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.

30 April 2011

Italian Looking for Intern Placement in South Africa

Franco Consales
Director and videomaker
T: +39 328 4188963
Address and references available upon request

Shooting producer director with experience of producing long and short social video

Director of Videostories / Italy / 2010 to present. Planning, writing, shooting, editing,
directing, selling touristic and promotional short videos.

Director “Karamoja cocktail” / Uganda and Italy / Ombre nel Mondo Production / 2009 – 2011. Anthropological, economic and social documentary research within a tribe that is
doomed to live with daily food from the Woof Food Programme.

Specialist in Digital Video / United Nation Volunteer, Ministry of Education Botswana / 2009 - 2010. Assisted lecturers and students of Multimedia course. Gave technical support on creation of videos (how to write a script, how to make shootings, how to edit).

Director “Video to raise awareness of recycling for pupils in primary and secondary schools” / Italy / 2009 / Ato Production. A docufiction for children about theme of the differentiation of the waste.

Camera Operator “The Trap / Italy / 2009. The documentary is a testimony of the tragic
story of political refugees: Refugees claim that their rights are recognized.

Director “Indifferenza” / Italy / 2008. Waste and illegal dumps. Creative history of the
fascinating world of waste and landfill.

Director “A school of hospitality: the certainty of your future” / Italy / 2007. Video /
creative promotional documentary for the revival of the Institute. Interviews with teachers
and students, took the life of the highlights of the institute

Director “Everything for passion” / Italy / 2007. What and who is behind a procession so
old? and why so many young people are involved? The faces and stories of those who
annually organizes the most important event in the city.

Co-director “Mifugo ni Mali” (Herd is richness) / Tanzania and Italy / 2006. A leader tells Maasai rituals, traditions, social and political organization of a Tanzanian Maasai tribe.

Director “Burmese smiles” / Myanmar and Italy / 2005. It is the story of a wonderful trip in one of the most beautiful countries in the world with one of the most ruthless dictatorships.

Co-director “The handbook of the young zombie” / Italy / 2004. Before, during and after long months of coma.

Postgraduate Master Degree in Multimedia Publishing and Digital Communication - Polytechnic of Milan, 2000 - 2001, Milan (Italy)
Bachelor Degree in Communication Science - University of Salerno, 1993 - 1999
Scholarships: Erasmus Programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of
University Students) in the University of Salamanca, 1996 – 1997

Course in Documentary Film Production at Civic School of Milan “Milan Cinema
Television”, 2004

Workshop in documentary direction, Organized by Association GriĆ². Master class with
Enrica Colusso, teacher of cinema and documentary production and director of
documentaries, Bologna, Italy, 28/29 november 2008

Seminar “Production of creative documentary”, Organized by Holden School of Turin
and Documentary in Europe,Turin, Italy, 2007.

Fluent English and Spanish. Italian Mother Tongue.

Video journalism / documentary making: Reporting, Researching, Interviewing, Shooting
(Camera operator), Editing, Making final dvd

Web and graphic designing: Designing layout for web sites, Designing logos, Designing of
brochures and posters, Customozing of CMS (Joomla), Using of My Sql server,
myPhPAdmin, Creating animations with Adobe Flash

Software: Ms Word, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Flash, After Effects,
Final Cut, Sound Trackpro, DVD Studio Pro.

Canadian Documentary Filmmakers Under Threat

For every Michael Moore or Morgan Spurlock out there, there is a Michael Ostroff. Or a legion of Ostroffs, really, trying to make Canadian documentaries.

“I haven’t had a day’s work since I finished Winds of Heaven in January, last year. Not in film,” Ostroff, 60, said in Vancouver last week, where he was screening his Emily Carr documentary.

“For me, it’s a catastrophe. It’s a crisis, absolutely.”

Winds of Heaven, with an $860,000 budget, had its broadcast premiere on Bravo! in January – the Ottawa-based filmmaker’s fourth documentary to run on the channel over the last decade. But a year ago, when he tried to pitch a follow-up project, he was told that Bravo! was not accepting documentary proposals.

The current climate is what the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) calls a “perfect storm” for its sector. Along with the changes at Bravo!, there was the cancellation of The Lens by CBC in 2009 (which presented 63 original Canadian documentaries in three-and-a-half years) and a reduction in so-called one-off documentary programming elsewhere. There’s also been the recession, the disappearance of the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, new requirements for Canada Media Fund financing and so-called genre creep – where reality TV has been classified as documentary.

“Our community’s under threat,” says Lisa Fitzgibbons, executive director of the DOC. “We are seeing a dramatic decline in the production volume.”

According to the DOC, English documentary production in Canada has fallen below 2000-01 levels, and some 2,000 direct and indirect jobs have disappeared over the last five years.

At the same time, documentary festivals such as Hot Docs, which opens on Thursday in Toronto, and Vancouver’s DOXA, which opens next week, are growing.

Read further here.

Sony Plant Shutdown Means no HDCAM-SR Tapes

Until a few weeks ago, film and television producers worldwide were happy to rely on Sony Corp. to supply all the high-end videotape they needed to get their shows out to audiences.

But last month’s earthquake and tsunami destroyed the only factory in the world that makes Sony HDCAM-SR tapes, throwing the industry into panic mode.

“For those in the middle of producing a series, they’re saying ‘Holy cow, there is no HDCAM-SR,’” said Howie Gold, executive vice-president at Creative Post, a Toronto-based post-production company. “The world is now at the mercy of when SR stock comes back in line.”

Sony has an exclusive licence to produce the tapes, and its only manufacturing facility was in Miyagi, Japan. The factory was badly damaged and it will likely be months before production resumes. As a result, worldwide supplies of new HDCAM-SR tapes are nearly depleted.

Read further here.

29 April 2011

Should Artists Accept Dirty Money?

Mike van Graan

A number of things strike one on entering Bamako, the capital of Mali. The first is the majestic Niger River responsible for much of the green in an otherwise dusty, gravelly, semi-desert city. Another is the industriousness of the people in an obviously poor country, as everyone is trying to generate even a meagre income selling mangoes, chickens and home-made furniture, or Chinese-manufactured T-shirts, electricity adapters and slip slops. Then there are some incongruously tall buildings and hotels, a number of the latter bearing the name “Libya Hotels”. One garish building is named after the Libyan dictator, Gaddafi, who has funded this – still empty - structure to house the Malian cabinet. There are two bridges across the Niger with a third being built by the Chinese.

As one walks through the market, there are hand-made posters in defence of Gaddafi, and in conversation with some of the locals, it is clear that there is much sympathy for the one time, wannabe-head of the United States of Africa.

Mali is ranked in the top half of the Mo Ibrahim Index on Governance in Africa and shares second spot for the best media freedom in Africa. But Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world with an average income of $680 per year and a ranking of 160 (out of 179 countries) on the Human Development Index. Should a country like Mali that is making great strides in human rights and freedoms – but which is relatively poor and in need of development assistance – accept aid from countries with extremely poor records in human rights and media freedom?

This is a similar question vexing some artists and arts organisations: should they accept “dirty money” that contradicts their own values of freedom of expression and fundamental human rights? Funding is often used to buy credibility, to buy political or other influence, to boost an image in need of a makeover, or simply to co-opt and mute critical thought and practice.

So, should arts organisations, cultural institutions and individual artists – given that they often struggle to survive and are more often than not in need of funding – accept support from countries with poor human rights records and that might even suppress artistic freedom in their own countries? How far back does one go to determine whether money is “dirty”? Previous Cultural Weapons have highlighted how European countries like France, the United Kingdom and Germany are increasingly compromising fundamental human rights and principles of cultural diversity, particularly with regard to immigrant communities. So, should funding be accepted from these countries? Is their funding not rooted in the repressive colonial period, partly in contemporary neo-colonial relationships and their current trade with countries that do not have exemplary human rights records?

And how many western countries that profess support for human rights and democracy, such as the USA, are not guilty of direct or indirect abuse of human rights whether through the torture of prisoners, illegal wars (not sanctioned by the United Nations) or propping up repressive regimes that serve their interests?

The original article can be found here.

But if government funding may be dirty, what of funding from the private sector, from those that trade with and so sustain governments that abuse human rights, or who generate profits through weapons that are used for war against citizens, or through environmental destruction or simply through highly exploitative labour practices or who put profits before people such as drug companies who deny cheaper life-saving drugs to people who need them? Should funding be accepted from such companies? And what of more “harmless” funding from tobacco companies or wine companies that impact directly or indirectly on health and social problems? Should artists accept funding from the lottery that some regard as another form of tax, especially on the poor?

The reality is that it is very difficult, if nigh impossible, to find “clean money”, that in a world as structurally and historically inequitable as ours, with the global free market perpetuating these inequities, it is likely that all funding is tainted in some way or another. So then, is funding from any source morally acceptable, simply because it is unlikely to find funding that is not morally compromised through its generation, its source, its role or the associated strings?

Prof Es’kia Mphahlele, a highly respected South African writer and community activist who passed away a few years ago once said to the effect of “the closer dirty money gets to me, the cleaner it becomes”.

His was a pragmatic approach, one that did not see the world in binary opposites, but as a morally complex labyrinth. If the money is used to achieve a good end or a morally sound objective, then that would be acceptable in terms of this approach.

Sometimes, it is those with options, those with resources, those in relatively privileged positions who may make more “moral” choices so that a more wealthy country may not accept funding from Gaddafi, but a country like Mali – also trying to assert greater economic and political independence from its former colonial master - has fewer options. Similarly, artists and arts organisations with greater funder or income diversity are more able to adopt morally superior positions than those with less access to international or other funding sources. (Not only do the rich have more options, but they can also be more opportunistic, such as the artists from the West who were paid huge amounts to perform at a Gaddafi function, only to rush to return or donate the money to charity after he turned his guns on protesting Libyans).

The locals in Mali speak of how the construction of the building to house the country’s cabinet ministers is often halted by Gaddafi when he is unhappy with some internal Malian policy or international public position that Mali takes. (One can but wonder about the dynamics and varying interests of the current AU delegation to Libya that includes the Malian President).

In a complex global economic and political order where there are few absolutes with respect to human rights and only degrees of respect for such universal values, it is unlikely that one can adopt a one-size-fits-all policy about whom to accept funding from, and who not. It would appear to be a question of whether the individual artist or the organisation could live with the written and unspoken strings that come with such funding. Would an association with the source of funding compromise one’s image or the pursuit of one’s core objectives? Would it compromise one’s ability to “speak truth to power” and be a form of co-option or lead to self-censorship? Will it compromise solidarity with artists in the country of the source of funding?

Generally, there is a contract between a donor and the recipient spelling out the terms and conditions of the funding arrangements, and articulating the expectations of the donor. Perhaps - at least for organisations concerned about harming their image and reputations with funding from potentially compromising sources – recipients should draft a document that would form part of the contract, outlining their own values and principles, and the terms upon which such funding is accepted i.e. that the organisation will not change its principles, values, objectives or forsake its right to speak truth to power, even if such “power” includes the donor.

Virgin Shorts

Lights, camera...action!

Virgin Media Shorts, the UK's biggest short film competition, is back with a bang for its 4th year.

Whether you're a Shane Meadows in the making or a Ridley Scott on the rise, we think every raw talent needs a break.

We're passionate about discovering the next big thing. And, as the only people to offer TV, broadband, phone and mobile, we're in the perfect place to offer film makers the biggest arena to showcase their work - online, on TV and on mobile phones. We can give you a leg up in the film industry and give millions of people the chance to see your work.

Virgin Media Shorts gives 12 up and coming film makers the chance to show their work on 35mm in cinemas nationwide for a whole year, across the Picture House network and independent cinemas. Plus, the lucky winner of our Grand Prize lands £30,000 to make their next film, along with some expert mentoring from the UK's leading film body, the British Film Institute.

Here’s the full list of what’s up for grabs in 2011:
* 12 film makers win a chance to show their work in cinemas nationwide for a whole year
* One lucky winner gets £30,000 to make their next film with money-can't-buy mentoring from the BFI
* One People's Choice winner takes home thousands of pounds' worth of new film equipment
* Plus, we reward the university, college or school with the most entrants with loads of shiny new kit

To find out more, read here.

Possible Futures Film Contest


The Possible Futures Film Contest is a bold new film event challenging storytellers of the world to create a new vision for the future of humanity — one that will become defined by our relationships to human justice, environmental sustainability, peace and individual fulfillment.

These stories on film, from citizens of the world, have the potential to highlight and envision change that benefits people, the planet and its ecosystems. We strive, in open-hearted consideration of one another, to bring forth a new path for the world — one of harmony, peace and love.

Creating your story is simple, and there is no entry fee. Everyone is encouraged to participate, at any skill level. Five world-class judges will select the top two Awards as viewers select five People’s Choice Awards.

For more visit the web site.

28 April 2011

Wildlife Academy Course Dates 2011

Please click the image to view the notice from the Cape Film Commission.

Meet the CFC in Cannes

Please click the image to view the message

TAVA Awards

TAVA Awards, the Africa Audio Visual Awards is a brain child of Videosonic Studios Ltd and it was created to recognize and celebrate the harmony of perfect sounds and perfect pictures.

Then, you may want to ask who is behind Videosonic Studios Ltd? It is the one and only ‘father’ of NOLLYWOOD, the present Nigerian home video industry, Mr. OKECHUKWU OGUNJIOFOR.

Deadline for entries is 30 May 2011.

To read more about the TAVA Awards 2011, click here.

26 April 2011

Protest Cannot Carry a Death Sentence


Dear Comrades

We have had a positive response regarding the call to take a committed stand against what has become a dangerous pattern of police repression against community mobilisation. A clear and present threat has raised its ugly head, undermining some of the hard won freedoms we gained with the advent of our democracy. To this end we urge all organisations to participate in the meeting called to discuss a united response in order to effect some meaningful and lasting change to what is becoming a worryingly common practice. TV scenes of wanton murder being carried out have jolted us into action.

Please join us on April 27th – Freedom Day to discuss a joint response. The meeting will be addressed by a leader of Tatene’s Community, belonging to the Meqheleng Concerned Residents of Ficksburg, amongst others, for a maximum of thirty minutes we will then open the floor to discussion on the way forward. At the end of this correspondence you will see a statement released by the Democratic Left Front, which I personally believe acts to both provide some core ideas for a statement of principle and some demands that could bind us together on this pressing issue.

(We understand many leading figures in various organisations will be on Holiday over this period, however, we still urge all organisations to ensure they have some presence at this meeting – Claire Ceruti will be contacting some of the trade unions)

Note on the Defend the Zimbabwean Treason Trialists – the trial date for the Six comrades is now the 18th July, we are planning another international day of action shortly before the trial. It was heartening to see a local and regional governmental response condemning the repression, a matter in which we played no small part in ensuring.

Time : 11am to 1pm

Venue: House of Movements, 7th Floor, Khanya College
Corner Mooi and Pritchard JHB CBD

Date: 27th April


21 April 2011

Democratic Left Front condemns police murder of Andries Tatane and the securitisation of South African politics

The Democratic Left Front (DLF) condemns in the strongest terms the brutal killing of Ficksburg activist Andries Tatane by the police, who shot him during a protest march last week. Furthermore, the DLF extends condolences to Tatane’s family, and welcomes the arrest of six police officers in connection with his murder.

However, it would be a mistake to see Tatane’s murder as an isolated incident, perpetrated by a few rogue policemen. Since the start of the service delivery protests in the early 2000’s, several protestors have been killed in police violence against protests in other parts of the country. The problem of the police using excessive force is becoming more severe. The DLF is all too aware of this problem as activists on the ground, many of who are active in the DLF, have been victims of this sort of state violence.

This problem can be attributed in part to the rationalisation and deskilling of the police. In 2006, the specialist police units tasked with the policing of gatherings were rationalised, leaving the policing of protests to members of South African Police Services (SAPS) that do not have the necessary training in crowd management.

But the DLF believes that Tatane’s murder is a symptom of a deeper problem affecting South Africa’s security cluster. Since Jacob Zuma took power, this cluster has been restructured to ensure that it exerts much greater control over the state and society than it did under Thabo Mbeki, which has greatly increased the coercive capacity of the state. Key positions in the security cluster have been dished out to Zuma’s ‘nearest and dearest’ politically, turning the cluster into the President’s personal fiefdom. The misuse of intelligence services that took place under Mbeki’s rule appears to continue unabated under Zuma.

In addition, the introduction of a military ranking system in the police is, we believe, an indication of a broader militarisation of the police, leading to policing shifting from a focus on community safety to a focus on law enforcement. The DLF believes that this move has created the impression, both in the police and in society generally, that the police are a military by another name. Militarisation can encourage a policing culture where lower ranking officers are required to follow orders blindly, which can quickly lead to a culture of brutalisation. In the case of Ficksburg, it already has.

The DLF also rejects the Ministry of Defence’s plans to deunionise the military, as a thinly disguised attempt to stamp out what few spaces still exist in the cluster for democratic debate and dissent. In addition, the DLF also rejects the deployment of the army in Ficksberg; this move is reminiscent of the apartheid era, when the army was deployed to townships to stamp out protests, and suggests that the Zuma administration sees the protests as a threat to national security. The greatest threat to national security is the continuing conditions of poverty and inequality, and not Ficksburg residents.

The DLF is also concerned about attempts to seal the activities of the security cluster from public scrutiny, by preventing information relating to activities in the cluster from reaching the public domain. The Protection of Information Bill is clearly designed to serve this purpose, and the DLF calls on Parliament to scrap the Bill in its entirety.

The DLF also calls for a review of the Regulation of Gatherings Act (RGA), which in our experience is being routinely misapplied by local authorities to frustrate and even to ban protests, giving the police even more reason to violently disperse protestors, if protests go ahead in any event. Given that the Act is administered by local authorities, in consultation with the police, it has created space for too many conflicts of interest to arise, as many protests are against the very local authorities that administer the Act.

It would seem that, in a similar move to the one that happened under apartheid, a new layer of securocrats is being developing in government where key members of the security apparatus exert increasing influence over government policy. The DLF believes that this restructuring of the security cluster has taken place because the Zuma administration came to office on delivery promises that it is unwilling or unable to keep. They realised that protests would increase: hence the need for a cluster that is more effective at crushing dissent. Unless the security cluster is brought under democratic control, rather than the control of the ruling party or even a faction of the ruling party, the killings will continue as they are not simply a result of rogue police, but an inevitable consequence of the securitisation of the state.

Another factor fuelling the violence is the increasing institutional failure of local government and incapacity to deliver on democratic mandates, leading to local democracy crumbling. The growing gap between leaders and led, rulers and the ruled is also an aggravating factor, as is the emergence of elite and top down governance which takes the people for granted.

The DFL joins the many who have condemned Tatane’s killing and mourned his death. The DLF also calls on workers, the unemployed and the poor to use Easter, Freedom Day on April 27 and May Day on April 1 to mark Tatane’s death and to highlight and oppose ongoing repression.

Jane Duncan - 082 786 3600
Mazibuko K. Jara - 083 651 0271

Guest Speakers and Panelists Needed


This WALE Screening Festival is a platform that aims at primarily providing young, creative and experienced filmmakers with a forum that can unite them together under one roof where they can showcase their works. But even more importantly, is to create a dialogue between the filmmaker and his audiences. So the interest is not just to see the works but also to talk about them. This process and discussion will encompass everything from the inspiration of the idea, conceptual framework, development of the idea, approaches through all the production processes—pre, pro and post-production. This will conclude with a special personal inputs or signatures of the specific directors/producers of those works. The reason(s) for this is simple; film industry does not grow or develop in a vacuum. So the sooner we as filmmakers, cinematographers, producers, directors, etc start exchanging ideas on how we handle or achieve our personal approaches to filmmaking the better we can all be assimilated into a culture of sharing information and growing each other in our industry.

Moreover, this platform will invite someone else who is at the centre of any and all TV and filmmaking, the spectator! In as much as we are going to talk about how we conceptualize and make movies, it is equally paramount that we consider how and who watches the films we make. As a result, we are going to make this event as diverse as possible and to encompass everything and everyone involved in the filmmaking industry.

The event will invite all members of the public of all ages, gender, race, nationality (but preference is going to be given to locals) to submit their works that is going to be screened and followed by a Q and A with the director/producer(s) or anyone with intimate insights into the production of that film. These works, or rather films can be of any genre or style—anything from fiction to factual.

When: WALE Festival 11 to 14 May 2011

Firmly in the Driving Seat

Karabo Leshoedi, the eldest of the four sisters who have just lost their single mother, reads from her Bible for inspiration. She falls asleep while reading and their home nearly burns down. She wakes up to the realization that she is responsible for her siblings’ well-being and has to pull from all her resolve to sustain them.

The use of a train, to chronicle Karabo’s journey, is a fitting metaphor as she finds a train guard job that enables her to significantly improve her family’s situation.

She battles chauvinistic attitudes at the workplace as she asserts herself in this previously male- dominated field. On the domestic front she has to grapple with her sister, the troublesome Basetsana and her wayward behavior; and when her newborn baby comes to the family it is a time of reconciliation for the quarrelsome sisters.

Karabo’s motherly skills come to the fore to win her the approval of the benevolent neighbour and everybody else around her; including the three siblings.

We witness a confident Karabo, transformed from the hesitant girl to a confident young lady, a she stands on the church podium to talk about her position of control and inspire the many others who might be in a similar or worse condition than the one she uplifted her family from. )

About the Writer/Director
Xolani Nameko comes from the sound technician background; having trained at Gearhouse SA and subsequently working at Bassline between 2007 and 2009.

Born in Johannesburg and growing up in the Eastern Cape on his life’s journey he has discovered the tradition of storytelling through film and in so doing has entrenched in himself a deep love for this art-form.

Xolani got an opportunity to pursue this passion when he was accepted for the Documentary Director Mentorship Programme; conducted by the NFVF Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Kevin Harris.

Graduating from the programme, Xolani wrote and directed a 24 minute documentary film: Firmly In The Driving Seat. It will broadcast for the first time on SABC 2 on the 24th April at 21h: 30.

A maverick, Xolani has established a t-shirt business that he aptly titled Self-Made Cheeseboy.

This passionate storyteller continues to grow within the film industry as an independent practitioner.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival Deadline Extended


Aesthetica have now launched the Aesthetica Short Film Festival in association with the Short Film Competition. Enter this year for your chance to be screened at the inaugural ASFF! A select number of entrants will be screened at 14 venues across the City of York (UK) as part of ASFF. There will be additional prizes for the winner and runner-up, and a shortlist of finalists will be included on the Aesthetica Shorts DVD, which will be distributed with the December 2011 issue of Aesthetica Magazine.

The winning film receives:

£500 prize money (apx. 5, 572 Rand)
Screenings at film festivals across the UK, including Rushes Soho Shorts (London), Glasgow Film Festival (Glasgow) and Branchage (Jersey)
A weekend filmmaking course, courtesy of Raindance
12 months membership to Shooting People, the international film network
Inclusion on a DVD that will be distributed to all Aesthetica readers (60,000 viewers)

The runner-up will also receive £250 (apx. 2, 786 Rand), as well as DVD publication.

Films should be no longer than 25 minutes but can be any genre including artists' film, music videos, dance films, horror and comedy or anything you can think of!

No limit to the number of entries permitted.

Deadline 31 May 2011.

Entry is £15 per film (apx. 167 Rand). Please visit our web site for more information and to submit.

Thanks again!


From California to Cape Town: How Tv Reaches a Global Audience on Key health Topics

Health issues affect us all, and can make for truly dramatic storytelling.
So how can TV writers, and the wider creative community, portray health accurately in TV storylines?

Come hear top entertainment experts from Hollywood and South Africa speak about some ways they incorporate health information into powerful programming, and the impact that entertainment media can have for social good.

Dr. Neal Baer, Executive Producer, Law & Order: SVU, Panelist & Moderator
Harriet Perlman– Senior Executive, Soul City Institute for Health & Development Regional Programme
Carol Barbee – Consulting Producer, Hawaii Five 0
Makgano Mamabolo, Co Executive Producer, Puo Pha Productions
Jonathan Greene – Co Executive Producer, Law & Order: SVU
Harriet Gavshon – Executive Producer, Curious Pictures
Karen Tenkhoff – Development Partner, Walt Disney Feature Animation
Elsje Stark – Producer, Binnelanders
Sandra de Castro Buffington – Director, Hollywood, Health & Society

Thursday, May 5, 2011
Panel discussion – 4:30-7:00 PM
Followed by refreshments
The Market Theatre (Laager Theatre)
56 Margaret Mcingana Street,

Presented by:
Hollywood, Health & Society,
a program of the USC!Annenberg Norman Lear Center

RSVP by April 29 to

SASFED / IPO on SABC'S TurnaroundStrategy

Wed, 20 Apr 2011 11:31

To coincide with crisis-stricken public service broadcaster SABC’s presentation of its turnaround strategy to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications on 20 April, the South African Screen Federation (SASFED) and the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) have released the following joint statement expressing their concerns.

We are concerned that the SABC’s turnaround strategy appears to be going ahead without meaningful consultation with the production industry. This despite a stated commitment from the SABC in January to follow through with substantive engagement with the independent production sector in advance of the SABC presenting to the Portfolio Committee.

The IPO, SASFED and the TV Industry Emergency Coalition (TVIEC) have for the past year tabled a range of ideas about the turnaround of the SABC. These ideas are designed to ensure that the public broadcast continues to stay in the forefront of the production of quality and innovative content. This is important in two respects. Firstly, it is important to the independent production sector which has been decimated by the financial collapse of the public broadcaster, and secondly in supporting the sustainability of the public broadcaster and maintaining its central role in the lives and development of our society.

The ideas that have been tabled include making use of the Department of Trade and Industry production rebates: encouraging conditions for co-production and co-financing of local content; revisiting the intellectual property regime to incentivise the production sector to maintain quality in the face of smaller budgets; reviewing the terms of trade that the production sector operates under to eliminate the huge cost and bureaucracy involved in micro-management of the sector and freeing up producers to distribute their own content so that the SABC can benefit from sales revenue.

In addition, the independent production sector is the custodian of decades of insight into the operations and mechanics of the public broadcaster. They have offered their skills and support in the turnaround process on a number of occasions. Despite this the management and board of the SABC has paid lip service to the sector. As a key stakeholder, we are looking for a much deeper engagement.

The independent production sector employs in excess of 300,000 people, many of whom are dependent on a vibrant public broadcaster.

We are deeply concerned that in the process whereby a financial turnaround is being planned, the central importance of content, and particularly local content – which is ultimately the broadcaster’s key mandate – receives the due respect and diligence that it requires. This is within the framework of a clear and committed vision for public broadcasting, growth conducive policies, and effective and efficient operational processes. A bakery does not stop producing bread to save money; the broadcaster has to consider how to continue to produce excellent programming too.

We believe government, parliament and the South African public must be well appraised of the requirements for a meaningful and successful turnaround of the SABC, which includes policies and operational matters that related to the independent production sector, a key stakeholder and partner in public broadcasting.

Here is a summary of the many proposals and issues raised by the independent sector and we once again appeal to the SABC to engage in a meaningful honest way with content creators.

The meaningful and sustained turnaround of the SABC cannot be mechanically based on its bottom line driven by cost cutting measures - which historically has seen production budgets, already stagnant for at least the last five years, as a foremost casualty. It is little appreciated that the independent production sector significantly subsidises SABC production, with no Intellectual Property or other form of return.

Read further here.

A Traveling Salesman - The Story of Sello K. Duiker

A Traveling Salesman – The Story of Sello K Duiker

Written and directed by Msizi Moshoetsi

Screening on Sunday, the 24th of April at 21h00 on SABC 2

Asked to describe himself in one sentence Sello Duiker said “Call me a traveling salesman”. He was always on the road, either physically or on some spiritual journey. Hence the title of this 24 minute documentary which chronicles the often sad but mostly beautiful life of this award winning and critically acclaimed writer who committed suicide at the prime of his career at the age of thirty in 2005.

His debut novel Thirteen Cents won the 2001 Commonwealth Writers Prize for best first book by an African writer. His second novel “The Quiet Violence of Dreams” was awarded The Herman Charles Bosman Prize for Literature and was runner up for the Sunday Times Literary Award. His last novel, The Hidden Star was published posthumously in 2005.

Unknown to many people, this talented writer suffered from bipolar disorder. He had to take certain medication which he felt was interfering with his creativity. Under severe depression, he suffered a nervous breakdown in December 2004. He chose to end his life rather than sacrifice his art. He died by hanging himself in January 2005.

The Traveling Salesman is his tragic story: told through his friends, colleagues, family and literary critics. He is immortalized through film in a moving tribute which speaks directly to the premise of the film: Some storytellers move beyond the point of telling stories about others, they themselves become The Story.


Western Cape Emerging Filmmakers Sub-Committee

Please click on the image to view the details.