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 July 2011

SABC Sued for Millions ... Again

The former acting chief executive of the SABC, Robin Nicholson, has issued a summons against the public broadcaster and is claiming R2.8-million, plus interest and the cost of his law suit, after he was ousted last month. The claim includes R1.5-million in terms of the six-month fixed-term contract offered to him and a restraint payment of R1.3-million.

Nicholson was swiftly replaced as acting group chief executive by head of news Phil Molefe after Communications Minister Roy Padayachie called a shareholders' meeting to amend the SABC's articles of association to facilitate the appointment of any employee to top management positions at the corporation.

Padayachie told the board members present that the proposed amendments were within his authority and there was no need for consultation or approval from the board for them to take effect.

Respected lawyer Peter Harris resigned from the board a day after the meeting following an outcry against alleged political interference in the governance of the public broadcaster.

The contract with Nicholson was drawn up after the board took a resolution on June 24 that his contract would be renewed for a further period of six months.

In a board document attached to Nicholson's summons, the board resolved that, "upon acceptance of the contract by Mr Nicholson, a delegation of authority be offered to Mr Nicholson to continue the fulfilment of his acting role as group chief executive until such a time that the new group chief executive is appointed".

Nicholson has also provided a copy of a fixed-term six-month contract given to him that was drawn up by board chairman Ben Ngubane, who signed it on June 27 before leaving on a business trip to Japan. The contract did not reflect the agreement reached in some areas with Ngubane, and Nicholson asked for it to be altered and did not sign it.

But the situation changed overnight, throwing the cash-strapped SABC into further turmoil.

The Mail & Guardian is in possession of a document from Justice Ndaba, acting group executive of human capital services, in an appraisal he did for the board of the events that led to Nicholson's ousting.

"The board took a vote on the extension of Mr Nicholson's contract, with nine directors supporting the decision to extend, two voting against it and one absentia," he wrote. Ndaba was asked to ensure a "proper transitional handover" from Nicholson to Molefe.

"Since Mr Nicholson's contract is ending today, June 30, and given the hostility that would be displayed by Mr Nicholson, noting the decision by the board that his contract would not be renewed, as well as the potential for external animosity from certain quarters, possibilities of legal battles etc, it will be difficult for us to convince Mr Nicholson to assist with the transitional handover," Ndaba wrote.

He recommended that, because Nicholson might have a legitimate claim against the SABC to honour the terms of the contract issued to him, the broadcaster should pay him the contractual amount for the six months according to the offer made to him already, which had created a "legitimate expectation".

Nicholson would then be expected to assist with the transitional handover and sign an agreement that should include matters of confidentiality. Ndaba could not be reached for comment.

The SABC confirmed it had received a summons from Nicholson. "The corporation is studying the summons and will respond accordingly to the court and not the media," said spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

The M&G understands that the board was due to meet on July 29 and that Nicholson's summons would be discussed.

Original article here.
Image found at the Financial Mail web site.

29 July 2011

Economic Impact of Film and TV in Gauteng

A team of MBA students have come through to spend time in South Africa as part of their fieldwork towards their MBA. They started their work in South Africa on Monday July 25th and will finish on Wednesday August 3rd, 2011.

The Institute for Management Development (IMD) is a leading global business school based in Switzerland. For over 60 years IMD has worked with leading global companies to develop and retain management talent.

IMD is ranked first in executive education outside the US and second worldwide (Financial Times, 2009). IMD’s MBA is ranked number one worldwide (The Economist, 2008).

Students that have been placed at the Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) will look at the economic impact of film & TV industry in Gauteng province and South Africa as a whole as per the topic below:

Impact, benchmark with other countries (India, France, UK, Nigeria and Ghana)
• What is the economic impact of Film and TV Industry in Gauteng province and in South Africa as
a whole?
• What is the current multiplier effect of Film in South Africa? Motivate by providing referential
case studies?

Further to meetings and interviews that students have had with some industry stakeholders, they have come up with the attached questionnaire in a bid to try and get answers or information that will help them in trying to ascertain the economic impact of the Film & TV industry.

The GFC would highly appreciate it if you could answer the questionnaire to the best of your knowledge, giving estimates where you can. This information is required as soon as possible as the students are only with us until 2nd August 2011.

I have attached students’ bios for your perusal.


Puisano Phatoli
Marketing Manager
Gauteng Film Commission

Documents sent to DFA members via the newsletter.

Entertainment Master Classes in Sitcom and Comedy

Please click on the image to view the details.

NB! The fee for South Africans attending has been reduced to R20 000!

Contact Michael Lee by email: for further information.

Celebration of DOP, Rene Smith's, Life

Please click the image to view the details.

Original post here.

Women of the Sun Calls for Submissions

Please click the image to view the details.

Original post here.

28 July 2011

MNet Bursary

Please click the image to view the details.

The bursary application form will be sent to DFA members via the newsletter.

2D Animation Course in Cape Town

Please click the image to view the details.

New TV Channel on the Horizon

SOLLY MAPHUMULO | 24 July, 2011 01:31

A new entertainment TV channel targeting the country's middle-class, black viewers is set to "shake up the industry".

Metro TV has been unofficially billed as the "Black M-Net" and will be launched in a bid to challenge the SABC's market dominance among black viewers.

The initiative is led by Top Billing producer and businesswoman Basetsana Kumalo and businessmen Clifford Elk and Aubrey Tau.

Various stakeholders approached by the Sunday Times for details were reluctant to spill the beans but it has been established that it includes plans for a 24-hour channel on DStv which will feature a mix of talk and magazine shows, drama, comedy and movies.

It has also been established that the consortium, Siyaya, is in talks with M-Net for a partnership deal.

Said M-Net spokesman Lani Lombard: "M-Net has no comment about this."

Kumalo said she was "not ready" to discuss the matter. One insider said: "Everyone will be shocked and surprised when the channel is launched. It's going to be the bomb."

Original article here.

NFVF Maps out Plan for SA Film Industry

Mon, 25 Jul 2011 10:18

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE…South Africa’s National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) aims to increase the number of feature films it funds to between six and 15 per year.
So said head of Development & Production Clarence Hamilton at a presentation at the Durban FilmMart on 22 July. “We have received increased funding for the next three years from Treasury and need to use this money in a way that will show government that the local industry is growing. The NFVF plans to secure another funding partner, preferably a broadcaster, and then we can develop a business plan for films with budgets of R6m.”

Hamilton noted that this year sees a change in focus of the Sediba Masters Programme. “We have put out a call for pitches to develop projects through our Masters programme for a period of 12 months. Writers must pitch three concepts to us and we will select the best pitch. At the end of the Masters Programme writers will have produced a third draft polished script.

“The NFVF is also calling for script editor trainees with a bias on indigenous languages, as well as relaunching its Short Film contest. This is for first time filmmakers who want a calling card. We will shortlist eight projects for development and will chose the best four for production. One of the big successes from our previous Short Film Contest was Father Christmas Doesn’t Come Here. Later this year we hope to announce another short film initiative.”

Another major NFVF project is to set up digital screens in townships, community centres and rural areas. An example is the Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre in KwaMashu, which provides a real cinematic experience. The NFVF aims to create 150 screens in rural areas and townships over the next 10 years.

Other news is that the NFVF is finalising the criteria to support the packaging of international television concepts developed by local filmmakers. The NFVF has also commissioned a book of reviews of South African films. This is to be an annual publication, with the first edition likely to be published in April next year.

A call for entries into the 2011 South African Film & Television Awards will go out on the 1 August, with the awards event to take place in February next year. The NFVF, gearing up to the establishment of the South African Film & Television Academy, has made a change in the judging process; only SAFTA winners and nominees are eligible to be judges.

“We’ve also embarked on a process to take the NFVF to the public. This entails going into townships and engaging with people so as to promote local films and documentaries. We will ensure that townships will have access to information about the film industry on an on-going basis,” noted Azania Muendane, head of Marketing & Public Affairs.

NFVF executive Thandeka Zwane talked about the NFVF’s development of a distribution model for filmmakers. “We have been involved in the distribution of Skin and Retribution, both films that were supported by the NFVF. However, our distribution model is open to all South African films. We look at all levels of distribution – theatrical, TV, DVD and online as we want local production companies to be sustainable. It’s important to note that we are not in competition to local independent distributors – it’s our role to develop a distribution model. The NFVF is in discussions with the Department of Trade & Industry about a rebate for P&A (prints and advertising) costs.”

Original article here.

PUMA Creative Impact Award Announced at DIFF

Mark Coetzee, Program Director of PUMAVision, Beadie Finzi, Founding Director of the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, Nandipha Mntambo, PUMA South Africa Cultural Ambassador and 2011 Standard Bank Young Artist Award winner, and Nashen Moodley, Programmer at the Durban International Film Festival, at the PUMA Creative Impact Award Dinner.

Durban, South Africa, July 26, 2011 – PUMA.Creative and Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation announced the five finalists for the first annual PUMA.Creative Impact Award. This €50,000 award will honour and support the documentary film that has made the most significant impact on society. The top films cover topics ranging from environmental issues to social justice and global conflict, and all five documentaries have enlightened and inspired individuals about global concerns.

The final five films will be judged by an elite jury later in the year that includes: Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Morgan Spurlock (Academy Award-nominated Director of “Super Size Me”), Orlando Bagwell (Director of the JustFilms initiative at the Ford Foundation), Emmanuel Jal (musician and activist), and Thandie Newton (BAFTA award-winning actress).

Morgan Spurlock said of the PUMA.Creative Impact Award, “Finally an award that acknowledges the unique role that documentary plays in society.” Thandie Newton added, “Give me a great documentary over a feature film any day of the week.”

The finalists for 2011 are:

The Age of Stupid (2009), directed by Franny Armstrong and produced by Lizzie Gillett
This film, set in 2055, looks back on the damage caused by years of climate destruction.

Burma VJ (2008), directed by Anders Østergaard and produced by Lise Lense-Møller
An undercover camera in Burma helps shed light on the country’s happenings in this film.

The End of The Line (2009), directed by Rupert Murray and produced by Claire Lewis and George Duffield. The film focuses on the devastating impact of overfishing in the world’s oceans.

The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court (2009), directed by Pamela Yates and produced by Paco de Onís. The struggle between the International Criminal Court and world superpowers is highlighted in this film.

Trouble The Water (2008), directed and produced by Tia Lessin & Carl Deal In the film, an aspiring rap artist survives natural disaster and seizes the chance for a new beginning.

“Film is a unique and compelling medium for exploring who we are; a tool for reflection as well as a catalyst for shifting perceptions and even affecting social change,” said Mark Coetzee, Program Director PUMAVision and Chief Curator, PUMA.Creative, speaking from the Durban International Film Festival. “The award is the highlight of our documentary film platform with Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation, and a strategic part of PUMAVision, our contribution to creating a better world for generations to come.”

The winning film will be announced at the PUMA.Creative and Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation Gala in London on October 11, 2011. Fifty-thousand Euros will be awarded to the creative minds behind the winning entry to acknowledge the film’s makers and to help further the campaign and impact of the film.

“The five documentaries – all critically acclaimed works of independent filmmaking – reflect some of the most urgent issues of our times, and all have been used strategically by the filmmakers to create change on a corporate, a political and a social level,” said Beadie Finzi, Founding Director of the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation. “Reading the applications and understanding both the breadth and the depth of impact that each of these finalists has had was inspiring, to say the least.”

More than 70 submissions were assessed by the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation and an independent Peer Review Committee made up of documentary and social change experts. Each film was judged by the impact of the film on the community, how it created increased awareness of an issue, or caused changes in attitudes and behaviour. The Peer Review Committee also considered the impact of the film on policy makers in government as well as business leaders around the world. For consideration all films must be: feature length (75 minutes or more), screened previously at a film festival or on television, released on or after November 1, 2007, and proven to have evidence of social impact. Through the process, which takes into consideration factors such as resources and budget, five films are shortlisted for the PUMA.Creative Impact Award.

The PUMA.Creative Impact Award is one of six awards and programmes made possible through a partnership between PUMA.Creative and Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation. At the Durban International Film Festival, the PUMA.Creative Catalyst Programme will also launch with a five day workshop for filmmakers who do not have access to the mainstream circuit, helping to turn their ideas into reality. In addition, several PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards and PUMA.Creative Mobility Awards will be given to support filmmakers at the festival.

For more information about the PUMA.Creative Impact Award, please visit:

Finalists were selected by the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation following consultation with an independent Peer Review Committee led by: Isabel Arrate at the Jan Vrijman Fund, Pat Aufderheide and Angelica Das at the Center for Social Media at American University, Diana Barrett at the Fledgling Fund, Carol Cone of Edelman, Heidi Gronauer at EsoDoc, Karolina Lidin at Nordic Film Fund, Isabelle Schwarz and Shreela Gosh at European Cultural Foundation, and Sally-Ann Wilson at the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.

Additional press materials and images will be available at:

Media Contacts
Edelman PR: Jonathan Halliwell, + 44 203 047 2043
Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation: Elise McCave, + 44 207 534 9621
PUMAVision: Danielle Marcus, + 1 978 394 9400

Festival International du Film d'Amiens Screenplay Development Fund

16 years
58 scripts of feature lenght supported since 1996
31 accomplished films, 7 ongoing shooting, 16 in development
More than €490,000 granted
In 2011, one €7,000 grant plus four €10,000 grants

The support for the script development of the Amiens International Film Festival : financing the writing development of the best feature length script projects from the South
and analysing the pitch to optimise the results.

Screenplay development fund
The applications are analysed by a pre-selection committee composed by the persons in charge of the support fund, some members of the artistic committee of the Amiens International Film Festival and professional readers.

Around 15 to 20 projects are selected. Their authors/directors, and eventually their producer(s), pitch the story in front of an international professional jury – with high knowledge of co--producing with Southern countries – and an audience of professionals essentially composed of producers, distributors, financing organisms …

The five awarded screenplays are announced by the jury after the presentation of all the projects.
After pitching, in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the script project, meetings are proposed between the authors and the professionals attending the Amiens International Film Festival – among with the members of the Jury of the fund.

RULES 2011

The 16th Screenplay Development Fund will take place within the scope of the 2011 Amiens International Film Festival for full-length fiction films and documentary of creation. With this fund, the Amiens International Film Festival organizers want to contribute to the promotion and development of films of authors from the South by allocating several development grants.

Several grants shall be awarded at the end of the works of the Screenplay Development Fund held on November 2011, 16 and 17th within the scope of the Amiens International Film Festival, in the conditions defined hereinafter.

May apply their project of full-length fiction films and documentary of creation : confirmed directors (having made at least one full-length film) or directors proposed by a known producer from one of the following countries. Candidates may submit several projects, but only one project will be selected for the competition.
African countries : All
Countries of the Caribbean : All
Countries of the Indian ocean : All
South American countries : All
Asian countries : All (except Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan)
Near and middle East : All (except the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain)
Following countries of Central and East Europe : Albania, the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and the former Soviet republics of central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan).

Are eligible, only directors native from one of these countries.

France : May apply project(s) of full length fiction film or documentary of creation of confirmed directors (having made at least one full-length fiction film) or directors proposed by a known producer on condition that the project deals with the problems of integration and insertion in the French society.

Candidates may submit several projects, but only one project will be selected for the competition.

Only full-length fiction films intended for cinema release may compete. Directors wishing to compete must strictly provide for each project the following documents in 3 copies :

the entry form duly filled out
a summary of the film in 5 lines max.
a synopsis (2 to 4 pages) in French
the presentation of a few scenes from the film (10 to 15 pages) in French
a note of intention from the director (1 to 2 pages) in French
the director's curriculum vitae
a copy of the agreement of the author(s), if need be
screenplay development estimate
a simplified preliminary estimate
the preliminary financing plan specifying the partners - potential - you have (with copy of agreements signed or requested)
a copy or video extracts (DVD) of films made previously (minimum 10 minutes)

In 1 copy:
Copy of the agreement’s author
Director’s photography

Only files containing all the above shall be examined.

The candidate may also enclose, if he/she wishes (in 3 copies) :
the screenplay (in the form of dialogue continuity) in French, if a first version
is already ready
In no case the scenario can replace the treatment
the copies of the first agreements (actors, technicians...)
curriculum vitae of producer(s)
any additional documents the candidate may consider useful
(but only the documents the Festival organizers consider as essential
shall be submitted to the jury's appraisal)

The absolute deadline postmark for submitting your projects to the Amiens International Film Festival organizers is August 15th, 2011. Due to organizational reasons, none project entry will be accepted after this deadline.

Amiens International Film Festival organizers will select fifteen to twenty out of all proposed
projects. A jury of professionals in the conditions provided for hereinafter will then examine these projects, the Amiens International Film Festival organizers will gather a jury of key figures known in the film, radio and television world as well as a public of professionals (producers, distributors, financing organisms,…) in particular) known for what they have done for Southern film-making.

The jurors will be informed of the selected projects 3 weeks before the contest held on November 2011, 16 and 17th , date at which the films will be examined and discussed. The directors and producers of these projects will be asked to support their film in front of the jury in the presence of a public of professionals.

The Amiens International Film Festival will pay for the director's stay (3 days maximum) and travel expenses so that he/she may present and support his/her project. If necessary, the Amiens international film Festival will also par for the producer’s stay (3 days maximum), but not for his/her travel expenses.
At the end of the discussions, the jury will award several projects and at least five grants, one €7,000 grant et four €10,000, given by the Groupama Gan Fundation for cinematography, the International Department of the French National Center for Cinema (CNC), the Moroccan National Center for Cinema (CCM), Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF, French-speaking communitiy agency), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then Venezuelan National Center for Cinema (CNAC) and Picardy Region. Other bodies may join the Screenplay Development Fund.
The Amiens International Film Festival and the jury of the Screenplay Development Fund reserve the right to award other grants. The names of the winners will be announced and the grants will be given out officially on November 2011 the 17th during the 31th Amiens International Film Festival.
All grants are awarded to directors. If the grant had to be paid to a third person, a writen agreement would be required.

For all grant-winnning projects, the directors and producers undertake to :
- mention in the credits of the ended film as well as on all advertising documents : "this film received the support of the Amiens International FilmFestival - Screenplay Development Fund" and the Amiens International Film Festival logo. If not, the festival will ask for reimbursement of the grant.
- give Amiens, in agreement with the Festival, the exclusive showing rights for the first presentation of the film in France. (Unless the film has been selected by the Cannes Film Festival or obvious and argued requirements of commercial release on distant dates)

These rules are drafted in French and in English. In case of dispute, only the French text shall be deemed authentic. The Amiens International Film Festival reserves the right to take any decision related to questions that are not provided for in these rules, and may, notably, for serious reasons - the importance of which will be estimated by the Festival, cancel, delay, shorten or interrupt the progress of the contest, without any possible appeal. Applications to the Amiens International Film Festival Screenplay Development Fund imply the unconditional acceptance of these rules. The Amiens Civil Court is the sole competent court in case of dispute.

Dossiers must be sent to the Paris office of the Amiens International Film
Festival :
Thierry Lenouvel
130 rue de Turenne - 75003 Paris - France
Tel +33 1 44 54 54 77 - Fax +33 1 44 54 05 02
Email : thierry HYPERLINK ""

11-20 november 2011

MCA – place Léon Gontier – 80 000 Amiens – France
tel. + 33 3 22 71 35 70 – Fax +33 3 22 92 53 04
e-mail : HYPERLINK ""
web site : HYPERLINK ""

11-20 november 2011

MCA – place Léon Gontier – 80 000 Amiens – France
tel. + 33 3 22 71 35 70 – Fax +33 3 22 92 53 04
e-mail : HYPERLINK ""
web site : HYPERLINK ""


27 July 2011

Call for Proposals


REGISTRATION No. 258-11/160

JuLY 19, 2011


The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is an intergovernmental organization established in 1995, with member states across all continents, which aims to support sustainable democracy world-wide and assist in the development of institutions and the culture of democracy. At the interface between research, fieldwork and the donor community, International IDEA provides a forum for dialogue, builds networks of experts, develops training materials and provides strategic advice at the international, regional and national level, cooperating with a range of organizations.

The Institute now invites proposals from film makers (organizations or individuals) for producing at least two pilot films of a minimum of 15 minutes duration based on case studies submitted to International IDEA by field researchers and practitioners on ways in which groups that have previously been marginalized by the “dominant” culture or social/political structure have been able to overcome their marginalization to participate in decision making processes and gain acceptance by the dominant culture. Summaries of such case studies will be posted on International IDEA’s website on August 24, 2011. A detailed description of the assignment is provided in the Terms of Reference, available at

The Director’s cuts of the films produced will be submitted on December 2 2011 and, after feedback provided by International IDEA, final versions completed by December 22 2011. The maximum budget to be allocated for the project is €75,000. The agreed final budget allocation will be paid in two instalments. These include an initial payment of no more than 15% of the film maker’s budgeted fee, with the remaining amount to be paid upon the film’s completion. International IDEA will nevertheless provide advances on reimbursable expenses such as travel, accommodation, communications, consumables and supplies (see attached Annex A’s General Conditions for Contracts for Provision of Services)

The film maker will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out in the Request for Proposals and accompanying Terms of Reference.

Interested film makers may obtain further information on the assignment by emailing the Project Manager, Julian Smith at

Film making proposal summaries of no more than 2,000 words together with CVs and examples of previous work must be delivered by hard copy or electronic mail to the address below by September 16, 2011. Late submissions will not be considered. Interviews with short listed film makers will take place in the week September 19-23. The successful tenderer will be selected and notified on September 23, 2011.

International IDEA
Strömsborg, SE-103 34 Stockholm, Sweden
Attn: Julian Smith
Tel: +46-8-698 37 00
Fax: +46-8-20 24 22

Robert Sobukwe at DIFF

Please click the image to view the details.