Monday, May 23, 2016

Al Jazeera-Encounters Pitching Forum call for proposals

The Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, in partnership with Al Jazeera, is calling African filmmakers to submit proposals for the Al Jazeera-Encounters Pitching Forum taking place in Johannesburg on Saturday, 11 June 2016. The deadline is this Friday, 27 May 2016

A maximum of 12 African filmmakers will be selected to pitch to Aloke Devichand, a senior commissioning producer in the documentaries department at Al Jazeera English.

Devichand focuses on the channel’s flagship character-led strand, Witness. Before this he helped launch a short docs strand for Al Jazeera’s digital startup, AJ+, which has become one of the world’s largest social media video publishers. Previously Aloke worked for CNN International, and for production companies making films for the BBC and Channel 4. He holds a BSc in Management from the London School of Economics and an MSc in International Public Policy from University College London.

The call is open to projects at any stage of development or production. Each selected filmmaker will have a maximum of seven minutes to pitch their film, with an additional seven minutes allocated for feedback and questions from Devichand. 

Projection equipment will be provided for those that have DVDs or other visual presentations to augment their pitch. Selected applicants who cannot attend will be able to participate via Skype.

The pitching forum has been highly successful in creating opportunities for filmmakers. Last year Al Jazeera commissioned two one-hour documentaries from projects at the forum.

Submission Details:
Interested parties should send not more than:

  • A one-page synopsis of their film
  • A one-page biography of the filmmaker and producer, including complete contact details (Skype contact, telephone number, city of residence, home and work addresses)
  • One page of further background information and/or visual treatment of the subject.
  • Links to previous works and promo of proposal, if available.

Any submissions that do not follow the strict page limitations will be disqualified.

Email your submission to with Al Jazeera Pitching Forum in the subject line.

Submission deadline: On or before 4pm (South African time), this Friday, 27 May 2016.

About Pitching To Witness
Witness is an immersive, character-led strand on Al Jazeera English with a focus on observational, visual storytelling.

The strand has one-hour and half-hour slots each week. The former are usually acquired or co-productions, while the latter are normally commissioned projects.

Witness looks for the following elements in their half-hour commissions:

  • A strong central character/s who ‘owns’ the film and tells their own story
  • A specific journey that the character/s are on with the potential to capture an unfolding narrative, compelling storylines and a sense of transformation
  • Actuality-driven narrative style with well-shot observational scenes and confidently crafted sequences
  • Few or no formal sit-down interviews. We prefer ‘in-situation’ interviews filmed while characters are immersed in the events driving the film
  • Films that are character-driven, rather than issue-driven, but still have a current affairs theme as a backdrop. We aim to provide depth and context to topical issues through the lived experiences of the characters
  • Docs that have a timeless quality and therefore are usually not built around fast changing news events

See  to gain a sense of the Al Jazeera Witness documentary style. 

About Documentaries, Series & Stand-alone Films
There are non-strand slots for series and stand-alone documentaries of half hour and hour durations which are commissioned, acquired or co-produced. These documentaries should be by, about and from a range of people, places and perspectives, challenge dominant views and seek to reflect the human experiences and stories behind current affairs in our docs.

About Investigative Programmes
There are also weekly strands which commission ‘reportage’ - journalist-led investigative programmes, like People & Power and occasionally Africa Investigates.

About Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera English is an international news channel, with over sixty bureaux spanning six different continents. Established in 2006, it has continued to grow in reach and popularity due to its global coverage, especially from under-reported regions. The channel currently broadcasts to over 250m households across 130 countries. Its in-depth approach to journalism has won numerous awards and plaudits over the years, including RTS News Channel of the Year 2012, Freesat Best News Channel, the Columbia Journalism Award, a DuPont award, and a George Polk award.

Al Jazeera is one of the world’s leading media corporations, encompassing news, documentary and sport channels. It was the first independent news channel in the Arab world dedicated to covering and uncovering stories in the region. It is now a media network consisting of over 20 channels – Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera Balkans, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera Mubasher, Al Jazeera Documentary, the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, and the Al Jazeera Center for Studies. 

For more information, visit

Encounters documentary films' festival 2016 - dates

18th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival

The 2016 Encounters South African International Documentary Festival, in it's 18th year, is proud to present a slew of groundbreaking productions in its most ambitious festival to date. 

From the 2nd of June through to the 12th, we'll be bringing you everything from workshops to masterclasses, live music and podcasts, as well as a total of 39 feature films and 18 shorts; something to suit every taste. Bringing you gritty topics on affairs of state, education, body politics, space travel and virtual reality, Encounters pushes documentary and storytelling to new heights. Featuring special guests such as Rita Coburn-Whack, Simon Wood, and UK electronic band Darkstar, join us and experience documentary at it's finest. 

There are opportunities to pitch your documentary projects - see the Calls for Proposals... 

Follow the link to learn more!

Launch of the Mokolo Platform: in the spirit of African's being empowered to network with each other

All about the Mokolo Platform

by Mokolo Team

Mokolo Project, an online portal for filmmakers whose aim is to reinforce the film and multimedia sector in Africa by improving the accessibility and visibility of professionals and contents, is set for launch on May 31, 2016 in Dakar, Senegal.

The project, funded by ACP-EU and Goethe-Institut, targets film professionals as well as those who work in the industry, consumers and retailers, festivals, policies, libraries, researchers, institutions and research centres, civil societies, interested lobbyists and organisations.

By collating and aggregating content from existing relevant websites, Mokolo provides easy access to African film and audio-visual content as well as to industry-related information. This is in line with the raison d'être of its online platform connecting distribution, information and networking sites through a one-stop portal.

Set up after a meeting of African cinema and audiovisual experts and professionals at the Goethe-Institut Yaoundé in November 2010, the project derives its name from the Cameroonian capital's biggest market.

It essentially pivots on the basic premise that technology and innovation can play an important role in developing Africa's movie ecosystem. Hence it operates on the tripod of Mokolo TV, Mokolo Pro and Mokolo Database, the features of which somewhat dovetail into each other's so much that the difference between them seem to blur. The project's end-users, addressed as "Mokolizers", can log in to Mokolo pro and Mokolo TV either through their email or any of their social media accounts.

The social media networking features of these platforms focus on the interactions of Mokolizer. For instance, a Mokolizers community, on these platforms, is offered the opportunity to take a number of actions. These include adding Mokolos and reviews, which is about the content that the mokolizer can add to a film or practitioner file. "Mokolos" refer to external links, which are accompanied by a commentary while "reviews" allow rating with a justifying comment to a listing. In addition, the mokolizer can add, delete and modify its own mokolos and reviews, he can also comment or flag all mokolos and reviews.

Next are the monitoring features, which enables a Mokolizer to follow another Mokolizer with whom he shares some interests. It can also follow a film or a series file or a Practitioner file. He will receive notifications if there is activity on the monitored content. That for instance involves when the mokolizer carries out an action (comment, add a listing etc).

Also, a mokolizer can carry out actions on the followed files, notably through changing, reporting, adding mokolos or reviews, adding commentaries on the file's mokolos. In addition, there is the mokolizer space, which is dedicated to both the mokolizer who uploads his activities on the platform  and the activities of the one being followed. It contains a dashboard to view the settings of his account and to modify and view its notifications and suggestions.

The platform can also suggest to a mokolizer to follow another or film files according to their interests and enable end-users or mokolizers to change their language preferences (notably English or French).

Further on platform, professional files can be added by mokoloziers. These are created when a movie file is being added and they contain such basic information on a film professional as function, filmography and name. These files are public and can only be changed by moderators.

Users of the platform can through search and advanced search find a film, a series, a VoD platform or a professional's public file. In case the searched files are not available on Mokolo platform, the web semantics functions help to extend the search to external sources in order to satisfy the user.

Then, the Content Reporting Feature enables users to notify the moderators of inappropriate or offensive content. Perhaps, to counter-balance the abuse potential of this function is the moderation interface feature, which provides the moderators the space to view all of the reported content, and accept / reject moderation requests made by mokolizers. Only moderators can create and delete files. These include profiles including movies, series, VoD platforms, professionals, organisations, festivals, opportunities, projects etc. To become a moderator, one needs to comply with specific requirements from the Mokolo editorial team.

Yet another feature of the platform is the API (Application Program Initiative) Rest, which allows partner platforms not only to interrogate the mokolo database but also to inject their data into it.

Similarly, the Mokolizers are also availed access to Mokolo Pro, through which they can access a number of equally interesting features. They can, for instance, get registered and link their account to a professional public profile on (if it exists).

Mokolo Pro users can create professional profiles, a kind of CV through which they can make themselves known as well as their work and different experiences.  They also have the possibility to post mokolos on their profiles and can through one of its features, called mail space, also send private messages by entering the user's name.  In the user's space, the professional is availed a list of events and opportunities. There is also the notification space, which features the users recommendations made for users, contact requests, the adding of  contacts' mokolos on their files or on the files created by the moderators and the modification of the contact files. On this platform, the professionals can manage the list of their contacts.

In addition to all these, Mokolo Project through its OER (Open Education Resource) Approach offers a comprehensive digital media literacy. This "visual literacy" goal can best be described as the competence to understand and interpret audio-visual content. It encompasses the comprehension of film and visual media as multimodal content - i.e. audio, video and text.

The acquisition of such competencies could be through the traditional classroom-based face-to-face settings and self-education in an open learning system. Thus, the Mokolo OER structure's focus is on self-learners and on such multipliers as educators or workshop leaders.

In Mokolo's definition of concepts, the term "work" alludes to any creative work in an audio-visual context like a radio programme, a TV commercial, a movie or a podcast. Then, the term "visual literacy" would embrace others like "visual thinking", "visual learning" and "visual communication".  Hence a glossary of terms (such as "communication", "contextual diversity", "culture", "skills", "hypermedia/intermedia" and "image", among others) becomes necessary.

Mokolo hopes to make its significant contribution to OER, which has been around for the past 50 years, by providing a UX (User Experience) best practice example for an OER A/V (Audio/ Video) platform, which can be used for text-based education.  This would also be through encouraging and supporting filmmakers, storytellers, photographers in their efforts to maintain and expand the diversity of educational cultures.  And given the unavailability of existing OER platforms for integration, Mokolo hopes to offer that minimum hosting capacity aimed at ensuring the general availability of the OER featured in its own educational activities.

The next phase of the Mokolo Project, which will be handled by the Mokolo Foundation, will rely on the support of its members and the German Foreign Office.

"Mokolo will only work if people use it, and know it’s created for you, and owned by you!" Marc Schwingesthe South African Film Producer on the Mokolo Executive Committee.

For more information about the platform and project, click here

R2K demands an end to SABC censorship!

The South Gauteng High Court hears the case and counter-application from 23 to 26 May of the SABC's banning of Project Spear, a documentary by filmmaker Sylvia van Vollenhoven about massive corruption in the run-up to the 1994 elections. [Blogger note: ironically it was commissioned and scheduled to be aired by SABC in 2012]

Despite being of significant public interest, our public broadcaster, which has a duty to deliver critical public interest coverage, has not only refused to show the Project Spear but has also stubbornly refused to sell the rights to the material gathered by Vollenhoven in preparing Project Spear for the series Truth Be Told.

The film traces the alleged siphoning off through corruption of R30 billion in the dying days of apartheid, helping to uncover grand scale theft of the sort we've seen after apartheid, such as the Arms Deal and Nkandla. But despite its extent, there has been a stone-cold silence around corruption and collusion between white capital and the Afrikaner Nationalist government, and while our transition to democracy and the TRC process revealed gross human rights violations and exposed the regime's brutality, little was said about the economic crimes of apartheid. Corruption greased the wheels of the secretive apartheid system, at times allowing the government to side-step sanctions and making some fabulously wealthy in the process.

Vollenhoven's documentary and other exposés give lie to the widely held but absurd idea that systematic corruption began with the ANC. But the government of democratic South Africa has not only been remarkably unwilling to look into the economic crimes of apartheid, it has even actively blocked attempts to do so, as in the case of Khulumani and their long struggle for reparations from corporate beneficiaries of apartheid.

The country's transition left in tact the social and economic power and privileges of the old elite and brought to power new business partners who move between the government and private sector - their interests are intertwined, both are beneficiaries of the status quo, and nobody is willing to rock the boat by looking into the ugly past. 

Meanwhile, the SABC has played its role in concealing the truth. This, of course, is not the first time the SABC has canned programming that is critical of the establishment. In two well-known recent examples of self-censorship, the broadcaster refused to screen a critically-acclaimed documentary about the Marikana massacre, Miners Shot Down, and pulled the hard-hitting current affairs talk show The Big Debate. SABC news has taken on an increasingly obvious pro-ANC bias, and in yet another recent controversy it was announced earlier this year that SABC radio would ban listener call-ins around election time.

The SABC has been hamstrung by mismanagement and political interference. Its notoriously incompetent COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, who was plucked from obscurity to pander to those above him, shows only contempt for journalists and media workers under him and has gone so far as to demand 70 percent good news. It is in this sort of thing, and in the banning of films like Project Spear, that we see the SABC's slide from public broadcaster to state broadcaster and propaganda machine.


As Right2Know, we salute FXI, Khulumani and the Legal Resource Centre in their support for Vollenhoven's important case. We urge the public to support our demand - one we have consistently made over the years - that the SABC serves the public's right to know. We want critical, public interest journalism that holds power to account, not sweetheart journalism! 

We also urge the public to watch this important documentary here:  

For more information contact:
Micah Reddy, Right2Know Media Freedom & Diversity Organiser: 083 297 3444
Busi Mtabane, R2K National Communicator: 083 329 7844

Online version:

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A last reminder about shnit's call for entries - DEADLINE 1 JUNE 2016

Get those films in now!  

No restrictions on genre, content, language.  

Max length 40min

Remember - don't pay for entry.  Enter into the MADE IN SA National Competition and it'll automatically be entered into the International Competition too, free of charge.  Taking SA shorts to the world...

Enter here:

Or submit your film on our website or on one of these common platforms:
Withoutabox, Filmfreeway, Festhome, ...

Find all information for submission under Regulations 2016 or FAQ.


Monday, May 2, 2016

SABC cancels RFP books

(For the original article click here.)

The SABC says it has established 'in-house production capabilities' to produce more of the new local content that the public broadcaster wants to put on SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3, as well as some planned new 'language-based' TV channels for digital terrestrial television (DTT).

The SABC will scale back the already reduced international content on its three entertainment TV channels even further in favour of locally produced programming.

“We are getting rid of RFP book,” said Hlaudi Motsoeneng, explaining that the SABC is getting rid of its Request for Proposals book – the document it used to issue annually to the South African TV production sector specifying what shows it wanted that production companies could then pitch for.

The volume and number of international shows and movies – mostly American – on SABC1, SABC2 and SABC3 will be reduced even more as the public broadcaster tries to replace foreign programming with more local programming in different languages.

Since 2009 when a cash-flow crisis brought the struggling South African public broadcaster to the brink of financial collapse, the SABC the last seven years has largely given up on trying to bring its audiences contemporary international fare in the form of buzz-carrying hit shows and newer movies.

Two years ago the bulk of the international content that remained – mostly on SABC2 and SABC3 – were pushed to late prime time and late night timeslots on the SABC channels’ schedules.

On SABC2 viewers for instance have to wait until 22:00 and 23:00 to see old series and seasons of international dramas like The 4400, Smallville, The Vampire Diaires and Person of Interest, while the latest season of shows like The Amazing Race that used to be on SABC3 found a new home on pay-TV channels like The Sony Channel (DStv 127).

South African viewers who want to see a selection of the latest quality foreign fare from Britain and America in terms of documentaries, hit series, films and kids’ shows realised that they had to pay for it by becoming subscribers to available pay-TV services like MultiChoice’s DStv.
Now the SABC will cut back its already reduced international content even further.

“There are those international content, within the organisation, we have taken a decision to remove international content and come with local content,” said the SABC’s controversial chief operating officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

'Content impairment costs'

Annually the past few years, and something that’s still ongoing although decreasing, the SABC lose millions of rands in what is referred to as “content impairment costs”.

Part of this content impairment costs are international programming that the public broadcaster must buy in dollar through its acquisitions division, some of which it then fails to schedule and broadcast in time according to screening rights contracts, and then loses.

Buying less international content means a reduction on content impairment costs on the SABC’s balance sheet in favour of local content commissioned by the public broadcaster that it not only owns but can also repeat multiple times and sometimes license to other broadcaster for residual income.

Acquiring less and cutting down on its already reduced international content offering, the danger however is that the SABC’s existing relationship with various international content distributors could possibly deteriorate further.

The international TV content acquisition game is not just about what broadcaster will pay the highest broadcasting licensing fee or the most for a studio content output deal, but also about business relationships, the strength of ongoing existing relationships as well as personal dealmaking.

Hollywood studios and international content distributors will often sell shows and make output deals because of a better existing relationship with a trusted broadcaster that carries more weight.

In 2012 SABC3 for instance announced that it had the international reality show The Impossible, although in fact a better and more trusted relationship with M-Net saw the pay-TV broadcaster secure and acquire the show.

“SABC we dictate for people what kind of content they should pitch which kills the creativity within those individuals. So we are saying allow people to come with their own creativity and their own ideas so that we can compute with other broadcasters,” said Motsoeneng.

The SABC says in a press statement that it “remains committed to serving the millions of South Africans with informative, educational, entertaining and compelling content”.

Click here for more.

Friday, April 29, 2016

CCIFSA accused of misusing R5.7 million of public funds

(For the original article by Athandiwe Saba click here.)

Two years after it was set up to protect artists, the Culture and Creative Industries Federation of South Africa (CCIFSA) has had a complaint lodged against it with the public protector over the alleged misuse of public funds.

Gitanjali Pather, director of the Wits Theatre and an arts activist, confirmed that she had filed the complaint against the regulatory body. Prior to that she had written to the minister of arts and culture asking the federation to account for R5.7-million that was allocated to it by the department in 2014, among other issues.

In total, the federation has landed R10.7-million in taxpayers’ money from the department – and no one seems able to provide any audited financials.

“This is taxpayers’ money and every time I have asked the federation there was no one to tell me what has happened to the funds. They feel like they have no obligation to respond to questions about public funds – instead they have become arrogant,” says Pather.

According to the federation’s website, President Jacob Zuma met artists in 2009 to understand their problems, assist them in organising the sector and to invest in the development and growth of the industry.

But an interim committee that was set up to get the ball rolling allegedly spent the R5.7-million set aside for this purpose on enriching committee members and others in the federation at the time.

The interim committee, formed in 2014included singer Yvonne Chaka-Chaka as chairperson, actor Mabutho Sithole as deputy chair, South African Music Awards chief executive Nhlanhla Sibisi as the secretary general, and musician Eugene Mthethwa on the finance committee.

The interim committee was meant to set the federation up as a nonprofit organisation – one that would be the voice of the cultural and creative industries, representing about 12 sectors and 45 subsectors.

Questions raised

Prior to Pather lodging her complaint, others had also raised questions regarding the funds. In a statement last year at the federation’s first elective conference, Ismail Mohamed, director of the National Arts Festival, says that in the sector, R5-million was nothing to be sneezed at, and that the newly elected members of the federation would in future control far more than this.

“So the reason for the conniving and backroom jockeying for positions on the new board of CCIFSA committee becomes so much clearer, especially when the interim committee seems to have the balls to convene a general conference without putting the tabling of its audited financial statements on the agenda,” he adds.

In the meantime, the department had set aside a further R5-million for the federation for the 2015 financial year.

The department’s spokesperson, Lisa Combrinck, said that the 2014-2015 funding was allocated to the federation’s interim committee to start the necessary groundwork to establish the organisation. “The key mandate of the [interim committee] included to facilitate the registration of the legal entity, consultation with various stakeholders in the sector and to organise a national conference for election of CCIFSA leadership,” she said.

Sibisi explained to the Mail & Guardian that they had communicated their expenditure to the department and said that they needed time to respond to the allegations of financial misappropriation.

“R5-million is nothing and just paying for 1 000 delegates to eat and sleep was already the full budget we got,” he said.

But Combrinck said that the financials could only be released by CCIFSA. The current president of the federation, actor Tony Kgoroge, and members of the interim committee did not respond to questions sent to them on Monday regarding the millions given to the federation.

No tender

It has also been alleged that the federation’s inaugural elective conference in Mangaung last year – which was marred by chaos and internal fighting – was organised by one of its members, actor Mpho J Molepo, using funds from the R5-million allocated to it, instead of putting it out to tender.

Emails confirm this, with one email adding that: “Mpho Molepo is experienced in running conferences and I am wondering if we should not expand his scope of work in the conference directorate to include project management of the conference?”

When asked about his event management services for the CCIFSA, Molepo referred all questions to the federation.

It has also been alleged that part of the funds was spent on legal services rendered by a law firm owned by a committee member.

Molepo did say that the law firm was appointed by the department. “They were recommended by the ministry and the committee took up that recommendation,” he said.

Sibisi insists that these accusations are “baseless”.

“You must be careful about fighting other people’s battles,” he said.

Combrinck added that, according to their memorandum with the federation, it must maintain efficient and transparent systems of financial management and internal audit controls and should only use the department’s budget exclusively for the purposes of the project.


Tony Kgoroge sent responses to questions after 4pm stating that CCIFSA was not able to go to the first conference last year with audited financial statements because expenses were still being incurred.

“The interim committee did, however, compile financial statements for presentation during the conference. The conference, however, refused to allow the interim committee to present the financial statements on the basis that the interim committee was not appointed by the sectors and directed that the financial statements be submitted to the department of arts and culture.

“After the conference, the executive of the interim committee duly submitted audited financial statements to the department. As the interim committee and exco no longer exist, your questions on the audited financial statements must be directed to the DAC.”

Yet DAC’s spokesperson said that they are not the owners of such a documents and CCIFSA should make it available.

Kgoroge added that all the service providers were appointed following procurement guidelines which were established by the interim committee and the processes were transparent.

“All the appointments were duly approved by the interim committee based on the following:

  1. That the interim committee urgently required the services as the conference was scheduled for November and the funds were made available in late September;
  2. The companies agreed to charge below market-related fees;
  3. The open tender process was reserved for fees above R500 000;
  4. All the affected parties recused themselves from the process and did not influence the decision of the interim committee.”

Neither the department of arts and culture nor CCIFSA has provided the audited financials of 2014/15.


SASFED Editor's note: Interim Committee not to be confused with the CCIFSA Leadership?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

One More Story Games: latest news

Play narrative-driven story games written by emerging and established storytellers. Find yourself hurtling through space and time, stealthily creeping through back alleys in Victorian London, evading capture or saving your shipmates from an unexpected attack. Story games - creating living, breathing and interactive worlds.

One More Story Games is thrilled to announce that we're working with #1 New York Times best-selling author Charlaine Harris (best known for her Sookie Stackhouse novels that were adapted into HBO'S True Blood & has sold over 36 million novels!) to adapt the first of her Lily Bard novels, Shakespeare's Landlord, into an interactive story game. Want to be an early tester, follow the behind the scenes development of the game? Be sure to sign up to the separate email list at 

Second, we launched a brand new One More Story Games website to showcase the games we've published to date. In the coming weeks, a separate website for StoryStylus (our game publishing software) will be launched shortly. You'll be asked in future emails if you want to a) only receive gaming-related news, b) only receive writing-related news or if you want both. We'd love to know what you think of our new website! 

Third, we're going to be pitching our software to the Canadian Dragons' Den show on CBC. For our American friends, that's like Shark Tank. You can help us WOW them by playing a game this month!

For all the games currently running or starting visit our website:

Friday, April 8, 2016

Introduction to Scriptwriting workshop in Soweto: Call for Applications

FREE workshop series in Soweto! 
PLUS the top 20 achievers, will receive sponsorship to attend the Peter Russell, all the way from LA, "Secret Patterns of Writing for Different Genres" workshop on 14 and 15 May in Johannesburg (worth over R3,000 per person!)

The Writers’ Guild of South Africa (WGSA) in collaboration with Gauteng Film Commission and the City of Johannesburg Library and Information Services, will be hosting its first series of workshops in Soweto at the Pimville Library11624 Modjadji Street, Pimville, Soweto, Johannesburg West.

Course Outline and Dates:

Friday, 22 April 2016 from 13h00 to 17h00
The Performance Writer
An introduction to the most important tool of the writing process; the writer – the craft, the WGSA, the business, and the industry.

Saturday, 23 April 2016 from 9h00 to 17h00
The Script
An introduction to the process of developing an idea into script including script formatting and software.

Friday, 29 April 2016 from 13h00 to 17h00
Scriptwriting Tools
An introduction to story elements and the common scriptwriting tools; tagline, logline, synopsis, treatment, outline, and one sheet (one-pager).

Saturday, 30 April 2016 from 9h00 to 17h00
Story Elements Part I:
An introduction to Plot, Structure, Genre, Theme, Setting, and Action.

Saturday, 7 May 2016 from 9h00 to 17h00
Story Elements Part II:
An introduction to Character, Backstory, Dialogue, and Exposition.

Terms and Conditions:
The course is FREE of charge but there is limited space available.
Should your application be accepted, you will need to complete the entire course (attend all sessions).

How to Apply:
The application form can be obtained from
Don't hesitate! The closing date for applications is 12h00 on 15 April 2016


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Absolute Film Production Workshop - from start to finish

Sukuma Media, the production company that produced the recent movie, SAFE BET, which was released in cinemas exclusively by Ster Kinekor brings you the film workshop titled ABSOLUTE FILM PRODUCING - Intermediate Level

The workshop is a good launching pad to instantly create new film producers in South Africa. These individuals will be given all the necessary tools required for them to tell stories impacting their communities and the world and ultimately earn a living while at it.

Real case studies and existing (up-to-date) information on various funding schemes is given to workshop attendees, clearing the myths and confusion surrounding producing.

The 2 day workshops will take place over a weekend in Rustenburg (100 kms from Pretoria) to accommodate working attendees on 21 and 22 May 2016.

The workshop covers extensively the following topics:

Topic 1: The landscape of filmmaking in South Africa
Topic 2: Film Development
Case Study: SAFE BET adaptation to a feature film
Topic 3: Sales & Distribution
Topic 4: Film Promotion & Publicity
Case Study: SAFE BET movie’s NFVF funding-winning promotional strategy is unpacked.
Topic 5: Film Resources Management
Topic 6: Co-Productions
Topic 7: The Art of Film Financing
Topic 8: Pitching

The workshop costs R1,995.00 per delegate. For group discounts please contact Sukuma Media via our online contact form or send an email to

We have access to about 150 ideal candidates for this workshop in Rustenburg, these individuals are from disadvantaged backgrounds and might be unable to pay for themselves so if you are in a position to sponsor a certain number please let us know.

Our multi-award winner 2016 release movie, SAFE BET is here. Visit the movie's homepage or watch the theatrical trailer online.  

Mr. Bonginhlanhla "Mr. B" Ncube
C.E.O: Sukuma Media 
Film Director, Writer and Producer
T: +27 12 343 2907      C: +27 79 84 84 087     F: 086 777 6780 

Monday, April 4, 2016

WGSA Muse Awards 2015 a huge success

 Now in its third year, the WGSA Muse Awards took place on Saturday night, 2 April 2016, at a glamorous and star-studded event at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, Soweto. It was attended by leading figures and industry insiders in the South African film and television industry, as well as representatives from headline sponsors, MNET, gold sponsors SABC and NFVF, and our award sponsor, Gauteng Film Commission.

The audience was entertained by Bongani Drama Nomcweya joking about overcoming writer’s block. The entertainment of the evening was the talented duo, Lizanne Breedt and Donnavan Von Der Vaylle, singer and poet, Jessica Mbangeni and her band, and the legendary, Don Laka

Congratulations to all of the finalists. 

The winners in the various categories are:

Julia Smuts Louw - The Case of the Disappearing Daddy

Trish Malone - Ayanda

Matthew Kalil - In the Line of Duty

TV COMEDY / SITCOM          
Both Worlds Writing Team: Karen Jeynes, Chris McEvoy, Angel Campey, Nkuli Sibeko, Thierry Cassuto, and Gilli Apter - Puppet Nation ZA

Paul Ian Johnson - JAB

Richard Harry Nosworthy and Megan Reeks - Number One

Eduard Frauenstein - Get a Life

Peter Goldsmid - Love Songs of Nathan J Swirsky

Ty Skosana - Touched

A special service award went to the WGSA Muse Awards creator Harriet Meier in acknowledgement of her outstanding service to the WGSA.

WGSA would like to thank all the Muse Awards sponsors for making the ceremony possible and for contributing to the winners’ prizes (estimated at around R10,000 each).

Headline sponsors: MNET
Gold Sponsor: National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC)
Awards sponsor: Gauteng Film Commission (GFC)

Our other sponsors: Accolade Wine, eAcademy and Barefoot Media, Franz Gräbe Flower Couture, Exclusive Books, Oageng Multimedia, Olmog’s Bathroom Essentials, and Veronica Stewart.

We also wish to thank Selimathunzi for their presence.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Three local films accepted into Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2016!

South Africans have done it again!

Local animation studios have been on tenterhooks for the last few weeks, waiting to find out if their work has been accepted into the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, arguably the world’s most prestigious animation calendar event.

Annecy provides opportunities to showcase promising projects at all stages of production, and in past years South Africa has been honoured to have a variety of concepts in development accepted into the market’s highly competitive pitching forums. But the real accolades are reserved for the completed films screened as part of Annecy’s “official selection”, and with no fewer than three films accepted into competition in various categories this year, South Africa has demonstrated its coming of age in the global industry in no uncertain terms.

First and foremost is STICK MAN, the half-hour Christmas Special created by Triggerfish Animation and UK’s Magic Light Pictures for the BBC. Screened on Christmas Day in the UK, this stop-motion-style 3D piece is based on the well-loved children’s book by Julia Donaldson

“The Triggerfish team are thrilled that STICK MAN is following the tradition of the previous Magic Light films in being selected for Annecy,” said South African co-director Daniel Snaddon, who helmed the project along with London-based director Jeroen Jaspaert. “It's a huge honour to be screened alongside entries from Cartoon Network, Dreamworks and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (ROBOT CHICKEN) to name a few,” he adds. It’s an unusually crowded field for STICK MAN, which will go head to head with 25 other entries in the Best TV Film category.

In the Graduation Film category, a short entitled ARID has made industry history as the first African student film to be invited into Annecy. Created at Cape Town’s Animation School and directed by Charl van der Merwe, the short tells an evocative tale of a boy and a mysterious bull on a journey in the wilderness. The team were “quite amazed” to hear the news, says Van der Merwe, although he reveals that they had hoped for a good international reaction given the hard work they put into developing a unique African look. “Locally people are used to seeing something African, but it’s new and exotic overseas,” he says – a sentiment that will give hope to many future entrants from our continent.

Lastly, there’s Naomi van Niekerk’s stop-motion short, ’n GEWONE BLOU MAANDAGOGGEND (An Ordinary Blue Monday Morning). Inspired by the poem of the same name by Ronelda Kamfer, the film was created for the Filmverse project, which invites local animators to give visual life to well-loved Afrikaans poems. Created out of sand manipulated by hand and brush on a lightbox, this unusual film is competing in the Short Film category.  “I am very excited and a little overwhelmed,” says Van Niekerk, who studied puppetry in France before founding her multimedia studio, Dryfsand, together with composer Arnaud van Vliet. “Getting into Annecy has been a distant dream and the fact that the first film I’ve made is accepted is a big surprise!”

All three local directors hope to represent their projects in person at Annecy later this year.

Animation SA is thrilled to support these three unique films as they embark on new adventures on the international stage.

For the Annecy Festival Programme click here.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

South African Guild of Editors announces new rates

SAGE has published an annual rate card of recommended salaries for editors for the last 14 years. Though focussed on freelance editors, this rate card can also be used as a starting point for full-time employment negotiations.

Rates and conditions should be considered negotiable; this is a guideline, not a rigid set of rules. We encourage editors and producers alike to read our pre-employment checklist and the what to expect from an editor document.

The card represents a broad spread of possible rates. If the rates seem extraordinarily low or high, consider that these are intended to cover a wide range of job types, genres, durations, locations, funding models, conditions, and potential profit participation. Providing a useful guide to all these variables is highly challenging, so we have elected to use broad categories instead.

You can download the rate card as a PDF.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016 – Jury and New Award Announced

The BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival is currently open for entries, presenting an opportunity for emerging and established filmmakers to showcase their films to an international audience. ASFF is also delighted to announce the Jury for 2016 and a New Award for Best Screenplay.

BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival, which is currently open for entries, is delighted to announce the new Jury for 2016, including film-world professionals whose expertise span film production, directing, editing, TV, music, and more.

ASFF 2016 Jury includes:

View the complete Jury:

The Jury will cast their vote for the Festival Winner from the 11 films that win the Best of Category Awards. It is a fantastic accolade for the winning filmmaker and they will also receive £750 prize money.

ASFF has teamed up with the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett University to present a new Award for Best Screenplay. Films that are in the 2016 Official Selection are eligible for this award.

To see the full list of ASFF 2016 Awards, visit

ASFF 2016 is now open for entries. Deadline 31 May 2016. 

For submission guidelines and to enter, visit

View the ASFF 2015 Highlights Film
Follow @ASFFest