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.

10 February 2011

Doc Challenge at Hot Docs

The International Documentary Challenge returns to Hot Docs in 2011!

Now in it’s 6th year, The International Documentary Challenge returns to the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto. This year's challenge takes place March 3-7, 2011 with registration now open. Hot Docs dates are April 28 - May 08, 2011.

The Doc Challenge is a timed filmmaking competition where filmmakers have 5 days to make a short non-fiction film (4-7 minutes.) All of the registered participants make their films during the same time period (March 3-7, 2011) and are required send off the film by the deadline.

Filmmakers are assigned a theme (past themes include Dreams/Nightmares, Change) and must choose between 2 assigned documentary genres (such as Character Study, Music, 1st Person, etc.) These two requirements provide a challenge to filmmakers, as it will shape the content and direction their film takes.

The top 12 films, determined by a panel of judges, premiere at Hot Docs where the Winners are announced. Three major awards (with cash prizes) will be presented: The American Documentary/P.O.V. Award, The Documentary Educational Resources (DER) Award and the Best Film Award (presented by the Documentary Channel.) Additionally, viewers may screen the films and vote for an Audience Award winner on the Doc Challenge website. After the premiere, there are additional theatrical screenings in major cities, national television exposure and a DVD release of the best films.

This year, Doc Challenge's newest Presenting Partner, The Documentary Channel, will present the Best Film award and select many of the finalists for National US Broadcast! (9 films from 2010 were selected for national broadcast on the Documentary Channel)

Check out the Doc Challenge website where you can learn more about the event, view films and hear directly from past participants about their exhilarating experiences:

Final Registration Deadline: March 2, 2011
Doc Challenge: March 3-7, 2011
Hot Docs Dates: April 28 - May 8, 2011

Space is limited - only the first 300 teams to register will be accepted.

Complete details and entry forms can be found at

Follow @TheDocChallenge for twitter updates.!/thedocchallenge

The Doc Challenge is produced by Doug Whyte and Kat Touschner of KDHX Community Media.

The 2011 Presenting Partners include Hot Docs, The Documentary Channel, American Documentary/P.O.V., Documentary Educational Resources and Typecast Releasing. Supporting partners include the International Documentary Association, the Documentary Organization of Canada, DocuMentors, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Dokufest, Docs In Progress and the 48 Hour Film Project.

The International Documentary Challenge.
Real Life. Filmed Real Fast.

The NFVF and SASFED Sign Terms of Engagement

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and the South African Screen Federation (SASFED) today signed an agreement that sets out the terms of engagement between the two organisations. The signing ceremony, attended by representatives from both the NFVF and SASFED, took place at the NFVF offices in Houghton.

The terms of engagement are a culmination of various engagements that have taken place from 2006 between the NFVF and SASFED. "We are happy that today we're concluding a process in which both the NFVF and SASFED have engaged enthusiastically. The significance of this agreement is the synergies that can be drawn out of both our roles and mandates in the South African film and video industry to enhance the promotion, development of a sustainable, viable and transforming industry," says NFVF CEO Eddie Mbalo.

The NFVF's mandate is to promote and develop the South African film and video industry. In terms of its Positioning Strategy in the Value Charter, the NFVF is the mediator between the government, civil society and the industry. Section 4(1) (f) and subsection (f) of the NFVF Act empowers the NFVF to "enter into relationships and cooperate with any person, institution or institutions for the purpose of meeting the objectives of the NFVF Act".

SASFED is a non profit organisation formed in 2006 and is an industry-wide national voice representing its members on industry development issues. "As an industry body we represent the writers, directors, editors, actors, artists’ producers and niche focus groups in the film and television industry," says SASFED Chairperson Faizel Mamdoo. SASFED's formation was the outcome of the Indaba 2005 resolutions where it was proposed that one of the measures to ensure sectoral co-ordination was the formation of an umbrella body to be constituted by the existing industry bodies.

"The agreement recognises the importance of regular engagement between us and the NFVF on industry policies and strategies that impact on the growth and development of the South African film and video industry," adds Feizel Mamdoo. The agreement sets out terms of engagement which will inform the relationship between the NFVF and SASFED towards areas that relate to the development and growth of the local film and video industry. It establishes a forum that will provide a platform for consultation, debate and discussion on the various industry policies and strategies that are developed.

For NFVF/SASFED agreement queries, contact:
Ms Aifheli Makhwanya; Head of Policy and Research at the NFVF on 011 483 0880 and
Mr Ramadan Suleman: Chairperson of the SASFED NFVF Subcommittee on 083 901 2000.
For media queries email Naomi Mokhele on

09 February 2011

Documentary Projects at Durban FilmMart

Alongside existing programmes for fiction projects, opportunities for documentary filmmakers will be strengthened in the upcoming Durban FilmMart (DFM) which takes place between 22 to 25 July during the 32nd Durban International Film Festival.

In cooperation with the leading documentary festival IDFA (International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam) and its industry Forum, DFM will invite local and international commissioning editors to engage with pitches by selected documentary projects. Strong interest has already been expressed in the potential for DFM to unearth and profile a presentation of viable projects from around the continent of Africa.

Aimed at stimulating film production in Africa, Durban FilmMart will facilitate meetings with film financiers and co-producers for selected projects. The broader Durban FilmMart programme, for selected projects as well as registered delegates, encompasses a four-day programme of masterclasses, seminars, industry networking activities and access to the Durban International Film Festival (21-31 July).

Documentary, fiction and trans-media projects should apply online at before the submission deadline of 15 February.

Now in its 2nd year, Durban FilmMart is a partnership project between the Durban Film Office and the Durban International Film Festival, with principal support by the City of Durban.

Ms Tozi Mthethwa and Ms Yolanda Mbelu
DFO Publicists
Tel: 031-705 7131
Fax: 031-705 2479
Cell: 083 307 9067
Email: and

For media enquiries regarding the Durban International Film Festival:
Sharlene Versfeld
Versfeld & Associates: The Communication Works
Tel: 031-8115628
Cell: 083 326 3235

The Durban Film Office (DFO) is the film-industry development arm of the City of Durban, mandated to position Durban as a world-class film production destination and facilitator for the development of the local film industry. The DFO drives activity and development in the sector in order to boost tourism, job creation and the development of core skills and SMME’s in the region. The organization is also actively seeking and creating opportunities for setting the benchmark as the leading authority in the field in South Africa.

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is a flagship project of the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN). The CCA facilitates creative platforms and economic opportunities for artists and related industries, intercultural exchange and network development, training, audience development and strategic Pan-African and international cooperation in the cultural sectors. The CCA also produces three other major annual festivals - Time of the Writer, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience and Poetry Africa.


BBC World Debate on Gay Rights

Dear Friends

On behalf of BBC World News and Broad Daylight Films I have pleasure in inviting you to join the audience for a televised debate on Gay Rights in Africa, to take place on Sunday 27 February from 1pm to 4pm in Randburg, Johannesburg.

Panellists are expected to include:
1. Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana and Chair of “Champions for an HIV Free Generation”
2. David Bahati MP, Government of Uganda and author of anti-Homosexuality Bill
3. Zackie Achmat, Treatment Action Campaign, South Africa
4. Bience Gawanas, Social Affairs Commissioner, African Union

The main question in the debate will be: Is Homosexuality un-African?

We will break the topic down into three sub-questions:
HISTORY: What is the history of same sex relationships in Africa?
CULTURE: How do we define what is African?
TOLERANCE: Can we reconcile our religions and traditions with human rights?

There will be an opportunity for audience members to make comments and ask questions.

The host of the debate is BBC News Presenter Zeinab Badawi and the debate will be broadcast by BBC World News during March 2011. Places are limited, so if you’d like to join us, please send an email with your name, cellphone number and the number of people who would like to attend (2 places only per email please) to Zanele Nyingwa at this email

Once we receive your response, we’ll respond with confirmation of your seats and the venue details.

Ben Cashdan

This World Debate is being produced with the support of the Open Society initiative for Southern Africa.

07 February 2011

Cinema of Possibilities

Project Contest for Southern Countries

V Cineposible International Film Festival of Extremadura
(Almendralejo, March 30th – April 3rd 2011)

The foundations of the Cineposible International Film Festival of Extremadura are deeply rooted in our will to make cinema possible in developing countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. These countries suffer a series of logistic, political and economic problems that make it a lot harder to use cinema as a means of social and artistic expression.

That is why we would like to reward the creativity and effort of film makers and organizations from those countries by allowing them to carry out a cinematographic or audiovisual project. Our Project Contest for Southern Countries supports the initiatives of those who move on to using cinema as a means to put in the picture, in the first person, their surrounding reality.

Hereby the call for audiovisual or cinematographic projects is officially launched. These projects
must come from developing countries from Africa, Asia or Latin America, and they must be directed to carrying out both documentary and fiction productions.

The fundamental goal behind this initiative is increasing the awareness of the western world towards different realities. Thus, following the festival’s motto (‘another world is possible’), we would like to cooperate with film projects that are able to freely portray their own situation by using a first person and subjective scope from the eyes of a creative film maker.

The guiding line of the fifth edition of the Cineposible International Film Festival of Extremadura has to do with the 2nd of the Millennium Goals that the United Nations agreed in September 2000. These goals conform the ideological core of this festival:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5.- Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
7.- Ensure environmental sustainability
8.- Develop a global partnership for development

Education provides us with a variety of opportunities in regards to the kind of life we want to live and enables us to express ourselves confidently in our personal relationships both within the community and at work. However, there are over 115 million children in the world who are unable to attend school, mostly girls.

Guaranteeing that girls have the same educational opportunities as boys is one of the most important and effective ways of fighting gender discrimination and promoting children’s rights. Everyone, male and female, has the right to education, regardless of their social or economic situation.

Enabling children to gain access to the intellectual and social advantages of a basic education ensures their rights are met and protected and greatly increases their life choices.

The Festival is committed to following and recommending the practice code that has been agreed upon by all Spanish QUANGOs. Yet, this commitment will always be within the boundaries of our limitations and without sacrificing the freedom of speech, freedom of thought and free artistic expression of the festival participants.

 The accepted audiovisual and cinematographic projects must have a social theme, thus depicting the political, economic, educational and cultural situation of these countries – as well as other aspects -. They should also stress the concepts of partnership for development, universal primary education and the Eight Millennium Goals.

 The plots of the projects will always have a critical perspective that leads to a deep consideration of the plot itself in an attempt to promote solidarity towards southern countries.

 Scripts must be related to any of the social problems that the Millennium Goals Agreement describes in its eight points. Goal 2 is paid special attention in this year’s edition: Achieve universal primary education.

 Submitted works may be filmed or produced in cooperation, preferably with other Southern Countries.

 Projects will be preferably written down in Spanish, although they will also be accepted if submitted in English and French.

 Participants may be either individuals or organizations whose headquarters are in any of the southern countries that are referred to in this contest. Participating organizations must be cooperators, associations, development foundations or employers in the above-mentioned countries.

 The projects must have a maximum running time of 30 minutes, although it can obviosuly be shorter. Those works include real fiction movie, animation film and documentary.

 It is mandatory to register the project at our website:

 After the online submission has been completed, the documents that will be required in the next section will be sent via mail to (in this case, the sworn certificates and the ID card must be scanned) or via courier messenger to the festival’s address:

Festival Internacional Cineposible
Ref. Project Contest
c/ Gil Cordero, 17, entreplanta
E-10001 Cáceres /SPAIN

 Each submitted project must enclose ONE COPY of the following:
1. Valid means of identification both for the director and for the person responsible for the
submission of the project.
2. The project must be original and inedited, that is to say, it must not have participated in other
editions, festivals, showcases, contests and it must not have been publicly shown elsewhere. Applicants need to include a sworn certificate that ratifies this (OFFICIAL FORM_1).
3. Applicants must include a sworn certificate that denies having received any other public or private funding, subvention or grant up to the date the contest finishes. After the Cineposible Award has been granted, directors can apply for any other private subvention, grant or funding, provided they inform the festival in advance (OFFICIAL FORM_2).

 Each submitted project must enclose THREE COPIES of the following:
1. Director’s CV and a brief film resume.
2. Storyline:
· Script summary
· Project presentation
· Literary Script*
· Technical Script*
· Storyboard*
3. Production Plan
· Itemised Script
· Shooting Plan
· Economic Feasibility Plan (Budget)
· Post production Plan
4. Distribution Plan
*In case of real fiction movie or animation film

 Winning works must include the words Cineposible Award 2011 (including the Festival logo) at the beginning of the film.

For a work to be accepted, the DVD/s must be received in the Festival’s head office by 2 o’clock p.m. on February 28th, 2011. NO WORK will be accepted if they arrive at the Festival’s head office later than the specified date (February 28th, 2011), not even if the postmark shows a previous date.

 The jury who will select the projects are all prestigious people in the industry; and they are appointed by the Direction Committee of the Festival.

 The Festival owns the exclusive right to premiere the project at the next edition of the festival (2012)

 Winners must hand in a BETACAM SP PAL, HDCAM or BETACAM DIGITAL PAL copy of the final work to the Festival Organizing Commission before 31/01/2012.

 Participation in this contest implies acceptance of these rules. Any question not anticipated in these rules will be solved by the Festival organization.

There will only be two awards:
Documental Posible Award
It includes €10.000 to carry out the winning project
Ficción Posible Award
It includes €10.000 to carry out the winning project

The winners commit to hand over 10% of the profit derived from festival prizes or rights transfer of the finished work to QUANGOS working on the area where the project was carried out.

Prizes are subject to the tax regulations of the Comunidad Autonoma de Extremadura and to any other tax regulation that is enacted at the time of cashing the award.

Once the winning projects have been announced, the organising board of the festival will provide 60% of the total award during the first three months after the resolution so that the winning projects may be started. The bearer of the award is obliged to start the pre-production process before the three-month span is over.

During the following six months, the festival will hand out 30% of the award. The winner must specify the starting date and the finishing date of the shooting, as well as submitting graphic reports about the development of the project.

Finally, the organising commission will provide the remaining 10% once the winners hand in a final copy of the finished project to the organising commission. This copy will remain in the hands of the festival organising commission. The format must BETACAM PAL (whether analogical or digital).

All the funds will be transferred to the bank account that the winner specifies.

Cineposible Internacional Film Festival
Phone: +34 927 248 248 - E.:

EMIA Exhibitors' Training

EMIA, which is an Export Marketing Incentive Fund administered by the Department of Trade and Industry, annually funds and coordinates National Pavilions (group stands) on almost all of the continents as specific trade exhibitions. In an effort to ensure that South African exporters exhibiting on these Pavilions are properly trained and skilled in attending international trade shows, EMIA is planning to host a National Pavilion Exhibitor Training Program in Cape Town.

This training is scheduled to take place from 24-25 February 2011.

the dti views this training as crucial for each firm applying / approved for participation on National Pavilions, and preference will be given to future EMIA applications from firms who attended this training.

The venue for the training is:

The Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency (Wesgro) 12th Floor, Warldorf Arcade
80 St George`s Mall
Cape Town

The main focus of the training would be exhibition training, but topics on marketing will also be included, as this forms an important part of a firm's preparation work to market itself during the event. Attached is a draft program with possible topics to be covered over the one and half days.

It would be highly appreciated if you could circulate this invitation to all your exporting / exhibiting members in KwaZulu-Natal who wish to take part in future National Pavilions / Exhibitions. The training is provided free of charge, but due to a limited amount of space only 50 attendees can be accommodated. Please rsvp by 30 January 2011 by return email to Ms Corné du Plessis ( and by confirming the following:

● Your firm’s name;
● Name and designation of your firm’s attendee;
● Contact details for your firm’s attendee.

You are also welcome to contact me should you require further information.

Kind regards

Corné du Plessis (Ms)
Deputy Director: EMIA Group Missions
Trade and Investment South Africa

Tel: +27 12 394 1020
Fax: +27 12 394 0114/7

Commercial Documentary Distribution and Finance for the International Market

The DFA in partnership with the Cape Film Commission in Cape Town and with The Bioscope in Johannesburg 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.

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 emailing your RSVP and your province (Western Cape) to by 11am Friday 11th February.

Date: 11the February
Venue: The Bioscope
Starting time: 10h00

15th February
Venue: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice, 198 Bree St, Cape Town
Starting time: 9:30 for 10am (Seminar will run until about 14h00 – lunch included)
Parking: Only 20 parking bays will be reserved for the conference as parking spaces are limited

IDC confirms for Joburg portion of DFA workshop

The IDC has just confirmed they will send someone to the DFA workshop on International Documentary Financing and Distribution for the Joburg leg only. This means the panel as it stands is as follows: DTI, IDC, SABC, Mzanzi, NHU and EMIA. The keynote speaker will be Bo Stehmeier from Off the Fence