases such The Cove, Food Inc, Burma VJ, No Impact Man and The Age of Stupid will all be eligible to compete for the prize money as well as less well-known films that have had a large local effect.

"As individuals and as organisations, we are faced with some serious challenges today such as ongoing conflict, climate change, loss of biodiversity. None of these issues will solve themselves without intervention," says Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of PUMA. "We, at PUMA, have chosen to intervene through film because it is the most powerful medium to reach mass audiences and influence opinion formers and will contribute to leaving a better world for generations to come."

The call for the PUMA.Creative Impact Award opens on January 21 during the Sundance Film Festival. Anyone can put a film forward from any country - filmmakers, distributors, film festivals, partner organisations including NGOs and Foundations, film critics and journalists. Each filmmaking team must submit data demonstrating evidence of the film's social impact and if shortlisted additional data and verifications will be requested. Films can be put forward any time up to three years after release (where the release is defined as first film festival screening, TV broadcast, cinema release or internet release).

Submissions close on April 1, 2011 when Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation will assess applications and produce a shortlist to be assessed by an international Peer Review Committee including: Carol Cone, Executive Vice President of Cone@Edelman; Diana Barrett, President and Founder of Fledgling Fund; Yvette Alberdingkthijm, Executive Director of WITNESS; Pat Aufderheide, Director of Center for Social Media, American University; Isabelle Schwarz, Head of Strategic Programmes at European Cultural Foundation; Heidi Gronauer, Director of ZeLIG school for documentary, television and new media and EsoDoc; Sarah Hunter, Head of UK Public Policy at Google; Sally Ann Wilson, Secretary-General at Commonwealth Broadcasting Association; Isabel Arrate, Fund Manager at the Jan Vrijman Fund; and Karolina Lidin, Documentary Consultant at the Nordisk Film & TV Fond and Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Five final nominated films will then be put forward to the Jury for consideration. The PUMA.Creative Impact Award will be given in London in October at the annual PUMA.Creative and Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation Gala and Awards Ceremony.

"Music is one of the few things that has the power to touch your heart mind and soul without your permission. This is why I choose to use this tool to pass my message to the world," said says Juror Emmanuel Jal. "Film has the same power, moving pictures can tap into the senses, pull on the heart strings and communicate intense and detailed information to the viewer."

Filmmakers interested in applying for the PUMA.Creative Impact Award should go to

Durban FilmMart 2011

The deadline for the submissions for the second annual Durban FilmMart is looming. Set to take place in Durban from 22-26 July 2011, during the 32nd edition of the Durban International Film Festival, the closing date for entries is 15 February 2011. Aimed at raising the visibility of projects from the African continent and creating opportunities for African filmmakers, the Durban FilmMart is a joint venture between DFO, the film-industry development arm of the eThekwini Municipality and the Durban International Festival (DIFF), which is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal).

The inaugural Durban FilmMart in 2010 saw 200 producers, directors, sales agents, distributors, financiers and funding organisations from across the world, attending meetings, project presentations and a series of master classes and workshops on the latest trends in film finance, marketing, distribution and new media technologies. Of the 75 qualifying applicants, 12 projects in both the feature film and documentary genres from as far afield as Egypt, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zambia and Burkina Faso, were chosen to participate in the Finance Forum segment of the Durban FilmMart.

Commenting on the success of the first edition and noting the anticipatory interest of potential investors, Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office (DFO) added, “Film practitioners from all corners of the African continent are encouraged to take this opportunity as a means of promoting their projects, meeting lead experts and networking with industry professionals from across the globe”.

Please click here to read further.

20 January 2011

Call for entries for the Good Pitch NY 2011 is now open

The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, in partnership with the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, are delighted to announce that the touring funding and networking forum the Good Pitch ??" will be returning in 2011 with expanded plans, including a third forum in New York City hosted by the Ford Foundation at their midtown headquarters.

The Ford Foundation joins the Tides Foundation, the Fledgling Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Impact Partners, Crosscurrents Foundation and a number of anonymous donors as supporters of the Good Pitch. Working Films will continue to provide campaign development for the invited filmmakers.

The Good Pitch is an invitation-only event, starting with an intensive two-day campaign development workshop for the filmmakers, followed by a day-long live event which brings together invited foundations, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, broadcasters and other media to expand the resources aimed at maximizing the impact of social-issue documentary. Filmmaking teams pitch their project and its associated outreach campaign with the aim of creating a unique coalition around each film to accelerate its impact and influence.

The call for entries for the Good Pitch NY 2011 is now open and will close on Monday February 21st. The call is aimed at filmmakers of any nationality working on feature-length or hour-long independent documentary film projects which tackle important global and national issues and enhance our understanding of the world.
For more information and to apply go to

Since the first North American event in Toronto in 2009, Good Pitch has received over 1200 applications to events in North America and the UK. Over 60 films have now pitched to more than 700 organizations, with a vast range of positive results, including over $2 million leveraged in new funding.

The Good Pitch NY 2011 is the year’s first Good Pitch event. Further events will be announced later in the year. For more information and to apply go to

Solly Mokoetla Resigns from the SABC

South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) group CEO Solly Mokoetle has resigned with immediate effect.

In a short statement to the press, the SABC the board said: "The SABC and Mr Solly Mokoetle wish to announce that Mr Mokoetle has resigned as the SABC CEO with effect from January 19 2011 and will pursue his career elsewhere. The parties have settled all other disputes between them and wish each other well fro the future.”

Earlier on Wednesday the SABC board met with Mokoetle's lawyers and a settlement was reached that board member Cedric Gina insisted was confidential. However, Gina said, "I can say without any fear, it is not a [golden] handshake."

Mokoetle said although the decision was not easy, it was in the best interests of the SABC, its staff, the nation, the board, his family and himself.

"I have been a broadcaster since the age of 18 and that's all I know how to do," he said.

The rest of the saga has been reported here and here. And for those with speedy broadband, you can even view it on video.

19 January 2011

Submit to Encounters 2011

The organisers of Encounters are calling for entries from South African and International filmmakers for the Festival. Due to the extraordinary number of entries Encounters has decided to charge a nominal submission fee of USD15. African filmmakers are exempt.

Visit the Encounters web site for submission details.

Intro to HD Production for Unemployed PDI Learners

Please click on the image for clarity.

For more details contact the Visual Impact Academy

tel: 021 468 6001

SABC Stuck in the 1980s

Too many re-runs of old movies, such as those starring the actor Sylvester Stallone, are costing the SABC its television audience, parliament's communications portfolio committee has heard.

In the first of 14 interviews aimed at selecting four new members for the national broadcaster's board, business administrator Sethe Makhesha told MPs on Tuesday that while the SABC had made a "lot of effort" with regard to local content, the international film fare it served left a lot to be desired.

"The kind of material that we need to be buying... internationally should be the latest, the [most] recent.
"Because with the low quality that we are currently experiencing -- I mean, for example, we have Sylvester Stallone movies being featured on Friday night, something we used to have in 1985 -- I don't think that is attracting a good target audience."

Audiences were switching to satellite channels because they wanted to see recently made films, she said.

To read the rest, click here.

18 January 2011

iPhone 4 as Film Camera

Park Chan-wook tested the bounds of new technology by using an iPhone 4 to film 'Paranmanjang'. The smart phone brought many changes to the set, including some surprises. By John M. Glionna

Park Chan-wook likes the way blood looks through the camera lens of his iPhone – that rich texture and shock-effect red.

But Park's no techno-savvy killer. He's an award-winning South Korean filmmaker whose graphic horror-and-humor style has been likened to Quentin Tarantino's. His latest project is remarkable not for its gore but for its camerawork that could prove a populist breakthrough in the highfalutin art of filmmaking.

Park's 30-minute fantasy film, "Paranmanjang" ("Ups and Downs"), which will have its theatrical premiere in Seoul on Jan. 27, was shot entirely with the latest version of Apple Inc.'s iconic smart phone, the iPhone 4.

For years, new technology such as digital cameras and off-the-shelf editing software has been turning filmmaking into a cheaper and easier venture. But few high-profile commercial directors have embraced mass-market hardware, gravitating instead toward bells and whistles like 3-D and other costly special effects.

But Park rolled the everyman's dice. And he liked what he saw.

Read the rest here.

17 January 2011

Cast your Vote in tves Biomovies

Press release

11 January 2011
It’s up to you! YouTube viewers cast their votes for the winner of tve’s biomovies competition
The voting on tve’s new film competition on biodiversity is now open – with the YouTube viewing public deciding which of the 12 quirky, hard-hitting, subversive, witty and funny films and animations will win a £1000 prize.

Made by filmmakers and animators of a wide range of ages and nationalities - from a 14-year-old girl in north London to a lawyer in Indonesia – the 2-minute films offer a new take on one of the most critical threats to the planet’s survival, from the lighthearted and hilarious to a gritty Orwellian world.

From the UK, 18-year-old Becca Hyman said: ‘I entered the competition because I’m interested in film and wanted to practise my animation, and when you get the facts you realise oh, this is an actual problem that needs fixing.

‘Plants and animals all over the world are rapidly becoming homeless. One of the main reasons for this is the destruction and degradation of our forests,’ said Danish filmmaker Tim Whyte. ‘The good news is that we can actually do something about it. And that is what our movie is trying to show people in 90 seconds.’

The 12 shortlisted filmmakers and animators in this year’s biomovies competition were selected from 130 submissions by a panel of judges representing WWF, Bioversity International, cult filmmakers Eddsworld and The Inlaks Foundation company chairman Azad Shivdasani.
Now it’s the public’s decision – vote for your favourite by 31 January by clicking the ‘like’ button , and the winners will be awarded a £1000 prize.

‘We knew from our success with our climate change film that there’s a huge untapped audience on YouTube for films and animations that are different and exciting,’ said one of the judges, Tom of Eddsworld. tve’s first YouTube initiative, for which Eddsworld produced its stunning ‘Climate Change’ animation in the run-up to the Copenhagen summit, gained more than 1 million views.
‘We need these films to wake up the planet,’ said tve executive director Cheryl Campbell. ‘A single species, humans, is determining the fate of the other 14 million – and that fate is looking increasingly bleak as more and more species vanish.

‘Our biomovies show that, with humour and verve, passion and creativity, filmmakers and animators worldwide are calling on viewers to take a stand.’

The films include ‘Food Chain’, a funny, tongue-in-cheek animation from a UK competitor, the powerful ‘Traffick Crumbs’ from Namibia, the whimsical ‘Dance of the Woodland Sprite’ and ‘Alternative Solutions’, a black-and-white gritty assault on government by a 14-year-old from north London.

A compilation of the 12 films was shown at the closing ceremony of the UN Year of Biodiversity, in Kanazawa, Japan, on 18 December 2010.

For media enquiries contact Rachel Royce on 020 7901 8830, 07974 316 662 or at
21 Elizabeth Street
London SW1W 9RP
United Kingdom

tel +44 (0)20 7901 8855
fax +44 (0)20 7901 8856

tve is a collective name for Television for the Environment and Television Trust for the Environment. Television for the Environment is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales (registered office 21 Elizabeth Street, London SW1W 9RP, company number 1811236) and a registered charity (charity number 326585). Television Trust for the Environment is a registered charity (charity number 326539).

Digital Roll-out

THE Department of Communications has reiterated its plans to involve black companies in the manufacturing of digital TV decoders through possible subsidies or incentives to companies that lack funds and resources.

SA along with the rest of southern Africa is switching to broadcasting a digital signal, as required by the International Telecommunication Union, and are to use the advanced European technology standard called digital video broadcasting terrestrial2 (DVB-T2). Users will require set-top boxes or decoders to receive the digital signal.

A department official said it had formed an interministerial process with the departments of trade and industry, science and technology and the Treasury to seek ways to help small black manufacturing companies become involved in the manufacturing process, possibly by incentives or through financial aid.

To read the rest, click here.

The NFVF's 2010 Overview

The South African feature film industry appears to have reached a tipping point over the past year, which is indicated by the tripling of entries in this category for consideration in the annual South African Film and Television Awards (which take place in February each year) from six in 2009 to eighteen in 2010. This increase in the number of films eligible for nomination is a direct result of the unprecedented increase in the number of films being produced in the country considering that not all feature films submit applications for nomination. The reasons for this increase are two-fold. By Clarence Hamilton.

Impact of the crisis at the public broadcaster

On the one hand the impact of the continuing crisis at the public service broadcaster, (annually responsible for commissioning approximately R1 billion in independent original programming), can be considered a major factor. The financial woes at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) resulted in a steep decline in such commissions, the loss of hundreds of jobs and the closing down of production companies. The surviving companies have increasingly had to turn towards feature film development and production as well as non-commissioned documentary development and production.

Film and Television incentives

On the other hand, the amendments to the South African Film and Television Production and Co-production Incentive and the Location Film and Television Production Incentive and their efficient administration by the Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) have resulted in a massive stimulus to economic activity in the sector. This is demonstrated by a decrease in the ratio of provisional certificates issued against the number of productions which confirmed commencement of principal photography and or claimed from the incentive. In the 2009/2010 financial year as many as a third of projects granted provisional certificates failed to confirm commencement of principal photography or claim against the rebate. So, in spite of the gloom surrounding the SABC, feature film production, which has been stuck at around nine films per annum for almost a decade, doubled in one single year.

To read the rest, visit the NFVF's site.