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.

17 March 2011

Making Sound Editng Decisions

:: Andrew Spitz (Sound Designer)
:: Making sound editing decisions / The picture editor & sound designer relationship, editing choices that impact the sound design, deliverables for sound
:: 05.04.11 . 19:00 – 21:00
:: Venue . AFDA Joburg / 41 Frost Ave., Auckland Park

:: Cost . Students [R30,00] . SAGE members [R50,00] . Affiliates [R80,00] . R100,00 at the door
:: RSVP to to secure your place

:: Banking details . ABSA Melville branch . South African Guild of Editors . Acc. # 4056302496 . Use your name & the workshop date as your reference, e.g. M. Parry 05/04

16 March 2011

DoC Told to Fix their Strategic Plan

Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications has sent the Department of Communications (DoC) back to the drawing board after the strategic plan for the new financial year it presented at the weekend left more questions than answers.

Eric Kholwane, the chairman of the committee, said although the medium-term strategy created the impression of a department on the mend, it lacked depth and information in certain areas such as the filling of top posts and market analysis. He said the department was expected to re-table its plan next month.

Wracked by in-fighting and a public spat between its former director-general Mamodupi Mohlala and and then-minister Siphiwe Nyanda, including backlogs on critical projects and policies, the department was considered to be teetering on the edge.

A cabinet re-shuffle late last year ushered in a new minister, Roy Padayachie, widely hailed by the local communications industry and considered to be the messiah the sector needed.

The 2011-2014 strategy centred on eight goals supported by 18 objectives to be achieved over three years. The strategy included intentions for creating jobs, fast-tracking of policies such as an information and communications technology (ICT) policy framework, enactment of the SA Post Office Bill and monitoring of the Postbank Act to corporatise Postbank, the digitisation of broadcasting and reviewing the articles of association of state-owned enterprises under its watch – such as the SABC, Sentech and Telkom. A national broadband plan and better partnerships with the private sector, labour and academia are also targeted.

“We want a strategy which will zoom broader into the ICT industry. They must be able to say how much this plan will contribute to gross domestic product (GDP) if implemented. It’s like throwing a stone into the sea,” Kholwane said.

He said missing from Padayachie’s plan was an indication of who would implement the strategy as the director-general post had been vacant since Mohlala, now the consumer commissioner, left last year. Harold Wesso was still acting in the position.

Tiyani Rikhotso, the spokesman for the department, said applications for the post closed on February 11.

There were also several deputy director-general vacancies. The committee also took issue with the lack of a talent retention strategy, a succession plan, market analysis and a risk mitigation strategy.

“This industry is full of risk. There are technology changes. We want to know how they will absorb risk.

“We can see there is work which is going on. When they came last time there was no stability within the department. We are reasonably comfortable that they are trying to pull together the department,” Kholwane said. - Asha Speckman

Original article here.

15 March 2011


Notice of Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Independent Producers’ Organisation will take place on Tuesday 5th April 2011 at 2:30pm to 6:30pm at a venue to be confirmed in Johannesburg and at Film Afrika, 2 Avalon 2nd Floor, 123 Hope Street, Gardens, Cape Town.

Items on the agenda will include reports from the Chairpersons, the Treasurer and Convenors of Sub-Committees, as well as the election of Executive Committee members for 2011.

Only eligible, fully paid up members of good standing will be allowed to vote.

Every member entitled to attend and vote at the meeting is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote on his behalf. A proxy need not be a member of the company.

To be valid, the form of proxy must be faxed or emailed to the Administrator of the IPO not less than 48 hours before the time of the meeting.

Completion of the proxy does not preclude a member from subsequently attending and voting at the meeting in person.

An agenda, proxy forms, a call for nominations and any other relevant documents will be communicated to Members 14 days in advance of the meeting.


Yours sincerely,
Dionne Cronin
Tel 083 600 9554
Fax 086 541 8708

Why Poverty? Call for Short Films

Steps International is commissioning thirty short films as part of the global
documentary series Why Poverty?

We are looking for films from all over the world that give us insight into what people
are doing to get out of poverty, and films that engage a wide range of audiences
encouraging debate.

The films need to be high concept, innovative and provocative. The stories should give a fresh perspective on poverty, not be predictable or simply depict the woes of the world.

LENGTH: There are three lengths for the short films.
1 to 2 minutes – 10 films
Inventive, viral films for use on the internet and mobile platforms
7 to 10 minutes – 10 films
Films that challenge perceptions of poverty and its representation
15 to 20 minutes – 10 films
Films that tackle solutions to poverty and create understanding

BUDGET: Financing will be considered according to proposal and treatment. Budgets will be assessed film by film, up a maximum of: €6,000 for the viral shorts, €20,000 for the 10 minute shorts, and €40,000 for the 20 minute shorts.

FORMAT: preferred shooting and production format is HD. Other formats may be accepted according to availability of equipment and facilities.

RIGHTS: All rights will be held by Steps International for use on multiple platforms. Filmmakers will have non-exclusive access to the completed production.

TIMELINE: Submissions from 25 March - 1 June 2011. Production from July 2011 to April 2012.

SUBMISSIONS: Proposals should be in English and include a ten line synopsis, a full treatment, filmmaker and production company biography, budget, and schedule. A link to viewing material should be included in the proposal.

Submissions to be sent via under short films.

GLOBAL BROADCAST: Why Poverty will be broadcast globally at the end of November 2012, and includes 8 long films, 30 short films, radio, print and online media.

GUIDELINES: For thematic guidelines please refer to

Mediatech Africa 2011

Africa's largest advanced technology trade exhibition takes place in July 2011

Mediatech Africa boasted over 6,700 visitors at its previous show, making it Africa's largest advanced technology trade exhibition. The biannual hub for all serious industry players takes place at the Coca-Cola dome in Northgate, Johannesburg, from 20 July to 22 July 2011.

“These sectors have already seen fundamental shifts in recent years and the future is likely to hold additional challenges”, says Simon Robinson, Mediatech Africa Exhibition Director. “That is why it is critical for serious industry players to remain abreast of change. Mediatech Africa enables them to do so, providing a centralised point to view and experience the latest products and technologies.”

Following the success of previous years, the biennial trade exhibition will again showcase the broadcast, film and production; professional AV, sound, lighting, staging and rigging; DJ and professional music equipment; system integration; animation, new media and web; satellite and signal; computer music and production tools; and musical instrument sectors.

In 2011 the trade exhibition will include a diverse programme including live demonstrations, workshops and – for the first time – a business matchmaking programme. Visitors will be able to pre-register and be matched to relevant exhibitors. Meetings will then be facilitated between interested parties, allowing exhibitors to engage with visitors on a more personal level.

“Previous exhibitions have illustrated that exhibitors experience increased product sales as a direct result of Mediatech Africa. This year we have decided to support this process to an even greater extent by implementing the business matchmaking programme,” says Robinson.

Mediatech Africa allows exhibitors to reach a broad range of buyers and interested parties, with the last trade exhibition attracting visitors of a high quality – over 50% of whom had authority to purchase. In total, Mediatech Africa 2009 attracted 6 779 visitors, an increase of 2 609 from 2007. Visitors came from around the world, with a total of 183 foreign visitors, predominantly from Sub Saharan Africa. 62.4% of these visitors operated in the broadcast, film and production industry; 44.3% were from the pro AV, sound, lighting, staging and rigging sector and 36.9% were from the computer music and production tools industry.

“We usually see a good spread of visitors from across industries and varying levels of seniority. The proactive and strategic marketing of the expo, its exhilarating atmosphere and clear structure of the exhibition makes it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for. These factors, coupled with excellent exhibitors, are what make Mediatech Africa such a successful trade exhibition,” adds Robinson.

Launched by Thebe Exhibitions and Projects Group in 2001, Mediatech Africa takes place every two years and has grown in status, size and reach to become the largest and most prestigious event of its kind in Africa.

With only a few months until Mediatech Africa 2011, companies wanting to take advantage of the exhibition's reach should contact Claire on

For further information contact Simon Robinson: Tel (011) 549 8300, email or visit

Issued by ITP Communications on behalf of Mediatech Africa. For further information or images please contact Leigh Angelo or Rae Thompson Tel: (011) 869 9153; Cell: 082 954 7833; Email:

New Wave of Change Promised by DoC

The South African Department of Communications released their 2011-2014 strategic plan, including a turnaround strategy and the promise of “a new wave of change”

South Africa's Department of Communications (DoC) emphasised in a press statement today some of the key points of its 2011-2014 strategic plan.

“The Medium Term Strategy comprises of eight Strategic Goals supported by eighteen Strategic Objectives, which are to be realized through the achievement of numerous 3-year targets,” the DoC said in the statement.

According to the DoC the strategic plan is further characterized by what is termed “a new wave of change.”

They explained that this means that the Department has committed to working faster, harder and smarter as per President Zuma's call.

The DoC outlined six key pillars of the turnaround strategy for the department of communication and its portfolio organisations:
To stabilise the public entities within the Portfolio;
The reconstruction and development of the Department of Communications;
Forging partnerships with the private sector, academia, civil society organisations and labour
Building an Integrated National Broadband Plan;
Building a people centred inclusive Information Society and Knowledge-Based Economy; and,
Major Projects: E-skills institute, ICTs and rural development, corporatisation of the Postbank, e-Connectivity and 2010 legacy, local and digital content development strategy, and international relations

The DoC said that the abovementioned six pillars are intended to establish a new platform, creating the necessary wave of change that will lead the Ministry and Department to actualize the vision that the DoC has set for itself of being ”A Global Leader in the Development and use of ICTs for socio-economic development and the betterment of people’s lives”.

“In its efforts to contribute to creating conditions for an accelerated and shared growth of the South African economy through the development and implementation of ICT policies, legislation and strategies that positively impact on the well-being of all our people, the Department will ensure the approval of Integrated ICT Policy framework, enact the SAPO Bill into Law and introduce the Public Service Broadcasting bill to Parliament,” the DoC statement said.
The department will also prioritise the monitoring of the implementation of the Postbank Act so as to ensure increased access to financial services by the previously unbanked.

Other areas the department said they would focus on were:
The implementation of an ICT rural development strategy to improve socio-economic conditions in targeted communities. This is “in order to contribute to conditions for an accelerated and shared growth of South African economy,” the DoC said.

To facilitate the roll-out of 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Plan so as to ensure the optimal utilization of all world cup related ICT infrastructure.

Facilitate and monitor the DTT Infrastructure roll-out so as to cover cover 80% of the population by end of the 2011/12 financial year.

Ensure a secure cyber environment by developing and implementing a Cyber Security Policy.

Broadcasting digital migration
According to the statement the implementation of the Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) Policy, which focuses on various elements that are critical to the successful migration of digital broadcasting, is a key priority for the DoC.

Such elements include the Cabinet approval for the Scheme for Ownership Support (SOS) roll out plan, the STB Manufacturing Sector Development Strategy as well as the local and digital content development strategy, the DoC said.

Universal access, ICT skills development
The department will also focus on increasing universal access and services to ICTs through coming up with measures to improve spectrum usage in accordance with the National Radio Spectrum policy and taking into consideration the outcome of 2010/11 validation.

In efforts to contribute to increasing the ICT skills base in South Africa and increase access to, and uptake and usage of ICTs, the department said it will, amongst others things, implement an e-literacy training programme for youth offenders as well as increase ICT skills via network of Universities, FET colleges and Cooperate schools through initiatives undertaken by the e-Skills Institute.

“The DoC is committed and looking forward to addressing the challenges that lie ahead and deliver an intensive turnaround strategy for the Department and its portfolio organizations through the implementation of its 2011-2014 Strategic Plan,” the statement concluded.

Original article here.

Screening of Finalists in ROSCAR Wild Life Film Award

These international and local wildlife films are finalists in the ROSCAR Award film competition which attracted 267 entries from 22 countries across the globe. From Australia to India, Czechoslovakia to France, Germany to Zimbabwe, UK to South Africa, and many more countries which are producing breathtaking wildlife programmes.

The films were entered into the various 15 ROSCAR Award categories which included amongst others; Best Cinematography, Best Environmental Production, Best Presenter, Best Expedition/Adventure and Best African Filmmaker Award. They were then judged by well-known professionals in the wildlife filmmaking industry, from international broadcasters to some of the most experienced filmmakers.

Finalist films include BBC's Nature's Great Event: The Great Tide, Echo: An Unforgettable Elephant by Mike Birkhead Associates, Peace for Seals produced by Dvanact Opic Ltd, Off the Fence's Shark Night, and an Alvaro Mendoza Film, Gaia's Choice to name a few.

To read the rest of this article, click here.

To view the Labia programme for the films, click here.

eKasi Call for Scripts

Read the selection criteria here.

SABC's Fuzzy Fiscal Picture

Revenue growth of 10%/year is forecast. This follows the SABC’s disastrous performance in 2008/2009 when it lost R1bn. A government guarantee allowed the broadcaster to borrow R1bn from financial institutions, for which repayments become due in January 2012

Robin Nicholson, the acting group CE of the SABC, has forecast a financial turnaround for the broadcaster which will return it to profit next year.

In the estimates of national expenditure, published in last week’s budget, national treasury shares his optimism. After another R348m loss for this year, the SABC expects to return to profit and to grow earnings over the next three years (see table).

Revenue growth of 10%/year is forecast. This follows the SABC’s disastrous performance in 2008/2009 when it lost R1bn. A government guarantee allowed the broadcaster to borrow R1bn from financial institutions, for which repayments become due in January 2012.

But how secure is the turnaround?
Several problems stand out. The main one is the impending conversion to digital broadcasting by 2013. Though the biggest cost is with the signal distributor Sentech, for the broadcaster this carries many implications. New skills and technology will be required as well as much more programming. Digital broadcasting allows for more viewing channels. As well as a 24-hour news channel and sports channel, it is expected that the SABC will operate between eight and 12 channels.

In this year’s budget, the SABC received no additional funding for digital television, despite its request. The estimates assume that the introduction of digital television will be a profitable exercise, hence the strong revenue growth. In many countries , this has been the case, but almost all broadcasters have used the opportunity to extend their services.

Without additional resources from treasury to produce a quality 24-hour news offering or compete in the purchase of sports rights, the SABC is likely to find itself under huge pressure just as the first loan repayment falls due early next year .

Nicholson says he hopes for more funding in the next medium-term expenditure cycle — 2012/2013 — to give the broadcaster enough time to prepare for digital migration.

The shortage of good content has, since 2005, put SABC’s television market share under pressure from and DStv. For 2010, the SABC had targeted a 64% market share but achieved only 59%.

The lack of investment in content is also a big concern of independent television producers, who say that despite its recovery, the SABC is still holding back on commissioning new programming. A fresh request for proposals, which was scheduled to appear in December, has not yet materialised. And, budgets for the small number of productions already commissioned are being negotiated downwards, they say.

SA Screen Federation chair Feizel Mamdoo says the federation doubts the SABC is commissioning enough material to meet its needs or doing it efficiently , as the slashing of budgets has stalled many productions.

The real cost-saving measure that needs to be taken, everyone agrees, is in the reduction of the SABC’s bloated management echelons. The interim SABC board, which took over at the height of the crisis, before the current board was put in place, estimated that as many as 1000 managers needed to go.

Trade union representative for the Media Workers Association of SA (Mwasa) Tuwani Gumani says the SABC needs to get on top of the “runaway madness and rampant employment that took place in the days when there was no correlation between jobs and vacancies”.

Since December, Nicholson has cut nine GMs out of operations and projects total savings, when restructuring is completed, of R22m/year on the wage bill.

However, he says, it’s not possible to easily put a number on how many should go. Digital television will make some jobs redundant, leading to early retirement, and create others that need to be filled. Negotiations with trade unions are on- going, he says.

Original article here.