Wednesday, June 22, 2016


On 2 June 2016, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), together with SOS Support Public Broadcasting Coalition (SOS) and the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), lodged a formal complaint with ICASA over the SABC’s ban on visuals of the destruction of property in protests across its news and current affairs bulletins.

“We believe the decision to be unlawful and is a clear violation of the Broadcasting Act, the SABC’s licence conditions and the SABC’s revised editorial policies,” said William Bird, Director of media watchdog, MMA, in a statement.

“As the FXI, we too are concerned about the impact the decision will have for ordinary South Africans and their right to freedom of expression and access to information,” added Sheniece Linderboom, head of the FXI Law Clinic. “Not only does the banning take us back to an SABC of the 80’s in which protests against the illegitimate apartheid government and abuse of State power by police and security forces, but it is also fundamentally flawed in its reasoning.”

ICASA's Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) has heard our demand for it to adjudicate on the SABC’s violation of its statutory duty and licensing conditions in this regard, and the matter will be heard on an urgent basis on:

Date: 24 June 2016
Time: 12 pm
Place: Pinmill Farm, Blocks A, B, C and D, Pinmill Farm, 164 Katherine Street, Sandton

While the CCC’s decision to hear this matter on an urgent basis is an important move in the right direction, this is not enough. We need a visible presence of us, the owners of our national public broadcaster, the SABC, at the ICASA offices to show the CCC that a significant number of the people of South Africa find Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s decision as not only unlawful, but detestable and anti-democratic. This is especially important now because we are in an election year where 7 million of the 12 million households that own a TV rely exclusively on the SABC for their information needs which will inform which parties they will vote for in the imminent local government elections.

We call upon your support! Join our picket outside ICASA on Friday 24 June 2016 at 1pm.

Bring your family, friends and members of your communities too. 

Let's show ICASA and the SABC that people's power must and will prevail over Motsoeneng’s anti-democratic and apartheid style censorship and abuse of power in our SABC. 

Media Enquiries:

William Bird (MMA)
082 887 1370

Shaniece Linderboom (FXI)
(074) 7832743

Sekoetlane Phamodi (SOS)
076 084 8077

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sun Screen Film Festival: Contest for Contest Winners calls for screenplays

Ever wonder where your script stacks up among the top competitors of other competitions?

Digital Lab Africa is looking for Winners or Finalists or Highly Placed screenplays from competitions of all kinds. Look at our Qualifying Competitions on the website or just pitch us your competition success story.

The CONTEST OF CONTEST WINNERS ™ seeks to discover which feature screenplay from the winners and finalists of the many quality competitions is the best of the best.

And this year, we’ll be shouting it out at the Sunscreen Film Festival West, September 30-October 2, 2016 in Los Angeles.

The 2016 Contest of Contest Winners (CCW) takes the best screenplays up a level with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences supported Sunscreen Film Festivals.

Because of this partnership, contest finalists and winners will meet with literary agents, producers, and successful filmmakers at the Sunscreen Film Festival West.


ALL Entrants receive:

  • Two Industry Professional Script Evaluations on their entry (coverage and score sheet) valued at more than $300. Testimonials from our entrants on these speak for themselves. 

Ten Finalists also receive:
  • Presentation in Trophies Ceremony at Sunscreen Film Festival West
  • VIP Passes to Sunscreen Film Festival West, which includes: access to all Films, Parties, Workshops, and Celebrity Events
  • access to all workshops and panels by top Hollywood actors, producers, screenwriters and filmmakers
  • discount lodging
  • Publicity for writer, script title, and log line to Agents, Prodcos, Managers, and Industry News
  • Continued promotion on
  • Group membership with other Contest Finalists for networking and news, which includes our great Facebook sharing page for writers 
1st and 2nd Place Winners also receive:
  • Story Notes from (rated No. 1 in national survey ) valued at $1500
  • All Finalist prizes listed above like the Presentation in Trophies Ceremony
  • A listing of your script on InkTip so that producers and reps can find you
  • Publication of your logline in InkTip’s magazine sent to nearly 15,000 producers and reps
  • A 30 minute Consult with an Industry agent or producing company plus Bragging rights!
Early - before June 20, 2016; entrance fee $75
Late - before July 20, 2016; entrance fee $80

Finalists will be announced September 15, 2016.

ENTER NOW, CLICK HERE Where everyone goes for scripts and writers. Producers have made more than 200 films from scripts and writers they found through InkTip.
Learn more about our Judges, Rules, and Entry at Or email

Also like the festival on Facebook.
And follow Digital Lab Africa on Twitter.

Friday, June 10, 2016

KZN Film Commission script development workshop

The KZN Film Commission is proud to present a script development workshop with the team of the newly released feature film ‘Mrs Right Guy’ and invites you to attend.

Mokopi Shale, writer of 'Mrs Right' will deliver a script development workshop using the film as case study. ‘Mrs Right Guy’ is one of the latest romantic comedies to hit South African cinema and has grossed over R1million in its first week at box office.

Mokopi has worked as a Commissioning Editor in the drama unit of the SABC’s Content Enterprises, and was later promoted to Head of Story. She was responsible for managing such projects as Entabeni and Ubizo as a commissioning editor. 

During this time she also wrote and published three popular fiction romance novels for Sapphire Press. Mokopi also worked for a period of a year and half as a storyliner on South Africa’s most watched soap opera Generations, from 2010 to 2012. She currently works as a freelance writer and script editor, and runs her own Production Company - Fuze Films.

Date: 23 June 2016
Time: 09h00- 16h00
Venue: KZNFC, 11th floor Training Room,  115 Musgrave Towers



Ekurhuleni International Film Festival 2016

The purpose of the festival is to empower emerging local and international filmmakers. This will provide them with vital filmmaking skills; create networking opportunities with local and international broadcasters.

The Ekurhuleni International Festival is initiated by Make It Happen ProductionsNghalamona Entertainment and Rhythm Cycle Projects. This is done in partnership with the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality: Arts, Culture and Heritage.

Date: 23-25 June 
Time: 18:00
Venue: OR Tambo Cultural Precinct, Wattville, Benoni, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng
Dress code: Formal

There will also be a DNA wine tasting. 

Access is free 

Register online:

For more information and the programme - visit:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Durban International Film Festival awards Editors for first time

First Best Editing Award at DIFF 2016

SAGE is excited to announce that the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) has included an award for best editing this year. 

The American Cinema Editors (ACE) has over a number of years campaigned for the inclusion of a Film Editing awards category at international film festivals. In support of this initiative, SAGE consulted with the DIFF management team in early 2016, and we are pleased to announce that after this discussion the festival has decided to implement an award for Best Editor for this year’s festival.

We appreciate everyone’s contribution to this success — most notably the American Cinema Editors for their petition for editors’ recognition at top-tier international film festivals. Further support came from the American Motion Picture Editors Guild (MPEG), as well as several other international guilds and societies, presenting an unprecedented alliance for the recognition of the editor in the filmmaking process.

In addition, DIFF has included our vice chairperson Melissa Parry S.A.G.E. as a judge on the South African jury, where she will be able to bring her considerable editing expertise to the judging process.

SAGE members’ contributions to the filmmaking process are recognised through the selection of their films at many international film festivals, including numerous films selected for DIFF. 

We are pleased to recognise the work of two SAGE editors in this year’s festival:
Khalid Shamis S.A.G.E. — Unseen and Action Commandant
Nikki Comninos S.A.G.E. — Timelines

SAGE has developed a close collaborative relationship with DIFF since 2012, aiming to further promote editors and the craft of editing at the festival. We value the huge contribution DIFF makes to our local film industry, and look forward to a fruitful relationship going forward.

Advocating for editors’ recognition is an ongoing process and we urge industry players to consider ACE’s online petition for further recognition at other film festivals.

Marina du Toit
SAGE Chairperson | +27 (0)82 255 8077 |

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bold plans for SABC TV

By Siyabonga Sithole, The New Age online, Johannesburg, 6 June 2016 - for the original article click here.

Public broadcaster announces local content policy for its three channels as early as July 1

Last week was yet another big week for the SABC as the public broadcaster announced sweeping changes that will take the South African television industry by storm as early as July 1.

After forging ahead with the 90% local content policy across all its 18 radio stations, SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng has his sights on extending 80% local content on the public broadcaster’s three television channels as well as the three new ones that are being launched.

Motsoeneng was in the company of his team made up of chief executive officer Jimi Matthews, head of television Verona Duwarkah, head of radio Leslie Ntloko and others when he made the announcement at M1 Studios in Auckland Park on Tuesday.


First up is SABC3, which is dominated by foreign content.

“When I switch on the TV to SABC3 I do not feel that I am South African. There is too much American content on this channel. This can’t be right in our country,” Motsoeneng told those gathered at M1 Studios.

“We want R1.7bn of the R2bn that Arthur Mafokate was talking about to remain here. We will give them 10% because we want to know what is happening in other countries.”

Stars such as Khanyi Mbau, Pearl Modiadie, former Generations cast members Winnie Ntshaba and Sophie Ndaba, television presenter and singer Ntombi Mzolo, choreographer Somizi Mhlongo and record label boss Arthur Mafokate, among others, were unveiled as the public broadcaster’s new top talent.

“This month is action month and we are taking the SABC to another level,” Motsoeneng said.


“We remain unapologetic about 90% local content on all our platforms. For us to develop local talent we need people like Somizi Mhlongo and all those who are here to provide us with high-quality content.”

Motsoeneng said he wanted his staffers to sing the same song as he. “If you are an SABC employee you must walk like me and talk like me. You can’t take left when I take right,” he said.

With radio having begun the pro-local-content journey more than three weeks ago, head of television Verona Duwarkah said the SABC had put aside R600m [Blogger's note: many people want to know where this amount will come from - for the 2015 SABC financial report click here; refer page 33] to boost the decision to have 90% of its content on both radio and television locally produced.

“We have set aside a budget for aspiring local content producers, specifically to create content in various South African languages in the provinces,” Duwarkah said.

“We have already trained more than 23 content producers. The plan is to roll out the skills development to 60 individuals so that they can develop content in their regions in the languages that are dominant in those regions.”

Ndaba and Ntshaba said they were glad to be back home where their careers had started. The two have joined forces to form their own production company to provide
the public broadcaster with riveting local content.

Ntshaba said: “We are grateful to the SABC for welcoming us back home. He (Motsoeneng) said he fired us, which he did, but we are happy to be back... We have great content, even if we say so ourselves and we hope that you will love it as well.”

Ntshaba also said the rumours that they were being mentored by their former boss, Mfundi Vundla, were not false. “I would like to confirm the rumours that MMSV Productions was mentoring us. Yes, we are working with Mfundi Vundla and he is mentoring us as part of the SABC’s incubation programme,” Ntshaba said.

Ndaba said it felt good to be back home where her career had started more than 22 years ago. “We are more excited now that we are moving onto the next level,” she said. “We are now saying to the producers out there that we have arrived and we are on operation thatha zonke (take all) at the SABC. “We hope that we will provide content that will excite South Africa.”

New initiative to unearth SA’s creative fashion film talent offers up R 50 000

Saturday, the 4th of June, marked the launch of an exciting new initiative, held at the new campus of the City Varsity in Gardens, Cape Town, to unearth and develop the creative fashion film talent in South Africa. 

Sponsored by Adrian Lazarus, the founder of globally acclaimed Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South Africa International Fashion Film Festival, and in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, the Award for Emerging Creative Talent serves to stimulate a generation of new fashion film creatives, actors, directors and producers in the Western Cape and eventually throughout South Africa. 

Lazarus commented, “My own recent experience is that there is a massive demand both locally and internationally for the production of creative Fashion Films. We have an immense talent pool of highly creative and skilled students throughout all our local colleges, and we want to use this initiative to encourage this talent and place them on the world stage where they can compete and grow both themselves as well as our local industry.” No agencies or  professional employees will be permitted to enter, as only students from tertiary institutions were invited to attend. 

The morning commenced with a presentation about the fashion film industry and the fashion films genre, followed by a brief on the requirements for the film submissions. 

Thereafter guests and their extended families were invited to mingle and interact with the organisers and gain further valuable insights. 

Students will be instructed as to the guidelines necessary to create and submit their 90 second fashion films, as well as the criteria on which that will be evaluated. 
Elements such as the ability to interpret and present fashion, storytelling and creativity will be essential components. 
After an initial round of submissions, the top 20 teams will be selected towards the end of August, whereafter they will be mentored by Adrian and his team with the offer of creative packages including film gear, locations, access to Mercedes-Benz vehicles, camera’s, wardrobe, accessories and make-up. 

The winning film will receive international coverage during the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Bokeh South Africa International Fashion Film Festival awards ceremony, with the team walking away with the Award for Emerging Creative Talent, R50 000 and the Fashion Film industry at their feet. 

For more information contact
Jeremy Nel
Luxury Brands
082 33 11 656

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition


The Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition is coming into the 2016 instalment dressed in fresh threads and full of attitude. Fronted by a sassy new combo of ambassadors and sporting the theme Censored: 

When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised, Moshito 2016 is all about the here, now, and relevant…revisited.

After a successful run with last year’s ambassadors, kwela legend Lemmy “Special” Mabaso and hip hop grandmaster Emile YX?, the faces of Moshito 2016 are proof that the South African creative industry is vast and varied.

Enter to centre stage Rodger Lucey and Gigi LaMayne, the brand new ambassadors for Moshito 2016! This unlikely pairing is just the kind of fusion that shows off the diversity of Mzansi’s lekker richness and how arts unite all in their diversity. 

Lucey, 62, is a musician, journalist, film maker, actor and educator. During the late 1970s and early 1980s his career as a musician was brutally curtailed by the South African Bureau of State Security as a result of Lucey’s protest songs being considered a “threat to the Apartheid State”. Although the Government was already aware of his anti-apartheid songs, the South African security apparatus only swung into action to wipe out Lucey’s career after he performed his “radical” songs, Lungile Tabalaza, Cross Roads [Blogger could not find Crossroads but did find "The Road is much longer"] and Thabane, on the Voice of America radio programme in 1979.

His young counterpart on Moshito, LaMayne, is a new generation female emcee who stormed her way into the male-dominated genre with the sassy song Ice Cream. Previously a struggling unsigned artist, Lamayne now sits pretty in the company of giant fellow stablemates Khuli Chana, Thembi Seete, Ms Cosmo, MuzArt, and Major League DJz among other big names under Dream Team SA. Her career is barely out of its infancy stage, and already she is a four time South African Hip Hop Awards winner, winning Best Female for two consecutive years (2013 and 2015), as well as winning Best Mixtape and Best Newcomer in 2013 and the Jack Daniels hip-hop competition in 2014.

About Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition 2016 

Moshito has been made possible by the solidified long term financial support of the Department of Arts and Culture, the SABC and the City of Joburg, thus establishing itself as not only South Africa’s biggest Music Conference and Exhibition but also as Africa’s premiere music industry event. Its purpose is to broaden the business intelligence of the music industry professionals in South Africa and the Continent, strengthen business networks for participants and inform delegates, traders and the public about the multifaceted and dynamic nature of the global music industry and its latest trends. 

Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition will take place from 7-10 September 2016 at the SABC Radio Park in Auckland Park.

For media inquiries and interviews please contact: Email: & Website: / Facebook: Moshito Otswela Pele / Twitter: @moshito_music / Instagram: @moshito_conference

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Darkstar in South Africa

Darkstar (Aiden Whalley & James Young) have arrived in SA!  The duo has made great contributions to the UK’s electronic scene. 

The tour will take place from the 5th to the 12th of June.

During their visit to South Africa they will meet with South Africans young and old with the sole purpose of listening to their stories whilst documenting the various voices from different walks of life.

The recordings will then be infused into their music to be played in their shows on the 11th and 12th of June 2016 in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively. This will allow the music to be deeply influenced by the people and stories they encounter.

This project was inspired by the already completed Foam Island - the band’s third studio LP, which is a moving contemporary electronic pop album handling themes around hope against odds in the modern world. They started the project whilst visiting family in Northern England, documenting local young people’s experiences in Huddersfield for 3 months.

British Council has made the project possible through the Connect ZA programme whose primary aim is creating opportunities for young people in South Africa & UK through the arts sector.

Thanks to a collaboration with Red Bull Cape Town, during their visit they will be collaborating with local artists such as Dj Fosta and Dunn Kidda. Additionally they will be sharing the stage with local talent such as Micr.Pluto, Maramza and Vox Portent.

The show in Johannesburg will take place at Good Luck Bar on Saturday and the Cape Town show will take place at The Assembly Bar on Sunday.

The band is looking forward to connecting with new people and exploring similarities between young people in South Africa and Northern England.

Encounters, British Council Connect ZA and Red Bull are excited about the potential of new connections, collaborations and various cultural exchanges that may come of the visit.

Darkstar SA Tour Itinerary:
Sat 11 June 9pm @ The Good Luck Bar, Johannesburg
Sun 12 June 8pm @ The Assembly, Cape Town

Entrance FREE

Contact information:
Media queries: E-mail and call 076 169 5984

Further information:
Facebook Event
Webtickets Link
Darkstar event info
Google Drive link to local artist information

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

SOS and MMA Welcome SCA Judgment on DTT Encryption Saga

The SOS Coalition (SOS) and Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) heartily welcome the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), today, in which Judge Harris vindicated our public interest claim that the Minister of Communications acted irrationally and ultra vires in her 2015 Amendment of the Broadcasting Digital Migration (BDM) Policy, 2008.

When SOS and MMA joined in this matter, we argued that the exclusion of encryption technology from the government-manufactured set-top box decoders (STBs) would have the manifest effect of stymieing competition by ensuring the exclusion of existing and entrant broadcasters wishing to access premium content and participate in both the free-to-air and subscription broadcasting markets. The effect of this on TV viewers in South Africa, particularly the 7 million of the 12 million TV-owning households in South Africa which rely exclusively on free-to-air TV for their information, education and entertainment needs would be denied high-quality television, unlike their wealthier counterparts who have the deep pockets to afford pay-TV services like DStv.

For us, the prospect of government actively deepening inequality in South Africa through the amendment of policy which has the manifest effect of defining the people of South Africa's access to diverse and relevant information, education and entertainment TV services of a high quality on the basis of affordability could not be allowed to continue unchallenged.

From the outset before this matter became the subject of litigation, delaying South Africa’s migration to digital terrestrial television (DTT) by over three years, we pleaded with the current Minister of Communications and her predecessors to abide by the sound and forward-looking BDM Policy as it was promulgated in 2008. We implored them to put South Africa first, and include encryption in the government manufactured STBs in order to not only protect government's investment in the STB manufacture, but also to revitalise South Africa’s broadcasting sector for the benefit of the people of South Africa, as well as to stimulate South Africa’s electronics manufacturing and content creation industries, thereby creating jobs and contributing to South Africa’s triple-burden of unemployment, inequality and poverty.

This judgment is not only a victory for, ourselves and the people of South Africa in respect of the benefits they will derive from government-manufactured STBs outfitted with encryption technology. It is also a victory for our constitutional democracy in how it reinforced two key principles underpinning the rule of law by establishing that:

the Minister’s powers to amend this aspect of the BDM Policy must be drawn from some empowering authority, which they was not as was established by the South Gauteng Division of the High Court in 2012; and
the Minister’s amendment of policy must comply with the rationality test, which she did not in respect of the BDM Policy amendment.

We thank our partners and supporters for supporting us and in challenging this matter and going the distance in ensuring that the people of South Africa do not only enjoy the full benefits that South Africa's migration to DTT are set to bring, but also in defending the rule of law in our constitutional democracy.

Issued on behalf of SOS: Support Public Broadcasting and Media Monitoring Africa

Sekoetlane Jacob Phamodi
Coordinator: SOS Coalition
076 084 8077

William Bird
Director: Media Monitoring Africa

Friday, May 27, 2016

SABC calls for submissions of completed local programmes for license

Dear Producer,

SABC TV Content would like to invite you to submit completed local programmes for possible licensing across all genres. For more information kindly email or call (011) 714 5066, (011) 714 4532 , (011) 714 6434.