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.

02 June 2011

My Town Finalists 2011

DFA MY TOWN finalists have been announced. They are:

By Nicky Newman

By Le Roux Schoeman

By Serisha Letchmiah

By Duncan Tshikovi

TRAIN 3505
By Justin Joshua Davy

By Gillian Benjamin, John Edwards, Anna Goldman, Renee Roussouw

By Le Roux Schoeman

The finalists’ films will screen as pre-screeners at the Encounters Documentary festival.
There will be a special screening show-casing all finalists' films at the NU METRO CINEMA, V&A WATERFONT on Saturday, 25 June at 18:30, followed by the award ceremony DFA cocktail function.

All DFA members are encouraged to attend. Tickets available at Computicket

Well Bodi Biznes

Please click the image to view the Encounters Festival screening details.

Digital Set-Top Box Plan Due by August 2011

SA is moving from an analogue broadcasting signal to digital, and the government plans to switch off the analogue signal in December 2013

Published: 2011/06/01 07:48:54 AM

CAPE TOWN — The Department of Communications will submit the set- top box manufacturing strategy and the subsidy scheme for poor households to the Cabinet in August, with the preferred producers expected to be appointed by November.

This was announced by Communications Minister Roy Padayachie during his maiden budget-vote speech in Parliament yesterday.

SA is moving from an analogue broadcasting signal to digital, and the government plans to switch off the analogue signal in December 2013. The market has been waiting for clarity on the manufacturing plan, with some companies already positioning themselves to benefit from the project.

Broadcasters have been testing the new digital signal, based on the European technology known as digital video broadcasting-terrestrial 2 (DVB-T2).

"We are consulting widely with industry and relevant stakeholders towards finalising this process," Mr Padayachie said. "This will pave the way for us to select the preferred set- top box manufacturers for the subsidised market by November 2011 and deploying the necessary infrastructure for the distribution of the subsidised set-top boxes."

He said the department has also established a dedicated migration project office because of the "complexity and the magnitude of the digital migration process". It would be located in the communications department and would drive the digital terrestrial television plan.

The minister said state-owned signal distributor Sentech had met its March deadline to achieve 60% digital TV broadcasting population coverage and would this month switch on the first DVB-T2 test transmission at the Brixton tower in Johannesburg, targeting townships and informal settlements in the Johannesburg metropolitan area.

The uptake of digital broadcasting technology will expand the public offering in content viewing.
For example, it will see an increase in the number of channels from the current three SABC channels to more than 10.

The Treasury earlier this year allocated R279m to Sentech for digital terrestrial television.
Of the R279m allocated for the 2011-12 financial year, R120m will be dedicated to cover increased operational expenditure during the dual illumination period — when both analogue and digital television signals will be broadcast.

Mr Padayachie said a successful trial conducted by broadcasters and the signal distributor had demonstrated SA was ready for migrating from analogue terrestrial television to digital terrestrial television using the adopted DVB-T2 standard.

"We expect the South African Bureau of Standards to finalise the second generation DVB-T2 standard during the last quarter of 2011," Mr Padayachie said.

"By end 2012, Sentech will have upgraded the existing infrastructure to DVB-T2, to cover 80% of the population. We intend to achieve 100% population coverage by the end of 2013 to enable analogue signal switch-off," he said.

Communications portfolio committee chairman Sikhumbuzo Kholwane said the committee was pleased Mr Padayachie had placed emphasis on the use of "ICT (information and communications technology) in national development as a driver of the economy".
"ICT infrastructure is being recognised as a necessary utility — without which 21st-century SA will not reach its full potential and will also become less competitive," Mr Kholwane said.
Democratic Alliance member of Parliament Natasha Michael welcomed Mr Padayachie’s speech and said the department had "done a 360 degree turn since he took over".

She also welcomed the appointment of Rosie Siskesie as director-general.

The original article here.

King Naki is Here!



Good Pitch NYC 2011

On May 20, 2011 the Good Pitch touched down at the Ford Foundation in New York City with eight pitching projects and over 260 decision-making attendees, ranging from foundations, NGOs and campaigners to philanthropists and social entrepreneurs, from policy makers to international brands and advertising agencies.

The eight benefitting projects are Crime After Crime, Dir. Yoav Potash; Not In Our Town III: Light in the Darkness, Dir. Patrice O’Neil; Brooklyn Castle, Dir. Katie Dellamaggiore; Untitled Global Health Documentary, Dir. Kief Davidson; Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Dir. Alison Klayman; Who Is Dayani Cristal?, Dir. Marc Silver; We The People, Dir. Soniya Kirpalani; and Gideon’s Army, Dir. Dawn Porter.

With projects focusing on issues of immigration and migrant labour, human rights and global health, racism and hate crimes, domestic violence and criminal justice and stories from The Emirates, China, USA, South Asia, Haiti, and US/Mexico/Central American borders, there was much to interest, engage and ignite this dynamic flash community.

“The ability to take complex, urgent issues and translate them into compelling stories is the remarkable skill of documentary filmmakers,” said Orlando Bagwell, Director of the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms Initiative. “As great cinema, documentaries can not only inform and inspire their audiences, but also catalyze viewers to become active participants in social change. Good Pitch makes that opportunity for action possible by connecting master storytellers to organizations on the ground working to improve people’s lives. The Ford Foundation is excited to be a new supporter and host of this year’s Good Pitch in New York City.”

In an unprecedented wave of funding offers, over $500,000 was pledged on the day - more than at any other individual Good Pitch event - with three of the eight films walking away fully-funded. The offers of fiscal support at the Good Pitch NY 2011 bring the total funds leveraged by Good Pitch events to over $3m since 2009.

But more than that, each of the 81 influential round-table participants offered something unique to the pitching projects aside from funding, a true potlatch of resources: access, finance, outreach and networks that filmmakers alone struggle to arouse.

Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program offered Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry a production grant with an anonymous donor giving completion funds. Sundance also gave a production grant to Who is Dayani Cristal? with Impact Partners putting forward finishing funds and PUMA.Creative adding an outreach and travel award. We the People aroused the interests of ITVS and Chicken & Egg Pictures and left the event fully-funded via a private donor. Untitled Global Health Documentary was offered a finishing grant from Ryan Harrington of the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund.

Below you will find more on the eight projects. Click on the blue titles for further information and to watch their trailers and contact the teams behind them. You can also find out more about the films and each of the participating organisations by going to our sister site,

To read about the eight projects, visit the web site.

Renowned Australian Pianist Visits South Africa

MEDIA RELEASE - Wednesday 1 June 2011


Renowned Australian pianists visit South Africa

The Australian High Commission is proud to be supporting the current visit
to South Africa by internationally acclaimed Australian piano duo Mr Coady
Green and Mr Leigh Harrold.

In addition to recent concerts at the Harare International Festival of the
Arts, Swellendam and Somerset West, the duo will perform on the evening of
1 June at the residence of the Australian High Commissioner to South
Africa, Ms Ann Harrap, in Pretoria.

Following a performance at the University of the Free State in the first
week of June, their tour will culminate on 12 June with a performance at
the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg, where they will perform two works
for piano duet, as well as piano quintets with the Odeion String Quartet,
considered to be one of South Africa’s most accomplished string ensembles.

More information regarding the 12 June performance is available at:

Coady Green is acknowledged as a major rising talent on the international
music scene, while Leigh Harrold is one of Australia’s most sought-after
pianists, enjoying a reputation as a musician of rare talent and
intelligence. These two pianists have won almost every prestigious
cultural award possible in Australia and together they form a fine piano

Coady Green regularly performs internationally and most recently has given
critically acclaimed recitals in Europe and the Asia-Pacific in venues such
as the Sydney Opera House, the Beijing and Shanghai Concert Halls the
Salzburg Mozarteum and St Martin in the Fields, London. Since winning the
Adelaide Critics’ Circle prize for Best Emerging Artist of 2005, Leigh
Harrold has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America and
Australia as both soloist and chamber musician, including concerts at
Australia House in London, the Royal Academy of Music, the Mozarteum in
Salzburg and concerto engagements with many Australian orchestras.

Part of the Australian High Commission’s mandate is to promote cultural
exchange between Australian and southern African artists, musicians and
film-makers, with the aim of promoting deeper cooperation between our
artistic communities and expanding people-to-people links.

The Australian High Commission is pleased to be able to support Coady Green
and Leigh Harrold’s visit to South Africa through our cultural exchange and
public diplomacy program.

For media enquiries please contact:

Natalie Mendelsohn, Third Secretary

Australian High Commission, Pretoria

Tel: 012 423 6183 Mobile: 083 409 3619 Email:

Will Butler
Senior researcher - Australian High Commission, Pretoria
Tel: +27 12 423 6188
Fax: +27 12 342 4202
Cell: +27 82 822 5838

01 June 2011

Glitterboys and Ganglands at Encounters 2011

DFA member, Izette Mostert, was one of the editors on Glitterboys and Ganglands and has sent through the following information:

Tickets available from NuMetro at R40 each
Premiere @ Encounters on 10 June at V&A Waterfront @ 20:30
2nd screening 26 June @ 18:00
Johannesburg screening: 12 June at the Bioscope

More about the film:
Deep in the heart of the Cape’s most violent ganglands sequins are being sewn, hair arranged, tiaras polished, stilettos worn in, lashes glued and shimmies perfected: all for a night of glitz, glamour and the honour of being Miss Gay Western Cape.

Award-winning author Beukes (her novel, Zoo City, has just taken the Arthur C Clarke award) turns a filmic eye on a few of the contenders during the prelim rounds who bravely present their glittering inner lady to the world, and ask to be crowned. Kat Gilardi is the previous year’s princess and has her eye on the prize but a family illness could derail all the work her and her hubby have put in. Miss Eva Torez works by day as a mechanic, by night she scrubs off the grease and shines, and Miss Kayden van Eden, winner of many straight female pageants, is preparing for the ultimate operation and still manages to glimmer and sashay down the catwalk.

SOS Welcomes Communications Minister's Commitment to Review Broadcasting Policy

The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition

SOS welcomes Minister’s schedule to launch broadcasting policy review

1 June 2011

The “SOS: Support Public Broadcasting” Coalition welcomes the Minister of Communications, Mr Roy Padayachie’s commitment to the broadcasting policy review announced in his Budget Vote speech made in Parliament yesterday. SOS believes that this is an important first step in stabilising the SABC and building the long term sustainability of both the public and community media sectors.
The Minister announced that, “the process to review the current broadcasting policy landscape will commence with great urgency”. He stated that the process would be launched in the next three weeks and that the Department would use the opportunity to “investigate an appropriate funding model for the SABC to ensure that the provision of public service remains the SABC’s main priority”. Further, he announced that to fast track the process, and to broaden public participation in the effort, he would constitute a panel of experts to assist with the review. He stated that the panel would advise on:
“Various policy issues, including embracing convergence and new media services, the creation of an enabling licensing and regulatory environment, the growth and development of local content industries, and the role of the three tier broadcasting system – public, commercial and community broadcasting.”
Since its inception in 2008 the Coalition has been fighting for this policy review process. The Coalition thus warmly welcomes the Minister’s announcement. The Coalition believes strongly that the present Broadcasting White Paper, 1998 and Broadcasting Act, 1999, need to be reviewed in terms of the gaps and contradictions that have come to light as regards their implementation. Further, policy and legislation has no option but to be shaped by the demands of the new digital, multi-channel environment.
The Coalition has drafted, over a number of years, a new vision for public and community broadcasting. As a starting point we would be happy to contribute this vision document to the process. Further, we would like to share our views on the implementation of the review process. For instance, one of the issues we believe strongly in is that the members of the review panel need to be fully versed on a wide range of broadcasting perspectives, including those of unions, civil society and creative content producers. We also believe that the review process requires significant meaningful public participation.

The Coalition will be calling for a meeting with the Minister and his Department to put forward our various positions on the policy review process and its implementation.

The SOS Coalition represents a number of trade unions including COSATU, COSATU affiliates CWU and CWUSA, FEDUSA, BEMAWU and MWASA; independent film and TV production sector organisations including the South African Screen Federation (SASFED); and a host of NGOs and CBOs including the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-SA); as well as a number of academics and freedom of expression activists.

For more information:

Kate Skinner – SOS Coordinator – (082) 926-6404
Patrick Craven – Cosatu Spokesperson – (082) 821-7456
Matankana Mathapo – Spokesperson Communications Workers Union – (082) 759-0900
William Bird – Director Media Monitoring Africa – (082) 887-1370
Mark Weinberg – Alternative Information Development Centre (AIDC) – (074) 103 -6704
Tuwani Gumani – General Secretary Mwasa – (082) 743-3867

Cinemed Dates and Deadlines

33rd Cinemed
21-29 October 2011

2011 Official Selection

Please note: Fiction shorts - documentaries - experimental - development grant - Closing date: 8 July!

The closing date for the entry of short films (fiction), documentaries (minimum running time 50 min), experimental films and videos and the Development Grant is 8 July. We remind you that films can be entered on-line and entry forms can be downloaded from our website. On-line registration, click here.

Participation is open to films completed since 1 January, 2010. The subject and handling of the films must contribute to the cinematic representation of the Mediterranean and the director must be from one of the states in the Mediterranean Basin, the Black Sea states, Portugal and Armenia.

Deadline for receipt of DVDS: 15 July 2011.

Deadline for submission of fiction features: 31 August 2011

Conditions of participation: see Registration

For any information regarding the different sections, please contact:
- Fiction features :
- Fiction shorts :
- Documentaries :
- Experimental :
- Development Grant :

Please visit the web site for more details.

National Lotteries Conference

National Lotteries Board Consultative Conference

The National Lotteries Board will host a two-day national consultative conference on 20-21 June 2011 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand to explore the future of National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) funding.

This is the first National Consultative Conference which will give participants an opportunity to share ideas with the Board and to make input into the process of determining the most appropriate strategic and operational funding model for the NLDTF in the future.

The Board invites interested parties to express their interest to attend the conference.As space is limited, attendance by representative bodies and forums rather than individual organisations will receive preference.

Interested parties are requested to send an e-mail to with the following details before Friday, 3 June 2011.
• Name of the organisation;
• Which group of NGO’s or other entities the organisation represents;
• A brief profile of your organisation and the contribution it would make at the conference. (maximum of 200 words);
• Name of persons attending (maximum of 2 per organisation).
Please note that the costs of registration, conference material, meals and refreshments will be covered.

Travel and accommodation will be for the attendee’s own account.

The Board will confirm registration details of successful attendees by e-mail by 8 June 2011.

Enquiries: Tel: 012 4321300.

Event type: Conference
Event venue: Gallagher Estate, Midrand
Event start date: 20/06/2011
Event end date: 21/06/2011

Original article here.

Creative Careers

South Africa’s first career solution for creative people has arrived.
South Africa’s first online career portal for the creative industries has finally launched their website to coincide with June’s Youth Month 2011. Creative Careers is the first job website that caters exclusively for the music, art, dance, entertainment, fashion and media industries.

Following their online social media success in which they attracted more than 4,000 followers in only five months, the group feels confident that they will now, with the help of their website, be able to connect creative job seekers with recruiters in a more meaningful way. Mr. Ismail Mohammed, the festival director of the National Arts Festival thanked the group for their vision, saying: “This is a much needed service for the arts sector and one that can only contribute to the growth of the sector.”

On their website job seekers can upload CV’s as well as pictures and sound clips, and they can register to receive matching job alerts via email. Recruiters will finally be able to advertise vacancies to a select group of professionals in the creative industries. There are interviews with industry professionals such as the director of Big Concerts and the manager of Nomfusi on their blog page, and the news pages contain current news surrounding South Africa’s creative sectors.
In November last year Creative Careers launched a national graphic design competition in search of a unique logo. The project attracted more than a hundred submissions and deciding on a winning logo proved to be a challenge: “We received a large number of beautiful designs that incorporated symbols from the music, entertainment and art worlds, but they didn’t manage to capture the essence of all of the creative sectors that we represent. We therefore decided to go for a rather arbitrary concept in the end – cherries! They are cheerful and symbolise ‘juicy jobs’. Our logo is a memorable design that reflects our flag as well as all the different creative opportunities out there” says company director Marelize de Beurs.

The winner of the logo competition and creator of the cherry design, David Davidson from Davidson Design Solutions, has been involved in the designing of material for a good number of theatre productions and has a bit of a botanical bent with having received the President’s Most Creative Award from the Royal Horticultural Society in London: “I always begin with inspiration from nature, and have done numerous logos featuring fruits particularly, like lemons and strawberries because of their fresh appeal and succulence. They always have a ‘select’ or ‘choice’ feel about them.”

To add to the excitement of the launch Creative Careers is also running a competition that will award the person who can spot the most glitches on their new website with R1000 kindly sponsored by Gearhouse SA - the premier supplier of presentation and event technical equipment in Africa.

Creative Careers’ website can be viewed on

The Devil's Lair


When the BritDoc Foundation called for proposals in 2010 to launch their new development film film fund, director Riaan Hendricks was the only South African short listed submission that received the Puma Creative Catalyst award.

Produced by Neil Brandt, the film, THE DEVIL'S LAIR, unobtrusively ventures into the lives of ex-convicts and their struggle for survival in the criminal underworld, while exploring the stark reality behind the only legal way citizens often have to confront the scourge of crime affecting their communities, which is some cases blurs the lines between community service and violent vigulantilism. With unparalleled access, the film will be a deeply intimate, perhaps shocking reality check for those trying to understand crime in South Africa.

For more details on the project contact Producer:
Neil Brandt
Fireworx Media

Start 1917 by Dziga Vertov

Please click the image to read the poem or visit the web site for the original post.

The Dziga Vertov Collection

As early as 1967, the Austrian Film Museum started to collect films, writings, photographs, posters and other documentation relating to (and created by) the Soviet filmmaking pioneer and theorist Dziga Vertov (1896-1954).

Vertov’s work and achievements represented a central position in the museum’s policies from the very beginning: In 1967, the Film Museum published the first German translation of his selected writings, in 1972 Peter Kubelka and Edith Schlemmer restored Vertov’s early sound film classic Entuziazm (1930), and in 1974 Peter Konlechner and Peter Kubelka presented a large-scale Vertov exhibition at the Albertina.

In organizing these projects, the Film Museum established a close relationship with Vertov's widow and artistic collaborator, Elizaveta Svilova. Between 1970 and 1974 Svilova donated part of Dziga Vertov’s personal collection and papers to the institution - the foundation of what is now the Vertov Collection at the Austrian Film Museum. Today, this resource contains circa 100 film elements, circa 170 original manuscripts and autographs (Vertov’s writings, sketches and editing schemes), circa 200 photographs (personal photos and work-related stills), circa 600 press clippings from around the world (primarily from the former Soviet Union and Germany), 33 original posters, and many other documents.

To read and explore further about the Dziga Vertov collection, click here.

The Great Documentary Debate

Sheffield Doc/Fest: the great documentary debate

Commissioning editors from Channel 4 and the BBC lock horns with media commentators over what makes a good documentary, and what we should be watching in future

Click the image to be taken to the video page.

The Documentary's Last Stand

The Documentary's Last Stand

They win awards and critical acclaim – but are in-depth documentaries under threat? Mark Lawson talks to film-makers about risk-taking, total immersion and the cult of celebrity

Is this a good time for factual film-making? It depends on your definitions of fact and film. There are executives and directors who complain that there are too few documentaries on television these days; and yet programmes from Brian Cox's The Wonders of the Universe to My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding have large and enthusiastic audiences. The problem is that what traditionalists mean by documentary (Adam Curtis's new series) is quite different from the star vehicles and "constructed reality" shows (Made in Chelsea, The Only Way is Essex) that are currently popular.

The past decade has also seen a big increase in the number of documentaries made for cinema. The success of Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine (2002) and Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me (2004) began a phenomenon in which a format (the reporter-director) and subject matter (gun control, fast food) that would once have been restricted to television played in multiplexes. Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop, Man on Wire and Restrepo, following the military in Afghanistan, co-directed by the late Tim Hetherington, have all been Oscar-nominated (Man on Wire won in 2009).

Does this mean documentary is now on an equal footing with mainstream, "feature" cinema? Or, given its largely indifferent box-office performance, is it simply flourishing in a soon-to-be-closed bolthole – a genre for which TV no longer has the time or money?

This summer, a number of events will focus on this debate. The BFI has just released the first of three volumes of a DVD boxset that will add up to a near-complete retrospective of the work of Molly Dineen, whose influential observational films include Home from the Hill (1987) and The Lie of the Land (2007). In April, Kevin Macdonald, who won an Oscar for his account of the Munich Olympics massacre, One Day in September (1999), gave a BBC-sponsored lecture in which he challenged the view that the current digital free-for-all, in which anyone with a mobile phone and web access can shoot and distribute a film, reduces the need for traditional documentarians.

Dineen's work and Macdonald's thesis are among the subjects to be discussed at next month's International Documentary festival in Sheffield. At last year's festival, the key themes were "access, consent and editorial policy", and these are likely to recur.

Are we on the cusp of a golden age of democratic documentary-making? Macdonald is sceptical. "It's very interesting that, although the technology is out there now for us all to make a film, there aren't more great films," he says.The director's next project, Life in a Day, is based on hundreds of thousands of pieces of volunteer footage, shot around the world on 24 July last year. "There was some wonderful film-making in there," he acknowledges, "but a very tiny percentage. And I think it took a film-maker, a director, like me to find the story in there."

Read the rest of the article here.

Half the World Watches YouTube Every Day

Half the world watches YouTube every day

NEWS BRIEF: YouTube claims that more than 48 hours of video are now uploaded to the site every minute, a 100% year-on-year jump and a 37% increase on six months ago.

YouTube announced the stats to coincide with the online video site's six-year anniversary and also said that last weekend the site surpassed three billion views per day. This is a 50% year-on-year increase and the equivalent of almost half the world's population watching a YouTube video each day.

Andrew McDonald
26 May 2011
© C21 Media 2011

Original article here.

30 May 2011

Unhinged Surviving Joburg Showing at FWFC

Director Adrian Loveland and Producer Pascal Schmitz (DFA member and current treasurer) will be present at their film Unhinged: Surviving Jo'burg screening at Atlas Studios this coming Wednesday the 1st of June as part of the FWFC (First Wednesday Film Club). There will be a Q&A afterwards with DVD giveaways, a full bar, DJ's, free snacks and lots of industry socialising as it always is at FWFC.

Clicking the image will take you to the facebook page.