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.

18 February 2011

Digital Workflows Workshop

The South African Guild of Editors presents the Digital Workflows Workshop in Johannesburg

SPEAKER: Tracey Williams (Director of Post-Production, Refinery)
WHAT: Digital Workflows / Getting a film onto the big screen in digital format or 35mm print
DATE: 08.03.2011
TIME: 19:00 – 21:00

Please note that this is a Johannesburg event

Cost: Students [R30,00] . SAGE members [R50,00] . Affiliates [R80,00] . R100,00 at the door

Banking details: ABSA Melville branch . South African Guild of Editors . Acc. # 4056302496

Please send proof of payment to

RSVP with your name & the workshop date to secure your place to

MIPTV For First Timers

Participation at MIP-TV in Cannes, France, (4-7 April 2011), the most important TV and content market in the world, is offering a special to persons who have never participated at MIP-TV or
MIPVCOM before, and who belong to an association, such as SASFED, IPO or DFA.

The Special Price is 675 € + VAT instead of 1 125 € + VAT regular price.
Please advise all your members of this great offer, which makes participation much more affordable.

Check it all out here.

Nazi 3D Films from 1936 Discovered

James Cameron and his team of minions may have produced the high watermark for 3D technology in the 21st century, but it seems the Nazis got there first. The Australian film-maker Philippe Mora says he has discovered two 30-minute 3D films shot by propagandists for the Third Reich in 1936, a full 16 years before the format first became briefly popular in the US.

The first of the films, titled So Real You Can Touch It, features shots of sizzling stereoscopic bratwursts on a barbecue while the second, named Six Girls Roll Into Weekend, features actors Mora believes were probably stars from Germany's top wartime studio, Universum Film.

"The quality of the films is fantastic," Mora told "The Nazis were obsessed with recording everything and every single image was controlled – it was all part of how they gained control of the country and its people."

Mora discovered the movies while doing research for a new documentary, entitled How the Third Reich was Recorded, which explores the way the Nazis used film to shape public opinion and manipulate the German people.

Read further here.

17 February 2011

Night Vision Returns to Cape Town

The Cape Town Festival’s (CTF) multi-dimensional street festival Night Vision is back by popular demand on Saturday, 12 March 2011 from 6pm till midnight at the newly revamped Cape Town Station Forecourt, extending festivities into Adderley Street between Strand Street and the fountain. The CTF, incorporating the One City, Many Cultures (1CMC) Project, is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

After a three-year break, Cape Town’s nocturnal urban street festival, Night Vision, is back with a bang, only this time bigger and better than ever before! Night Vision promises to dominate the city night life with a party-thumping arts and entertainment extravaganza. The event will lead up to a climax of explosive live on-stage performances by iconic bands such as High Voltage Collective featuring EJ Von LYRIK, Theba Shumba and D.form; 340ml; The Dirty Skirts and headline act, 2010 SAMA Award Winners, Big NUZ who will take the party well into midnight.

The evening programme launches at 6pm amid a vibrant carnival atmosphere complete with street parade, roving buskers, stilt-walkers, mimes, jugglers and loads of other amusement activities. This, juxtaposed with a bustling street market laden with exquisite arts, crafts, vintage collectables and organic market, will leave the whole family spoilt for choice. Food vendors catering to a variety of culinary preferences will provide quality catering service at the food court. Bar facilities will be dotted around the venue.

Powering up the Night Vision stage is High Voltage Collective. This dynamic Cape Town ensemble comprising EJ Von LYRIK, Teba Shumba and D.form blend their individual musical styles to put on a show of electrifying proportions.

A prolific and dynamic songwriter, music producer and performer, the vivacious EJ von LYRIK hails from Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats and is known for her inspiring and uplifting lyrics fragranced with positive messages. She has been writing and performing her own material since 1997, with a distinct interest in music production. Her music is an eclectic mix of funk, rock, dancehall, hip hop and roots reggae. EJ feels “the reason for this cross-over of musical genres is to reach out to a more diverse audience because the music is message-orientated”. She has performed on various international stages as well as collaborated with some hefty names in the music industry. A former member of the legendary female hip hop group Godessa, EJ has traversed the globe with performances in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Norway, Cuba, USA, UK, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Her confident energy, thought provoking lyrics and stirring melodies backed by a solid group of musicians, will be sure to captivate the Night Vision audience.

Teba Shumba is a ragga muffin artist born and raised in Gugulethu, Cape Town, and whose love for the arts started in community theatre. His music career started with the Kwaito band Skeem who were the proud recipients of the FNB Sama Award for ‘Best Township Pop’ for their debut hit song Waar Was Jy? in 1997. Since the release of his debut soul-afro-reggae-dancehall album 20-5-2-1 Manifesto in 2004, Teba performed at the 2005 Wurzburg Afrika Festival in Germany, sharing the stage with Julian Marley. He also performed at the 2006 Rototom in Italy alongside acclaimed artists like Andrew Tosh, Third World, Alpha Blond and Burning Spear. His dedication and perseverance has allowed him to travel to countries like France, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, Solomon Islands, Finland, and closer to home - Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho. Championing the cause of the voiceless, Teba’s music deals with social justice, universal love and songs of inspiration. His performance is nothing short of exhilarating and massive.

The third party to High Voltage Collective is none other than D.form, a product of a family of eccentric entertainers raised on a strict diet of jazz, soul, funk, reggae, disco and goema. It is therefore no surprise that his passion for the arts was unleashed at the young age of 10 when he joined his first b.boy/break-dance crew and at age 15 was part of his first rap group. He entered many talent shows as a rapper and dancer and went on to join the African Hip Hop Movement in 1988. He formed one of the first graffiti crews in Cape Town known as the Bomb-Crazy Crew and found himself involved with many conscious organisations in the hip hop community involved with acting and speaking out against the crimes and injustice of the Apartheid regime. By starting one of Cape Town’s first monthly hip hop nights known as ‘geto3000’, D.form has been instrumental in bringing together rappers, deejays, b.boys and graffiti artists – the basic four elements of hip hop culture under one roof.

The programme then makes way for the hip hop, African and fusion outfit 340ml, a name taken from the ubiquitous measurement on beverage cans. The Mozambican dub-jazz foursome comprising of Pedro da Silva Pinto on vocals, Paulo Chibanga on drums, Rui Soeiro on bass and Tiago Paulo on guitar, displays an organic musical influence that is unquestionably Latin music subtly laced with traditional Mozambican folk music (Marrabenta), synonymous with the sounds of marimba and the acoustic guitar. Their unique musical style incorporates Dub, Jazz, Ska, Afro-jazz and Reggae. Their debut album Moving was released in 2004 to rave reviews and what follows was nothing short of mass airplay on national radio and television across South Africa. Four years later they released their second album Sorry for the Delay. Apart from South Africa and Mozambique, 340ml has performed in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Reunion Island, England and France. Their music has been described by leading South African journalists as “an elaborate musical cocktail”, and certainly one that will go down especially well at this sizzling-hot show.

The fiendishly independent alt-indie-rock band The Dirty Skirts is based in Cape Town and is made up of Jess de Tolly on lead vocals and guitar, David Moffatt on guitar, Passion Paliaga on bass and Markie de Menezes on drums. Their sound has segued from rock electro to alt pop, and is steeped in an alternative rock tradition stretching back some forty odd years - think David Bowie, John Lennon, Talking Heads and The Cure. The band has toured the USA, UK, and the United Emirates. In South Africa they have shared festival stages with Oasis, Snow Patrol, Panic at the Disco, and Evanescence. They have independently recorded and released their eponymous debut mini-album in 2005. Singles such as Feeling the Pressure and Set Me Alight scorched up the local and student charts. The album Daddy Don’t Disco was released in June 2008 and enjoyed four radio play-listed singles. Daddy Don't Disco was nominated in the ‘Best Rock Album’ category at the SAMA’s. Winners of the inaugural Red Bull Soundclash, this quirky group will be sure to live up to their reputation of captivating live audiences.

Night Vision will draw to a monumental close with the headline act, 2010 SAMA Award-winning kwaito group, Big NUZ featuring Jojo aka Mampintsha, Mzi aka Danger and Sbu aka R Mashesha. Big because they are doing big things in the music world and NUZ being the vehicle registration prefix for the township of Umlazi next to Durban, from where the trio hails. The group was formed in 2002 when they moved from Durban to Jo’burg to hustle for a record deal. But years of perseverance ultimately paid off. In 2006 they released their debut album Zozo under Gallo Records working with the late Kid Mokoena from Why Not Entertainment. The rest is history. The trio, riding on the strength of its smash hit album, Umlilo, swept three awards – ‘Best Album of the Year’, ‘Best Kwaito Album’ and the prestigious ‘MTN Record of the Year’ - an accolade for which they were congratulated by President Jacob Zuma. The group also shared the stage with international acts including Rick Ross, T Pain and 2Face at the 2010 MTV African Music Awards and came home with ‘Best Performance Award’. They were also nominated in the category ‘Best Anglophone’. They have performed at a host of prestigious events including Mandela Day and the opening ceremony of the 2010 Soccer World Cup televised to millions of people the world over.

Night Vision is Cape Town’s premier free-to-the-public street festival, originally held on Long Street in the CBD and known for attracting over 30 000 reveling party-goers consisting of both locals and tourists. “With the jam-packed line-up on this year’s entertainment bill, we expect to host our largest audience yet,” said Cape Town Festival Founder and Executive Chairperson, Ryland Fisher, “we are happy to have secured the Cape Town Station Forecourt as the new home of the annual Night Vision in a bid to maximise the infrastructure legacies left behind by the 2010 Soccer World Cup,” he added.

Parking, public transport, road closures, etc. are among those logistical considerations that will be confirmed within the next week.

Night Vision forms part of the CTF’s year-long programme of events which also includes a 1CMC Discussion; Community Youth Workshop Programmes; Senior Citizens Day; Leadership Forum; Multimedia Exhibition; and Community Festivals. These interventions are strategically designed to engage publics at social, educational, business and creative level in the broader Cape Town society to showcase “a united city celebrated for its diversity and liveability.”

The 12th annual CTF kicks off on Friday, 18 March 2011 and culminates in the Human Rights Day celebrations on Monday, 21 March at the Company’s Garden in the CBD between 12pm and 8pm daily.

For more information, visit or email

16 February 2011

Documentary Film Screenings

The Film Club will once again be starting its once a month documentary film screenings, starting on the last Saturday of every month, 26th February 2011. The documentary screenings will take place at the same venue, Western Cape College of Nursing, Klipfontein Rd, Surrey Estate (opp. Saartjie Baartman Centre), Cape Town. Time: 8:00pm. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome and entrance is free as this is for educational purposes only. DVDs will be on sale.

Documentary to be screened: "The Shock Doctrine", based on author and social activist, Naomi Klein's book. It deals with how governments and corporations use economic crises to shock and exploit third world countries and the vulnerable, the ordinary citizen being the loser, while corporations rake in trillions. This documentary film deals with many of the issues and problems that beset our country.

Please spread the word.

Forward to the struggle against exploitation.

Fahrie Hassan
072 481 8835

14 February 2011

SAFTAs Will Not be Live in 2011

The 5th South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) will not be screened live this year.
SABC2, the established broadcaster since the awards’ inception, has decided against showing them.

At a time when the small screen is flooded with prestigious international award ceremonies, from the Golden Globes to the Screen Actors Guild Awards to the British Academy Film Awards, it is tragic that South Africa’s only awards ceremony that celebrates the television and film industry will only get exposure in print publications and on websites.

The Saftas, hosted by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), will be held at Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams at Melrose Arch on February 20 (non-fiction segment) and February 27 (fiction categories).

SABC2 publicity manager Zandile Nkonyeni explained: “It is nothing more than a business decision based on our financial restraints.”

Would the SABC2 consider screening the Saftas at a later stage?

“It could be possible that we might licence it to be screened – but, right now, I can’t confirm that.”

Azania Muendane, the NFVF’s head of marketing and public affairs, said the lack of a broadcaster would not put a dampener on the Saftas.

Having been unfruitful in securing a broadcaster since last year, she added: “We (NFVF) have been in discussion with all broadcasters; and M-Net said they were happy to support the SABC broadcast because it is a public broadcaster.

“Unfortunately the SABC were unable to commit to broadcasting. Considering the challenges the broadcaster faced in the past year, we can understand why the event will not have a live broadcast.

“We are spending almost the same amount of money on production as if it is for broadcast, therefore the quality of the show is maintained.”

In a nutshell, the event will be filmed… but by the NFVF.

Muendane continued: “The Saftas committee is comfortable with the fact that the focus is now on the awards rather than a television show.

“It would have been good, though, that the public had access to the event that recognises what South Africa has to offer in terms of film and TV talent.”

As for the two award ceremonies, she said: “We do not anticipate any stumbling blocks. The production team led by Clive Morris, the Madame Zingara production team and our stuff are working very hard to deliver a world-class event.”

Soldiering on despite the media’s slating of the nomination list and the previous year’s poor attendance, let’s hope the NFVF and the Saftas will this year find some redemption from the stinging criticism.

Read the original article here.

Master Classes at the Cape Winelands Film Festival

Please click on the image to view the details:

(Per)Versions of Love

International documentary films “about love” available from 14 to 20 February for free at

As part of the online film display about various (per)versions of love, the portal presents 10 films for free. One of the most successful Danish films from the past years, Mechanical Love, deals with the strong emotional bond between people and robots. Blind Loves by Juraj Lehotský is a fragile parable about most intimate emotions and feelings of blind people; the film was awarded at the Cannes film festival. By means of amateur family films, the powerful story of Josef and Marie is told on the backdrop of turbulent historical events in Czechoslovakia in the film With Kisses from Your Love, a part of the successful cycle Private Century by Jan Šikl. Perverted forms of love between people and their pets are captured in the provocative and brutal stage-managed documentary Animal Love by Ulrich Seidl. More at

The portal offers an all-year selection of more than 500 documentary and experimental films for streaming and download. By means of a free registration, you can enjoy a number of benefits, such as the unique chance of watching 10 films of your choice for 3 Euro only, or the possibility to charge your credit and download films without any other payment transactions until the exhaustion of the credit. Another novelty is the possibility to pay the fees by means of the PayPal payment system or the function allowing you to send any of the films as a personal gift.

The Mother Baby Film Festival

In celebration of Pregnancy Awareness Week there will be a small film festival called the MotherBaby International Film Festival at Labia on Orange in Cape Town. This is a film festival that travels the world, showing films about pregnancy, birth and babies.

In South Africa, we have one of the highest caesarean rates in the world (on average 70% in private hospitals). Women are realising that in a hospital environment their options and freedom to give birth as they wish, are often limited through hospital routine protocol and intervention.

With this festival we hope to explore the various birthing options available. Each evening there will be a film related to a particular birthing option/topic and a speaker. The themes are: Midwifery, Doulas, Birth and Breastfeeding/The First Year of Life.

There will be opportunity for discussion, questions and to meet people in each field.

For more on the films at the festival, see the programme on the web site.

Venue: Labia on Orange
Date: 14-17 February 2011
Time: 6:15 pm
Price: R35 per person
Contact: Ruth or 078 557 9070

Discontent over SABC Content

Don't fret if you miss the soap opera Generations on SABC 1 at 8pm -- you can still watch it at 9am, the following day.

If you miss it then, you can watch the same programme on SABC 3 at 10am. If you unable to watch it, there's no need to despair, for come Saturday, SABC 1 will show every single episode shown that week from 10am until noon.

Cross-channel collaboration seems to have been upped to get SABC's flagship programmes as much exposure as possible. So a programme, say Isidingo, that is shown on SABC 3 is also likely to be shown as a repeat on SABC 1.

This recycling isn't just short term. The corporation's commissioning editors (part of the SABC's consolidated content hub) have gone into the SABC's vaults, feather dusters in hand, bringing out programmes first shown in the 1990s. Lesilo Rula and Skwizas are some of the programmes getting a second lease of life on the screen.

When they are not serving the usual helpings of violence (Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal are favourites), then it's inane comedies by Leon Schuster and the other usual suspects. But it's not always bad. Once in while one of the channels will show a really good film. But such auspicious moments are always spoilt by their ill-considered timing.

On Monday, for instance, SABC 3 showed a classic by Pedro Almodovar -- High Heels -- at 11.15pm! An exasperated viewer wrote on TVSA, a television industry portal, that "SABC 3 keeps repeating Top Billing adverts. I don't know how many times I've seen clips of Jamali, Prime Circle, Meyerstate, Celine Dion with that old French man …"

The saga
A scriptwriter, who follows local television closely, said that apart from Intersexions (an edgy and compelling sex show on SABC 1), there had not been any new exciting programmes made. "What they show is a lot of old shows from the 1980s."

The content saga at the SABC, described by some as "a content collapse", is linked to the problems that have plagued the SABC for years. Its signifier is that the corporation's chief executives always seem to be in the out tray.

As the SABC battles to retain audiences appalled by repeats and poor programming, and eagerly subscribing to satellite television, it has become difficult to distinguish it from private players like

Rehad Desai, a filmmaker and Independent Producers' Organisation board member, said the SABC should not be in competition with, screening programmes about wrestling, dancing and becoming millionaires. "This has nothing to do with enhancing [the lives of] citizens of South Africa -- that should be left to the commercial sector."

He said private radio stations, especially 702, Kaya and Highveld, had taken over the role that the SABC should be playing. "The role of the SABC is to get the nation in conversation with itself." Desai said the panicky approach of the SABC seemed to be driven by the question, "How do we stop losing our audience?" and the short answer is, "Let's imitate them [commercial stations]."

Tawana Kupe, Wits University's dean of humanities and journalism professor, said the scripting and storytelling template in use at the SABC was founded on the Hollywood formula. "Can't we tell our stories differently? African stories are being told via other people's stories," Kupe said.

'Dumbing down of content'
Muvhango, a soap opera on SABC 2, used to be diverse in its presentation and context, but it now felt as though it was set in Johannesburg. The evolution of Muvhango from its Venda-specific context into a culturally neutered programme was just one instance of the dumbing down of content at the SABC Kupe said this defeated the whole purpose of having a programme in Tshivenda.

Visit the Mail and Guardian site to read the rest.