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 February 2011

Toffie Festival Comes to Cape Town

The second Toffie Festival, hosted by The President design studio, will be held 24-26 March 2011 at the Cape Town City Hall. It offers South African and international pop culture packed into presentations, exhibitions, workshops and social events.

The President's creative director, Peet Pienaar, says its interactive platform sets it apart from other pop culture and design festivals. "Participants are given an opportunity to forge connections with top creatives in their fields, with all workshops and presentations are designed around this principle. We aim to create a festival that is not intimidating and affordable.


Day one offers exhibitions by some of South Africa's most exciting creatives, curated by The President. Other players include What if the World, Marcii Goose, Richard de Jager and Word of Art. 

Conference speakers

The two-and-a-half-day conference includes confirmed local speakers:

Brandt Botes (graphic designer)

Tumi Molekane (musician)

Frauke Stegmann (designer)

Francis Burger (artist)

Kobus van der Merwe (chef)

Richard de Jager (fashion designer/stylist)

International speakers include:

Spanish designer Alex Trochut (, grandson of 1940s typographer Juan Trochut, is known for his commercial and editorial work on the world's most famous superbrands, including Cadbury, Universal Records (for the Rolling Stones), Adidas, Nike, British Airways, The Economist, Wired and Channel 4.

Tokyo-based artist and programmer Daito Manabe ( - with more than 1.5 million hits on YouTube, he has a cult following who can't wait to see his latest physical interpretation of sound and programming experiments

Belgian artist/designer Brecht Vandenbroucke (, who believes that there is no difference between pop culture and underground culture, which he explores in various media including comics, paintings, drawings, magazines and movies

Swiss inventor and designer Jürg Lehni (, who created Scriptographer, an Adobe illustrator scripting plug-in used by designers around the world

Argentinean filmmaker, Javier Lourenco from Flamboyant Paradise ( who has received over 100 awards and whose short film, "The Blindness of the Woods", was officially selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 2009.

At the social gatherings, The President will also announce the winner of the R10 000 Jay Jays/MK Bruce Lee design awards.

Tickets are R750 for professionals and R500 for students which cover all activities and can be booked at For more information, go to the blog at

The Killing of the Imam Nominated for a SAFTA

DFA member, Khalid Shamis' short animated documentary film The Killing of the Imam has been nominated for the short doc section.

Click to view the list of nominations.

CFC Survey

See the letter from the CFC's CEO, Denis Lillie. It's not the entire letter because my membership number and details are in the rest of the letter:

Dear CFC Member

The Cape Film commission is currently seeking input and suggestions from you, it’s constituents, to better formulate how we will go ahead in serving the Cape Town and Western Cape industry better this year, Identifying ongoing or new issues that may have not been addressed in full.

In short we want to know what you need and what you think, and how the CFC can better address the issues and blockades that may be limiting our industry’s performance in any way.

In a movement to improve our Membership database as well as the service quality that the CFC provides we are issuing each CFC Member with a unique Membership number. Please keep this for future reference as this will be required for future correspondence and projects (always best to save the email in a archive/reference folder):

Click here to complete the survey.

Margaret Mead Film Festival

Hello filmmakers and film enthusiasts!
We are pleased to announce that the Margaret Mead Film and Video
Festival's Call for Entries 2011 is now officially open!

The Mead Festival considers a range of non-narrative films and videos including feature length documentaries, hybrid works, shorts, experimental films, essay films, animation and new media. If you or someone you know has a film and would like to have it shown in our festival, please submit your film in either of the following ways.

1. Mail us your film along with an entry form. The entry forms and and full guidelines can be found on our website (

2. Submit your film through Without A Box (

Please spread the word to your family, friends, neighbors, students and resident filmmakers that our Call for Submissions is now OPEN! For more information on submission requirements and other details, please check out our website ( If you can't find the answer, email us at

Thank you so much,
Will Croxton
Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival

Looking for a Producer


Last month I self-published my book, "The Lottery Code" for free from my Website:
I am looking for a film studio, or a producer/s to turn my incredible book into a blockbuster film, or documentary.
It is, after all, a "believe it or not" story.
This is not a hoax email, and I am not delusional, or crazy.

The story which I tell in my book is unbelievable, but true.
In 1995, while living in London, I discovered a hidden code in the British Lottery which in 2006 communicated messages
to me.

It is all based on mathematics, and therefore, FACT.
My codebook is "Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament" coded with "Strong's" Concordance Numbers.

If you doubt that God speaks to people IN OUR TIME, now you can read my book and judge for yourself.
The prophecies in "The Lottery Code" hearken back to the Bible and reveal 302 messages
communicated from a hidden code in the British Lottery.
Message No. 249 concerns the Province of Judaea (now known as the WestBank.)

Thank you in advance for any assistance which you may give me.

Lorraine Hattingh-Spurgeon

P.S. For a quick download of my book type: -

SABC Turnaround

SABC underway with its turnaround strategy, unions keeping a close eye.
Published: 2011/02/01 06:37:11 AM

IMPLEMENTATION of the SABC’s turnaround strategy is under way, and work streams have been created to analyse its divisions’ operational functions .

However, trade unions are concerned that the strategy is a short-term solution to satisfy the Treasury and has no long-term developmental aims.

The SABC is under pressure to draw up and implement its turnaround strategy, which includes retrenchments to reduce its R78m salary bill. The Treasury requires the strategy to be drawn up before it releases the remaining R473m of its loan to the SABC.

Unions that have met with the SABC over the past three months — including the Broadcast, Electronic, Media and Allied Workers Union, the Media Workers Association of SA (Mwasa) and the Communication Workers Union — are critical of the basic strategy presented to them. It deals with the next three years at the most, they say.

Mwasa has warned the SABC that its strategy’s "stance is on reducing overheads and improving, if not just stabilising, management of expenditure".

The SABC has started with setting up working groups headed by the relevant division’s executive or senior manager to look at how operations are functioning .

It is also considering not rehiring at least 20 senior management employees. They are on fixed- term contracts which are up for renewal in about three months .

The quandary facing the SABC is that rolling over these contracts in April — which would give it more time to restructure, and prevent loss of expertise — could have serious financial implications should it decide to terminate them well into their new terms.

The framework for union- SABC engagement requires a restructuring subcommittee to be set up by the board to liaise with the unions and consolidate information from the working groups in the various divisions.

Once the proposed new organisational structure for the broadcaster has been completed, in consultation with the unions, it would be presented to the board. Labour would be involved throughout to reduce dismissals and retrenchments.

No large-scale retrenchments are being envisaged, but the SABC has not ruled out voluntary retrenchment or early retirement "when the new organisational structure has finally been approved and adopted".

Mwasa last week warned the SABC in a statement that it would take legal action if the broadcaster did not stop advertising and filling vacant posts.

SABC spokesman Kaizer Kganyago said such posts were crucial to its operations and the broadcaster would continue to consult with the unions about its turnaround strategy.
A meeting is believed to be scheduled between labour and the SABC for later this week. The three unions declared a dispute last year after accusing the SABC of not consulting with them.

The original article was posted in Business Day.

03 February 2011

DFA Workshop on International Documentary Finance and Distribution

The DFA in partnership with the Cape Film Commission and the Bioscope will be hosting a workshop on Commercial Documentary Distribution and Finance for the International Market. The keynote speaker, Bo Stehmeier from Off the Fence, will outline the international commercial documentary landscape and discuss financing structures specific to South Africa and international financing, distribution and co-production opportunities. Their will also be a panel discussion after Bo's talk with confirmed panelist from the DTI, Mzansi, EMIA, NHU and SABC. The first workshop will be in Johannesburg on the 11th of February at the Bioscope from 09h00 to 14h00 and the second leg will be in Cape Town on the 15th of February with the venue still to be confirmed. It's exclusive to paid up DFA members only and some invited guests and there are only 50 places available per province and these will be booked on a first come first serve bases so don't delay. Book your place with Thea Aboud by emailng your RSVP and your province to Click here to see the program

01 February 2011

Government Increases NFVF Funding over the next Three Years

Tue, 01 Feb 2011 11:12

The additional annual allocation to the NFVF for the financial year 2011/12 is R 33 538 000, taking the total allocation amount to R74 879 000. 2012/2013 additional amount is R42 750 000, the total allocation is R86 158 000 and 2013/14 the additional amount is R58 930 000 taking the total allocation to R104 725.

The allocation was made to the NFVF in alignment to government's New Growth Path (NGP) in order to create jobs and address skills shortage in the industry.

The increase is in line with the commitment made by Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr. Paul Mashatile who has prioritised film within the Arts and Culture Programme.

Outgoing NFVF CEO, Mr. Eddie Mbalo said, "This is the greatest send-off I would have hoped for. The past 10 years have been to convince government on possible opportunities available through film. I am happy to depart knowing the government that has heard us."

"This is definitely the sign that the government is committed to the development of the film industry in South Africa, considering the other financial instruments like the Dti Rebate, etc," he concluded.

For more information email Naomi Mokhele:

... and if you think we've made all this up, see for yourself at the NFVF's web site.

Life's a Pitch

The Good Pitch is entering its third year with a new partner and a new venue, but the same ambitious goal; to fast-track effective, world-changing partnerships between documentary film and the brand, NGO, philanthropy and media sectors.

What: The Good Pitch NY 2011
When: May 20 2011
Where: Ford Foundation, New York

The call for entries is now open, closing on Friday February 18th 2011

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 to New York City in May 2011 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 on May 17-18 2011, 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 is aimed at filmmakers of any nationality working on documentary film projects which tackle important global and national issues and enhance our understanding of the world. If you are a filmmaker and would like to apply, please click to download the Entry Criteria and Forum Rules document on the right before beginning your application.
We want to see that you have thought about what you hope to achieve with your film through an associated audience engagement campaign. Your campaign can take any form, possibly using social media platforms in its execution, and could seek to effect behavioural change, policy change and/or engage with the issues raised in new and interesting ways.
We are looking for projects at any stage from early production to completion, provided projects have not received a major festival screening; rough cut stage is ideal. The call is open to projects looking for completion funding, outreach funding, campaigning networks or a combination of these. There is no fee for applying or taking part in the Good Pitch NY 2011 but selected pitchers will be expected to pay for their travel to and from the event, and their accommodation once there.

The final selection of projects will be announced by March 21st 2011.

Please read the rest here.

31 January 2011

Sundance 2011 Awards

Happy, Happy, Hell and Back Again, How to Die in Oregonand Like Crazy Earn Grand Jury Prizes Audience Favorites Include Buck, Circumstance, Kinyawarandaand Senna to.get.her Awarded Best of NEXT! Audience Award

Posted Jan 29, 2011

Park City, UT-The Jury, Audience, NEXT! and other special award-winners of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival were announced tonight at the Festival's Awards Ceremony hosted by Tim Blake Nelson (star of Flypaper which premiered in this year's Premieres section) in Park City, Utah. Highlights from the Awards Ceremony can be seen on the Festival website,

Films receiving Jury Awards were selected from four categories: U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition and World Cinema Documentary Competition. All films in competition were also eligible for Sundance Film Festival Audience Awards as selected by Festival audiences. The U.S. Audience Awards presented by Acura were announced by Ray Liotta, and the World Cinema Audience Awards were announced by Joshua Leonard. Vera Farmiga announced the Best of NEXT! Audience Award.

Jury Prizes in Shorts Filmmaking were awarded to American and international short-form films on Tuesday, January 25. Other awards recognized at the ceremony included the inaugural Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award, in recognition and support of emerging independent filmmakers from around the world, the Sundance Institute/NHK Award, created to honor and support emerging filmmakers with their next screenplays, and the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, awarded to a film which excels in addressing compelling topics in science or technology.

John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival said, "Success at Sundance can be measured in terms of attendance, sponsorships, acquisitions, even the weather. Ultimately, it's about the films themselves - were they well received? Did they resonate with the audience enough to have a life beyond these 10 days? And this year, the answer is a resounding yes."
Added Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam, "For an artist to make it to the Festival among 10,000 submissions is an incredible achievement in his or her own right. We are so appreciative of all who shared their work with us this year, and we commend audiences and juries alike for selecting such a wide range of outstanding films."

The 2011 Sundance Film Festival Juries consisted of:
U.S. Documentary Competition: Jeffrey Blitz, Matt Groening, Laura Poitras, Jess Search, Sloane Klevin; U.S. Dramatic Competition: America Ferrera, Todd McCarthy, Tim Orr, Kimberly Peirce, Jason Reitman; World Cinema Documentary Competition: José Padilha, Mette Hoffmann Meyer, Lucy Walker; World Cinema Dramatic Competition: Susanne Bier, Bong Joon-Ho, Rajendra Roy; Shorts Competition: Barry Jenkins, Kim Morgan, Sara Bernstein; Alfred P. Sloan Award: Jon Amiel, Paula Apsell, Sean Carroll, Clark Gregg.

Please follow this link to read the rest and learn which movies won.

On The Documentary Blog you can get to the winners quicker.

Francis Ford Coppola: On Risk, Money, Craft & Collaboration

Over the course of 45 years in the film business, Francis Ford Coppola has refined a singular code of ethics that govern his filmmaking. There are three rules: 1) Write and direct original screenplays, 2) make them with the most modern technology available, and 3) self-finance them. But Coppola didn’t develop this formula overnight. Though he found Hollywood success at the young age of 30, he admits that the early “Godfather” fame pulled him off course from his dream of writing and directing personal stories. Like Bergman, Coppola wanted to wake up and make movies based on his dreams and nightmares.

Thanks in no small part to his booming wine business, Coppola now does just that. He recently wrapped his latest picture, “Twixt Now and Sunrise,” based on an alcohol-induced dream he had in Turkey. The film even features the latest 3-D technology – but as a brief dramatic segment that serves the story, rather than the typical two-hour, multiplex gimmick.

I sat down with Mr. Coppola at La Mamounia, the legendary Moroccan palace-turned-hotel, during the Marrakech International Film Festival, where he shared insights on the filmmaking craft with local students. Rejecting the popular “master class” format, Coppola preferred a simple “conversation,” where he spoke candidly with students and shared his advice generously. What follows are excerpts from both conversations.

Why did you choose not to teach a master class?
For me in cinema there are few masters. I have met some masters – Kurosawa, Polanski – but I am a student.

I just finished a film a few days ago, and I came home and said I learned so much today. So if I can come home from working on a little film after doing it for 45 years and say, “I learned so much today,” that shows something about the cinema. Because the cinema is very young. It’s only 100 years old.

Even in the early days of the movies, they didn’t know how to make movies. They had an image and it moved and the audience loved it. You saw a train coming into the station, and just to see motion was beautiful.

The cinema language happened by experimentation – by people not knowing what to do. But unfortunately, after 15-20 years, it became a commercial industry. People made money in the cinema, and then they began to say to the pioneers, “Don’t experiment. We want to make money. We don’t want to take chances.”

The cinema language happened by experimentation – by people not knowing what to do.

An essential element of any art is risk. If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before? I always like to say that cinema without risk is like having no sex and expecting to have a baby. You have to take a risk.

You try to go to a producer today and say you want to make a film that hasn’t been made before; they will throw you out because they want the same film that works, that makes money. That tells me that although the cinema in the next 100 years is going to change a lot, it will slow down because they don’t want you to risk anymore. They don’t want you to take chances. So I feel like [I’m] part of the cinema as it was 100 years ago, when you didn't know how to make it. You have to discover how to make it.

Read the rest here.

NFVF Council Interviews

Please note that the interviews for positions on the NFVF Council begin today. The schedule is as follows:

Ayesha Kajee 13h50
Gina Bonmarriage 14h50
Paul Raleigh 16h20

Kevin Fleischer 10h00
Prof Keyan Tomaselli 11h00
Brenda Sisane 12h30
Zama Mkosi 15h50

Sulona Reddy 12h30
Tshepo Shabangu 14h50

The venue is the Premier Hotel, 73 Gladiator Street, Kempton Park. If you have the time, please do make an effort to attend.

Rina Jooste nominated for SAFTA

Best Documentary Feature - JAMMER AS EK SO BITTER IS
Best Director of Documentary Feature - JAMMER AS EK SO BITTER IS