Thursday, March 27, 2014

Call for Entries for Wildscreen Film Festival and the Jackson Hole Science and Media Awards

The call for entries is now open for both the Panda Awards and the Jackson Hole Science and Media Awards – don’t miss this opportunity to have your film be featured in the world’s most recognized natural history film festival.   

Wildscreen Film Festival is one of the most influential and inspirational events in the wildlife and environmental filmmaking calendar. Every two years, hundreds of international delegates from the wildlife media industry and thousands of wildlife enthusiasts descend on Bristol for a week of thought-provoking workshops, talks, debates and free public film screenings. 

Rounding the week off is the glittering Wildscreen Panda Awards - dubbed the 'Green Oscars' - which celebrates the very best in natural history filmmaking.

Panda Awards

The Panda Award categories cover subjects as diverse as animal behaviour and campaigning, as well as specific skills such as editing, musical composition and scriptwriting. 

The deadline for submissions to the 2014 Panda Awards is April 18, and this year there are 2 brand new categories: 

  • The Youth Award, and 
  • Against All Odds

Click here to learn more: 

Jackson Hole Science and Media Awards
The Jackson Hole Science Media Awards celebrates outstanding media that best conveys the wonders of science and nature to public audiences, across all delivery formats. Visit to check out our 21 competition categories and enter your media! 

Wild Talk Africa is a festival friend of Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and Wildscreen Film Festival. We wish both festivals a successful year! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

SOS Calls for Resignation of the SABC Board Chair

The SOS (Support Public Broadcasting Coalition) notes the latest controversy that has engulfed the SABC; and in particular its chairperson, Ms. Ellen Tshabalala. 

According to media reports Ms. Tshablalala said at a Human Rights Day event in KwaMashu that “this government [the ANC] knows where it is going: it has a history,” and further told people “do not follow political parties [they] do not know where they are going.” 

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago however has contested the reporting of her comments saying that she merely stated that government lead by the ANC has a history of working with business to change people’s lives and that there are many political parties and people must know who they are voting for. 

Coalition members feel that despite this clarification, the Chair has crossed an important boundary of safeguarding the independence of our public broadcaster. A strong perception has been created that she was campaigning for the ruling party.  

The Coalition believes that if the SABC wants our trust as the people of South Africa, it must expressly distance itself from party politicking. Beyond putting pressure on government to finance it appropriately, politicians must keep their hands off our SABC because it is ours and not an extension of party media units. The SABC must be left alone and allowed to confine itself to doing its job, which is to educate and inform us without bias, without fear and without favour.  

Coalition members believe that there are a number of further strong reasons why it is essential for the SABC Chair to resign. These include:

  • Her controversial support including her refusal to suspend the SABC’s Acting COO despite very serious allegations of corruption and fraud;
  • Her refusal to move ahead and implement the recommendations of the Public Protector’s Report – “When Governance Fails”; and
  • Her proposal to take over as acting CEO of the SABC when this flies in the face of basic principles of good corporate governance. 

In order for us to begin seeing an SABC that works, the Coalition believes that four simple things need to be implemented with immediate effect: 

  1. The Chair must resign;
  2. The SABC Board must publically distance itself from any form of electioneering;
  3. The SABC Board must move for the adoption of the Public Protector's Report and the urgent and immediate implementation of its recommendations; and
  4. The SABC Board must once and for all publicly reject the outrageous call for "70% good news”.  

The SOS Coalition represents a broad spectrum of civil society stakeholders committed to the broadcasting of quality, diverse, citizen-orientated public-interest programming aligned to the goals of the SA Constitution. The Coalition incorporates a number of trade union federations including COSATU and FEDUSA, a number of independent unions including BEMAWU and MWASA; independent film and TV production sector organisations including the South African Screen Federation (SASFED); a host of NGOs and CBOs including the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), SECTION27 and a number of academics and freedom of expression activists. 

For more information contact: Sekoetlane Jacob Phamodi, Coordinator, 076 084 8077 or 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bursaries for the Higher Certificate in Television and Screen Media 2014


ASE SCREEN ARTS (Academy for Sound Engineering) received 25 FULL bursaries for the Higher Certificate in Television and Screen Media 2014, funded via MICT SETA and administered by the Cape Film Commission (CFC).

These bursaries start THIS week! Candidates need to apply immediately. There is already a course running but if candidates apply before Friday, the 28th of March, they can be incorporated and catch-up with the other course attendees.

Forward to your networks and anyone you think would benefit from such a bursary, RIGHT NOW!

Please direct all queries to ASE at (011) 482 9200 or

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SAGE Social and Acronym evening

The South African Editors Guild (SAGE) is excited to invite you to our next social event - an opportunity to network and socialise - as we honour our 2014 acronym recipients.

This free event is open to all film and television industry professionals, but please RSVP by Monday 24th of March.

The SAGE acronym recognises members’ expertise in their field. 

Our five acronym recipients for 2014 are:

Nikki Comninos
Candice Odgers
Floris Kotze
Melanie Jankes Golden
Tanya Rosenberg

When: Tuesday 25th of March, 
Time: 19:00 
Where: "At The Table," 42A, 1st Ave. West, Parkhurst, Johannesburg

RSVP by 24th March with:

Map to 'At The Table'

Feel free to extend this invitation to friends in the industry. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

WGSA Muse Awards 2013

After months of preparation and fundraising, the Writers’ Guild of South Africa pulled off a prodigious event last night, 15 March 2014, at the Barnyard Theatre in Cresta, Johannesburg, when the inaugural WGSA Muse Awards honoured the best performance writers in South Africa for their film and TV scripts and stage plays.

Harriet Meier
“Finally there is an award which acknowledges the creators of local entertainment; the incredibly talented writers who take an idea and give it life, a face and a unique character, which is then brought to the screen by the actors, directors and producer,” said Harriet Meier, chairperson of WGSA. “It is an award by writers for writers and, judging by the emotion on display last night, it is long overdue.”

The design of the beautiful Muse Trophy and the Special Service Award started nearly a year ago, followed by a call for entries into the 6 categories of the inaugural WGSA Muse Awards in the last quarter of 2013. 

Two sets of judges, both local and international, evaluated the submissions. The winners in five categories were announced last night at the WGSA Muse Awards Ceremony.

The winners are:
Fidel Namisi

Best TV Comedy Script: Fidel Namisi, Tooth and Nails 

Joshua Rous

Best TV Drama Script: Joshua Rous, High Rollers, Episode 101, “The Prodigal”  

Gisele Turner

Best Stage Play Script: 
Gisele Turner, eLimboland

Shirley Johnston

Best Feature Script: 
Shirley Johnston, Felix

Shirley Johnston

Best Spec Script (unproduced work): 
Kelsey Egan, The Chemist, a feature film

No winner was selected in the Documentary category.

Pierre Bemont
All results were verified by WGSA Auditors, Bemont and Company and Pierre Bemont delivered the winners' envelopes to the presenters.

Writers’ Guild member and producer Richard H Nosworthy of Plum Productions headed an amazing team of musicians, vocalists and performers from the South African Guild of Actors (SAGA), to produce a show that struck just the right balance between glamour and intimacy and thoroughly entertained the audience. 
Jack Devnarain

Jack Devnarain (Rajesh in Isidingo) was the Master of Ceremonies and Pieter Albert Jordaan the Musical Director.

The show featured, amongst others, an originally composed song by WGSA Member Robin Sarembock, as well as song parodies and music from the nominated feature films. 

WGSA would like to thank NFVF’s CEO, Zama Mkosi for delivering the keynote address and the representatives from the different broadcasters and the motion picture industry who presented the awards:

Verona Duwarkah, Head: Television, SABC
Ayanda Halimana, Commissioning editor at Mzansi Magic + Wethu
David Makubyane, Acting GM of Local Content for On Digital Media and StarSat
Paul Raleigh, Producer of the Oscar winning film “Tsotsi” and head of completion guarantors Hollard Film Guarantees
Nkateko Mabaso, General Manager of M-Net Local Channels

A big thank you also to our sponsors, without whom we could not have made this event possible:

M-NET, MictSeta, NFVF, GFC, Barnyard Theatre, Kohl Graphics, Plum Productions, Panavision, Budget Rent-a-Car and Van, and PUMA Video, CFC, Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking (Cape Town), and our media partners ScreenAfrica, Film and Event Media, and HashTag7.

Writers who are not yet members of WGSA are invited to join the guild and become eligible to submit their work for the next WGSA Muse Awards. 

Producers who are interested in the nominated and award winning spec scripts are welcome to contact WGSA at

Monday, March 10, 2014

Call for the submissions of films for South African Playlist in the HOTDocs doc shop 2014

Hot Docs is an internationally renowned documentary film festival, conference and marketing event that takes place annually in Toronto, Canada, where filmmakers from all walks of life are granted the opportunity to showcase their work and strengthen ties in the ever expanding documentary community. 

The Doc Shop, which runs concurrently with the festival is a marketplace for documentaries to be viewed by potential buyers, distributors, sales agents and programmers alike. 

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is compiling a special South African playlist of documentaries for The Doc Shop this year which will reflect and celebrate our country’s 20th year of Democracy. 

Please note this is not an invitation to attend the film festival.

The benefits of having your film included in The Doc Shop:

  • The Festival Doc Shop is a fully digital, on-site video library that offers accredited Conference and Networking Pass and All-Access Pass holders on-demand access to 1500+ documentaries, including many of the Festival’s official selection. 
  • Visibility of the film on an international platform.
  • The film may receive interest which could potentially lead to sales.
  • After the festival and conference, The Doc Shop Online provides year-round access to films for registered buyers, distributors, sales agents and festival programmers. 


  • South African filmmakers with projects that are currently in the postproduction phase (who can provide a rough cut) or completed projects,
  • Documentaries of all lengths that have been produced in the last 20 years are welcome. 
  • Documentaries must be in the English language or subtitled in English.

Filmmakers are required to provide the following items in order to be considered (please note that there is no application form):

  • Detailed Synopsis
  • Logline
  • List of key creative team
  • Poster
  • A DVD of the film

The NFVF reserves the right to select qualifying films to include in the The Doc Shop Playlist. The deadline for all submissions is on the 14th of March 2014 noon, no extensions are permissible.

Please email all submissions to Neiloe Whitehead/ Refiloe Hlabioa on /

Send all copies of your DVDs to:
Physical address: 
87 Central Street, Houghton, Johannesburg, 2198

Thursday, March 6, 2014


It is with pleasure that SASFED, as the representative of organized industry within the Film Industry, present the following six (6) nominees:

Barend Kaynie

Kaynie is a Senior Risk Manager at the IDC and prior to that he was a Senior Credit Analyst. Kaynie has two financial qualifications and a MBA from the Henley Business school. Kaynie understands the problems involved with funding and getting an adequate return on investments. He is also well versed in growing small and medium enterprises, like production houses for emerging filmmakers. 

Lushen Pather
Pather, a CA (SA), is currently the head of group financial planning and budgeting at Standard Bank Group Limited. He has previously worked as the CFO for Investec and has occupied senior positions at The Deutsche Bank and Ernst & Young. Pather has also previously co-owned a production company, and therefore brings an understanding of the industry with him.

Ramadan Suleman
Suleman is an award winning feature film director and writer. Having begun his directing career in 1984, he has lived and studied both in Paris and at the London Film School. Suleman has devoted his time to independent industry organizations such as SASFED and the IPO for a number of years, and has been a Chairperson in both organizations. He continues to work tirelessly to educate the industry on international standards, norms and procedures. 

Dr. Eubulus Timothy
Timothy recently worked as a consultant to the Durban Film Office in the process of it being set up. He was also the founding chairperson of the Cape Film Commission. Timothy has won awards in screenwriting and has been recognized for his contribution to the African Film industry. He has also written, produced and directed various television shows.

Desiree Markgraaff
Markgraaf is a Senior Creative and Executive Producer on some of South Africa’s top television shows. She has also produced an Emmy Award winning four part documentary series. She was chairperson of the IPO for 8 years and also founded:  Filmmakers against Racism. Markgraaf has contributed to the development of the industry by mentoring entrants at the company of which she is the Managing Director.

Teboho Pietersen
Pietersen is film graduate from AFDA and has a Masters Accreditation in script editing. He has written and produced a number of films and television shows. He has also worked as a Film Business Lecturer.  As an active member of the Documentary Filmmakers Association, he is currently its Chairperson. Pieterson has represented the industry on the NFVF Board, and continues to show his commitment to the independent sector. 

For full resumes of the nominees please contact SASFED

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SOS call for action to save our SABC - important notice

Owing to the deplorable weather conditions in Johannesburg the meeting venue has been changed. The meeting details are as follows:

Date      : Friday, 07 March 2014
Time      : 2pm – 5pm
Venue   :
Women's Gaol, 
Constitution Hill, 
1 Kotze Street,

FREE covered parking available in basement parking behind Women's Gaol off Sam Hancock Street. You are strongly encouraged not to park on Kotze street.

A reminder of what the meeting is about:

Three big questions:

1.       Why is our SABC falling apart?

2.       Who benefits from a dysfunctional SABC?

3.       What is to be done?

The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition invites you to this mass meeting for us to answer these questions.

For more information read SASFED's press release of Tuesday, 4 March, or contact:

Sekoetlane Jacob Phamodi
Coordinator (Acting) – SOS: Support Public Broadcasting
076 084 8077

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

 Our SABC is dying, and our democracy with it. Political interference, censorship and unspeakably bad administration are killing OUR public broadcaster. We, the people, must act radically, and act now!

In 1994 we were building an SABC we could be proud of. Today, our SABC is, yet again, unfree. We are being denied an independent, credible and people-driven public broadcaster.

We have three big questions:

  1. Why is our SABC falling apart?
  2. Who benefits from a dysfunctional SABC?
  3. What is to be done?

The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition invites you to a mass meeting for us to answer these questions. 

Date      : Friday, 07 March 2014
Time      : 2pm – 5pm
Venue  : Constitution Hill (Number 4 and 5), Braamfontein.

Come in numbers!  Mobilise!  Let's rescue our SABC!

For more information contact: SJ Phamodi 076 084 8077 or

Monday, March 3, 2014

CWU’s response to the public statement issued by its KZN provincial secretary on the Public Protector’s investigation report on the SABC

The Communication Workers Union wishes to categorically distance itself from and dismiss the public statement issued by our KZN Provincial Secretary, Comrade Thami Mzileni, questioning the legitimacy of the Public Protector’s report on her investigation into the maladministration, corruption and the abuse of power at the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

In trying to defend the man fingered in the Public Protector’s Report, the KZN Provincial Secretary goes out of line by attacking the credibility and integrity of the Public Protector and accuses her of advancing interests of the opposition DA.

As CWU, we have previously expressed concern about the slow pace with which the Office of the Public Protector has handled our complaint on the South African Post Office.  However, we cannot be associated with any insults and deviant behaviour that seeks to discredit and damage the reputation of the Public Protector.

As a principled and progressive union, we distance ourselves from the Hlaudi Motsoeneng Coalition and the agenda it chases.

As it relates to CWU’s position on the Public Protector’s Report on the SABC, this is a competency of CWU Head Office as it is a national issue and as such no provincial structure has a right to speak for the union on this matter.  Our KZN Secretary has clearly crossed the line by going against union policy and has through his utterances brought the name of the organisation into disrepute.

As a remedial action, the National Executive Committee of CWU has decided to suspend Comrade Thami Mzileni pending an internal disciplinary process.  This should send a clear message that as a revolutionary union, we cannot allow anarchy and ill-discipline amongst our ranks.

CWU shall never be co-opted into any personal and factional agenda to protect wrong-doers at the expense of workers who bear the brunt of maladministration and unethical management practices.

We call on the SABC Board, Parliament’s Communications Portfolio Committee and the Minister of Communications (Department Of Communications) to consider the Public Protector’s Report and act in the best interests of the South African masses and the SABC workers in order to create a conducive environment for the public broadcaster to fulfill its duties to the best interests of South African people.

Issued by Communication Workers Union.

For more information, please contact Thabo Mogalane, Acting General Secretary, on 0827105666.