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.

26 March 2011

Eye on Films Call for Entries

Created in January 2011, Eye on Films is a unique, global network of film professionals, which guarantees the circulation of a selection of first feature films in festivals partners in Europe and third countries, and the commercial exploitation of these films by distribution partners in Europe and third countries.

Regulations and Entry Form for submitting Films are available
Anybody can submit a film.

All films submitted must fulfill the Submission requirements detailed in the EoF Regulations.

Rights Holders (producers, sales agents...) must agree on the EoF Regulations and return the Entry form duly filled and signed, before applying.

We are looking for recent works (completed after Oct 31st, 2010) from first time directors, preferably never screened outside their country of origine.

Rights Holders should upload their Film on Cinando’s Online Screening Room ( and then notify by sending the Entry Form.

Find out more about submission requirements and guidelines here.

25 March 2011

Why Documentaries Matter

You lose count of the number of times you hear documentaries trashed. The argument is as old as the documentary, and it goes like this. Docs manipulate reality, over-relying on effects such as music. They aren't really journalistic at all. Maybe one should think of them as drama without actors, cheaply made and with few pretensions to seriousness. Shamelessly, they pander to our worst voyeuristic impulses. Under the guise of telling the truth, docs entertain us with lies.

It would be more accurate to say that documentaries are among the most valuable, neglected cultural forms of our time. They aren't all good, to be sure, but the best are unusual, persuasive, seductive. And their success has something to do with the way they are taken for granted, casually watched. Few old things have flourished in the cultural chaos of this century, but docs have steadily consolidated their hold on a small portion of the contemporary consciousness. Film stars want to make or sponsor them. Sometimes, if you squint hard enough, they really do seem like the new rock'n'roll.

Criticism of documentaries comes in waves. A few years ago, spotting fakery in docs was in vogue, though it seemed that most docs were scrupulously, often tediously, unfaked. Now the critics have latched on to the vulgarity of peak-time docs. Channel 4 has been slated for My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Was the series set up in some respects? Did it end by stereotyping Romanies under the guise of complaining about their stereotyping? The critics also complained about the superficiality of Niall Ferguson, whose Channel 4 series, Civilization, runs us through the west and its discontents.

But the most acrimonious debate surrounded the attempts of physicist, and heartthrob, Professor Brian Cox to explain the secrets of the universe in Wonders of the Universe. Master of the Queen's Music Sir Peter Maxwell Davies complained about the use of "Muzak" in the BBC2 series. "Viewers have not tuned in to listen to a musical performance," he declared.

To read the rest, visit The Guardian site.

24 March 2011

Cape Winelands Film Festival

RFK Film tours the former land of apartheid

The powerful and compelling 56-minute documentary feature film, RFK in the Land of Apartheid – A Ripple of Hope, will be screened in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg during April.

The film focuses on the courage of US Senator Robert Kennedy who journeyed into the troubled heart of South Africa at a time when the whole of the Western world remained silent in the face of unrelenting oppression.

Produced and directed by Larry Shore and directed by award winning US director Tammy Hope, the documentary was filmed on location in South Africa and in the USA. It features rare and hitherto unseen archive and audio material which are combined with highly emotionally charged interviews of those "who were there" to share this compelling and life changing experience.

The South African screenings are as follows:

* Sun 3rd April 2011 – KwaDukuza (Stanger) Town Hall KwaZulu-Natal at 14h00
* Tues 6th April 2011 – UCT Beatty Lecture Hall Cape Town – 19h00
* Sun 10th April 2011 – Wits Great Hall Johannesburg.

Read the rest here.

Going to Cannes? Register with the NFVF

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) will once again host a South African Pavilion at the Cannes International Film Festival. The festival takes place in France (Cannes) from the 11th until 22nd of May 2011.

The Cannes International Film festival has been recognised as the most prestigious film festival on the global calendar and the participation in it through exhibition or competition is considered a "must".

The NFVF on a yearly basis leads the SA delegation and facilitates the country's presence at the festival. Therefore all filmmakers and delegates attending Cannes are requested to register with the NFVF in order to be included in all South African activities.

To register your festival attendance with the NFVF email full details (full names, email address and mobile number) to Naomi Mokhele ( or Lerato Mokopanele (

Original article here.

Cutting Natural History

Cutting Natural History, as defined by the Editors of the ROSCAR Finalists.
Presented by the South African Guild of Editors (SAGE)

In this Q&A session, Editors will reveal the creative filmmaking and post-techniques used to help cement their projects as ROSCAR Finalists. They will divulge the latest information about post-production workflows as well as the changing deliverables requirements for natural history and animal programming. Plus they will give an insight into the endless ways of telling stories as well as their relationships with Producers and Writers in the cutting room. They may also let slip a few tricks of the trade along the way! (clips from these films will be shown and discussed by the Editor)

Matt Meech, Editor of "Echo: An Unforgettable Elephant" ROSCAR Nominee 2011 for Editing via SKYPE, live from Bristol, UK.
Darren Flaxstone, Editor of "Natures Great Events: The Great Tide" ROSCAR Nominee 2011 for Editing via SKYPE, live from Bristol, UK.
Ronet van der Walt, Editor of "Shark Night" ROSCAR Nominee 2011 for Editing
Elmien Fourie, Editor of "The Last Lioness" ROSCAR Nominee 2011 for African Filmmaker
Don Percival, Editor and Producer of "Karina, Wild on Safari" ROSCAR Nominee 2011 for Limited Budget
Brenda Spaan, Senior Editor of "Wildlife Podcast/Earth-Touch" ROSCAR Nominee 2011 for Alternative Broadcast

Chair: Susan Scott, SAGE
(Susan is a Full Member of SAGE. She has over 15-years experience cutting documentary and natural history.)


Art Moves Africa

This organisation funds travel for filmmakers, artists and cultural practitioners within Africa. Do explore further.

22 March 2011

Big Fish in Cape Town needs Tutors

Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking has come to Cape Town.

For their new campus they are looking for tutors to work full and half days.

Please send your cv and a cover letter to Lisa Mini on or Hein Ungerer on .

NFVF's Sediba International Financing Programme

The National Film & Video Foundation hereby invites Producers who work predominantly in the film and television arena to participate on the Sediba International Financing Programme for Producers 2011. Closing date for Submission is 01 April 2011.

This programme is geared at offering focused training in international financing packaging, sales and distribution and is delivered over 8 months comprising of 3 workshops with deliverables in-between.

Since its inception, the Programme has been deemed a success as true to its core objective, it provides the knowledge and skill on how to source international financing through co-production partnerships and other permutations in an effort to raising sufficient funds to make films of the highest quality. This is the ultimate solution in building sustainable production companies.

By drawing on the knowledge, training experience and educational resources offered by the UK's Film Business Academy, "the South African Programme no doubt has proved to be a prestigious, high quality and efficiently run event that truly defines the challenges local producers face in their quest to source and secure international financiers, sales and distribution agents for their locally produced products, says Clarence Hamilton Head of Production and Development.

At the end of the 8 months of an intensive yet highly informative and exciting programme, Producers are encouraged to apply to the London Production Film Market. This all expenses paid trip affords the selected Producers an opportunity to pitch their projects to international financiers, distributors and sales agents. In the past, four Producers have had successful meetings at this forum.

Further details to be found at the NFVF's web site.