Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tough Love Session: "Why can't you sell your screenplay?"

Join the Writers' Guild of South Africa for an evening in conversation with experienced feature film producers Dylan Voogt (Unearthed, Hollywood in my Huis, Skoonheid) and Vlokkie Gordon (Black Sails, Chronicle, Labyrinth, Hollywood in my Huis).

When: Tuesday, 12 August
Where: Straight No Chaser, 79 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town
Time: 18:30 for 19:00 until late 
You are encouraged to linger and mingle afterwards.

Experienced and respected producers Dylan Voogt and Vlokkie Gordon will shed light on the types of questions that keep scriptwriters up at night. Questions like:

  • Why can’t I get that production company to read my script?
  • How come no one responds to my emails?
  • How do I maximize the chances that my screenplay will be optioned?
  • What can I do to get my writing noticed?
  • What do producers want?

This tough love session will explore what types of content are currently in demand, what makes a script ‘commercial’ and what a writer can do to increase the chances and avoid their scripts ending up in 'file 13,' a.k.a. the bin.


VLOKKIE GORDON is a film producer based in Cape Town, South Africa who worked on two episodes of the international series "Black Sails," among many, many other.

In fact, she has been the Head of Production on countless international projects such Chronicle, Dark Tide and Labyrinth, and line produced / co-produced Mandela – Long Walk to Freedom and the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, among others.

Recent producing credits include the Afrikaans independent feature films 'Hollywood in my Huis' and 'Die Ontwaking.'

Vlokkie studied at the film school in Pretoria in the early 80’s and there followed a period of internship at Independent Film Centre in Lone Hill where she worked as an assistant picture and sound editor, finally moving into the discipline of on-set sound recording and working on numerous local television dramas and feature films.

Vlokkie moved to Cape Town with her young family and opened a crew agency at a time when Cape Town was moving toward becoming an important center of filmmaking in the country.

She joined David Wicht and Film Afrika when David returned from London in 1995 and together they produced numerous international features and commercials. There followed a brief hiatus during which Vlokkie worked in the film industry in L.A. and travelled extensively through the U.S.A.

She returned to Film Afrika in 2004 and became a partner in 2005. There she continued to produce a number of international feature films, and to play a leading role in marketing in the U.S.A. and Europe and fulfilling an active role as COO and Head of Production within the company.

And in 2013 she started a new venture, Advantage Entertainment that focuses on Producing and raising finance for local and International feature films and TV Series.

DYLAN VOOGT is the co-owner and director of Stage 5 Films and a member of the South African Independent Producers Organization. After a full decade at South Africa’s premiere production facilitation company, Moonlighting Films, Dylan is now applying his producing experience to a carefully selected slate of local and international film projects.

In addition to working on South African feature films, music videos & documentaries, Dylan has worked with many of the Hollywood studios either directly or indirectly in a production service capacity including Universal Pictures, Lionsgate, Malpaso Productions, Warner Bros. Pictures, Rogue Pictures, and Sony Pictures Television. He has also worked with the BBC, Granada, Carnival TV & MTV Europe.

Dylan received his first narrative feature producing credit on Oliver Hermanus’s Skoonheid, the fifth film in South African history to be nominated for the prestigious “Un Certain Regard” category at the 64th Cannes Film Festival and the official selection for South Africa’s Best Foreign film submission to the 2012 Academy Awards. Skoonheid won the Queer Palm award at Cannes and received numerous other international accolades. Dylan was subsequently invited to participate in the 2013 Berlinale Talent Campus.

Recent producing credits include Jolynn Minnaar’s highly anticipated documentary about fracking, Unearthed, which premiered – and won the Green Award – at Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival in July, and the Afrikaans coming-of-age romantic comedy, Hollywood in my Huis, which is currently in post-production.


KELSEY EGAN grew up in middle America, where she learned to ride horses and value good weather. She is grateful to Robert Heinlein, Jack London and C.S. Lewis, among many others, for seeing her through the long Wisconsin winters. She attended Vassar College, Lisa Simpson’s “safety school”, and graduated in 2005 with a BA in Neuroscience & Behaviour and a BA in Drama. Her direction of Kate Crackernuts by Sheila Callaghan as her thesis production earned her a Molly Thacher Kazan Memorial Prize for distinction in the theatre arts. 

In 2005, Kelsey was cast as “Rachel” in the independent film, Discover Me, which was filmed in Manhattan and received a 2005 Goldie Film Award. Kelsey subsequently increased her set experience on large feature projects such as “I Am Legend”, “Stop-Loss” and “Deception”.

After a brief stint in Beijing where she had the pleasure of Assisting experienced indie produced, Declan Baldwin, Kelsey relocated to South Africa. After four action packed years in Johannesburg, she settled in Cape Town.

Since moving to South Africa, Kelsey has worked on both local and international projects (including Mr. Bones II, District 9, Fury Road and Zulu) and directed various music videos, PSAs and narrative work of her own. Her 26 minute S16mm narrative, "Gargoyle", was nominated for a 2010 South African Film & Television Award for Best Short Film, and selected for screening at 16 International Film Festivals. The film received worldwide distribution from IndieFlix and Shorts International.

In addition to developing original content via her production company, Crave Pictures, Kelsey offers her services as a freelance Director, Producer, Writer and Script Editor. She is a proud council member of the Writer’s Guild of South Africa, and one of her feature scripts was recently awarded ‘Best Spec Script’ at the 2013 Muse Awards.

Bookings essential: Bookings close on 11 August at 12h00

Cover Charges:
Members / Students with valid student card: R50, Non-Members: R100

To secure your booking please pay the required cover charge to our bank: 

WGSA Current Account
Standard Bank, Melville
Branch No: 006105
Acc No: 300082444
Acc type: Current

Please use your name and surname as reference / CT 12/8

And send proof of payment to to secure your booking


The Writers' Guild of South Africa exists to protect, empower and develop performance writers in the local film, television, radio, stage, animation and new media (internet – mobile and digital distribution, and gaming) industries.

The Writers' Guild of South Africa strives to serve the community of writers and for writers to serve the community.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Time to take action

Many people who have watched Miners Shot Down have asked us “what can we do to help the justice campaign?” 

One of the most important things we can do is to make the 16th August a ‘special’ day, similar to the 21st of March, the day of the Sharpeville Massacre and June 16th when 76 school students were mowed down in Soweto. 

These two days are national holidays in South Africa sending out a loud message that people will not forget what the apartheid state did on these two dates. We want the 16th August to be a national holiday, reminding people of the massacre of 34 strikers by the South African police and honoring the dead and wounded. This is enormously important to the families who lost loved ones on the 16th August 2012, and to the Lonmin platinum miners who took part in the strike.

We are encouraging people to take action on and around the 16th August, to show support for the Justice Now for Marikana campaign. Many people are already planning film screenings or protests at police stations.

What’s being planned?

So far we know that while the big event will take place at Marikana, by the mountain, marches and protests are being planned by various civil society bodies in Soweto, Vaal, Germiston, Kathlehong, and Johannesburg Central.

NUMSA is planning to hold Political Discussion Forums on the day to discuss Marikana and in some cases joining mobilisations and screenings. Various churches across the country will be holding prayer services. Internationally there are at least 10 events being organized. Full details of all of these will be available from 9th August.

Screenings of 'Miners Shot Down' are taking place in Vaal via the Community Assembly, at Pulp Cinema Stellenbosch (15th) and at the Bioscope Independent Cinema in Johannesburg.

The African Arts Institute will be supporting the 'Justice now for Marikana Campaign' by embarking on a series of public art interventions in Cape Town. Ideas on the table include mobile bicycle art, street murals, renaming streets to that of the slain miners and much more. To get involved contact the organisers here.

We are still gathering information on the events taking place and will put out a full list in the week prior to the 16th. If you want to plan an event, or are already organizing something that you want on the newsletter, please contact

For more 'Miners Shot Down' news click here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Women in Film and Television International Seeking Shorts for Female Filmmaker Showcase


In celebration of International Women's Day on March 8, 2015, Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) is soliciting films by women directors from all over the world to feature in its tenth annual Shorts in a Showcase. 

The Showcase exhibition will be online, but local WIFTI chapters will also host live screenings. For the first time since its inception, there will be cash prizes: $1000 for first place, $500 for second place, and $250 for third place. 

There is no fee for entry, but applicants must be current members in good standing of a Women in Film chapter. 

The early submission deadline is July 30, 2014, and the regular deadline is September 30, 2014. 

For the submission form and to enter online, click here.   

For more information about the WIFTI Showcase and how to enter, visit

Cwele's urgency for digital migration

Telecoms minister Siyabonga Cwele has told parliament that government will gazette the final policy on digital terrestrial television migration in the next two weeks. 
By Duncan McLeod

Telecommunications and postal services minister Siyabonga Cwele intends publishing a final policy on South Africa’s migration to digital terrestrial television within the next two weeks.

Cwele made the promise in parliament on Wednesday, where he was presenting ahead of his department’s budget vote. But the minister did not say how he intended to overcome the ongoing dispute between MultiChoice and over whether set-top boxes should include encryption based on a control system.

MultiChoice wants the control system ditched, saying it amounts to an unfair subsidy to prospective pay-TV competitors through government’s plan to subsidise millions of set-top boxes for poorer households. Rival argues it is crucial to support free-to-air broadcasters, particularly when it comes to securing the latest international content.

Whatever direction the final policy takes on the matter, there is a high chance that once of the broadcasting groups will challenge it in court.

South Africa and most other countries have committed to the International Telecommunication Union, an agency of the United Nations, that they will have completed migration — including switching off analogue TV signals — by June 2015. But a series of delays now means it’s unlikely that South Africa will meet this deadline.

However, Cwele told parliament that it is his intention to meet the deadline.

“Digital broadcasting migration has faced many challenges. The June 2015 deadline looms before us, and we dare not let our people down,” he said.

“I have taken a decision to move forward this broadcasting digital migration programme,” Cwele said. “By the end of this month, we intend to finalise the policy, which has been the subject of public consultation. We intend to gazette the final policy at the end of this month.”

The minister said that within the next three months, the telecoms and postal services department will “designate the date for the digital switch-on”.

“This designation will allow set-top box manufacturers and TV-owning households to prepare for [digital TV] and purchase and install set-top boxes that will make the digital switch-on possible,” he said.

“The benefits of this will include facilitating the release of spectrum that we need so much, increase the number of television channels and stimulate local electronics production.”

Cwele said the total budget currently ring-fenced for the digital migration project stands at about R3bn. 

© 2014 NewsCentral Media

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Winner of the 2014 African Writer´s Residency announced!

 Ghanaian writer Nii Parkes wins the 2014 African Writer´s Residency Award

Nii Parkes has been selected as the 2014 winner of the Sylt Foundation African Writer´s Residency Award. Parkes, who lives in Ghana and England is the recipient of the Residency Award, which he will take up at the Sylt Foundation´s headquarters within the next months.

Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a writer, editor, socio-cultural commentator and performance poet. He holds an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck (University of London) and is a 2007 recipient of Ghana's national ACRAG award for poetry and literary advocacy. Nii's début novel 'Tail of the Blue Bird' was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Prize and his work has been translated into Italian, French, Chinese, Dutch, German and Arabic. His latest books of poetry are the Michael Marks Award-shortlisted pamphlet, ballast: a remix (2009) and The Makings of You (Peepal Tree Press).

Winning this award Nii Parkes commented: „ The fact that the award of the Sylt Residency considers work in progress as one of its criteria makes this win doubly sweet - it validates the work I am doing and also gives me valuable immersion time to work towards its completion. I'm dreading the cold on Sylt island, but I'm very happy.“

The winner was selected in a two-tier process by the four independent judges, this year judges were Imraan Coovadia (writer and literary scholar, Cape Town), Pamela Nichols (literary scholar, Johannesburg), Veronique Tadjo (poet, writer and literary scholar, Johannesburg) and Indra Wussow (literary scholar and translator, Johannesburg/Sylt) out of an impressive list of strong contenders. The jury commented “Nii Parkes is such an original writer who easily moves about different literary genres that he will surely offer us something new and exciting with this new project he will be working on in his residency“.

This new residency opportunity is awarded annually to writers of contemporary African literature. The winner of the 1st African Writer´s Award 2013 was Nigerian writer Chika Unigwe. The African Writer´s Residency Award provides a two month stay in a subsidized apartment to writers of contemporary African literature, who engage with current thems and concerns related to Africa and the African diaspora. The award is open to published writers of poetry, prose, plays and novels.

The Foundation is located on the island of Sylt off the coast of Hamburg in Germany. Its residency programme has been running for several years and offers opportunities to South African as well as international visual artists, writers, composers and film makers. The programme is managed under the directorship of literary scholar and curator Indra Wussow.

For additional information:

The Sylt Foundation:

Arts in the city:

Original article from Art Source South Africa blog. Read this article and more here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) notes on Parliament Budget and SABC COO

Today parliament is asked to vote on the budget of the communication function of government as led by Minister Muthambi. GCIS, which is the machinery she uses to execute her function, indeed faces many problems: like filling posts in key leadership positions, both in GCIS AND MDDA, and a proper financial administration that yields results in ways that a quantifiable. 

The lack of sound strategy on how to transform the print media and advertising industry. At the centre are the MDDA programs which must, using indigenous languages, break the monopoly of mainstream media in both the production and distribution of news, as well as other information.

Here lies the center piece of a people centered media: MDDA needs to ask how, through its programs, it can inculcate literary ability in communities. The forms of community media that are at the same time ways of unleashing writing capacity of communities, embrace organic film and documentary products that tell local stories with world class standard and sensibility. In particular because the digital age casts the local on a permanent global platform. Most importantly, community media that is people centered has capacity to improve literacy through inculcating festival of ideas but also affirming the question power of the ordinary people.

Safe to say that the EFF does not think this government has anything to communicate but lies. It is asking for money to mask the broad kleptocratic drama that is unfolding since the resumption of President Zuma into the highest office in the land. Its assumption and integration of GCIS, MDDA and SABC is only to mask the kleptocratic drama that is unfolding and is on the rise.

Today, the country is waiting to hear what parliament will say to minister Muthambi as she asks for parliament approval of her budget when she has appointed Hlaudi Mostoeneng as SABC COO. This is after she assured the joint committee that she will make sure that the Public Protectors' report on the SABC is complied with as it is a chapter nine institution.

The minister understood what she meant when saying it is a chapter 9 institution. The constitution compels her and the SABC to respect the findings of this institution. Yet, those who run these proceedings have put the SABC under budget vote number 27 as opposed to 9. Only so we do not have to tell the minister that she has promoted lies and Lairs in the institutions of the state.

The appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng must signify the government's disregard for the law, their own law. It must signify the era of the triumph of the mythomaniac - the pathological lair who is so proud of his lies that he tells us that parliamentarians are just making noise and that is all they can do. Yes, these are the words of Mr. Motsoeneng to me just before his interview with Justice Malala on eNCA last Monday.

I ask you minister: have you no shame? Have you no regard for law, have you no respect, or even self respect? To take platform and force a man who has forged and lied about his qualifications down the throat of South Africans? Do you really not see the danger in an appointment of Motsoeneng?

As the head of communication, your legacy will always be the communicator of lies, the promoter of lairs and the bearer of mythomania: the very disease of the government of the day. People to whom lying is fashionable. You seek for lies, you promote lies, you pay for lies and ask more and more of the money of the people to hire more lairs, and pay them for lying.

That is what you are minister: the truth is that the most important communique we would have wanted to vote for is that you will be doing away with lies; doing away with Hlaudi Motshoeneng whose lies are turning our country into a mockery, and a banana republic.

It does not matter that you think Hlaudi Motsoeneng is a hard working, good COO who does the work. Each time men and women in power break the law and there is no consequence, they delegitimize their role as bearers of social order. But more dangerously they condone evil, disorder and disregard of law.

The EFF does not have faith in you honorable Faith, hence we will go to court to stop you from making a mockery of the findings of the PP. And let it go on record that we did caution about the manner in which your government has reduced the running of this country into a battle of courts, even on simple obvious political issues. But because you are driven by lies, one day you will be forced to corrupt the courts too, but whilst they exist in relative independence, we have no doubt that they will tell you in no equivocal terms that Hlaudi Motsoeneng should be fired.

The SABC faces a crisis, a crisis of leadership and a crisis of legitimacy. Each time we discuss it, we are fed with the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. If you be serious about efficiency and upstanding leadership, you would have not needed to wait for deadlines imposed by the Public Prosecutor. You would act swiftly and with precision to restore confidence in the SABC.

I put it to you: Hlaudi Motshoeneng does not represent efficiency and hard work. He represents a takeover of the SABC, its news in particular for narrow interests framed "happy news" where journalists must get licenses to do the noble craft of enquiry and public scrutiny. This is what you have promoted, and unless you act to correct it, you shall go down in history as the goddess of mythomania: the age of propaganda, the age of the state broadcaster - and not the defender of freedoms of speech and the broadcaster of the public.
I thank you.

by Mbuyiseni Ndlozi
EFF Communications

Media Monitoring Africa

Monday, July 14, 2014

25 Bursaries available to study at ASE

ASE is hosting an Open Day for prospective students interested in enrolling for: 

Diploma in Television and Screen media or our Higher Certificate in Television and Screen Media

A presentation and registration from 08h00. The Open Day starts promptly @ 9am. If you arrive late we will have to reschedule an application interview for you at a later date.

Please be sure to bring a copy of your most recent Gr 12 results to the open day. If you would like to complete your application on the day, please contact us to discuss what other documents and application fee you would need to bring along.

After the presentation the students and their families will be taken on a tour of the ASE facilities in Radio Park and will then be given the opportunity to have an application interview or to schedule an application interview for during the week following.

To book for the open day, please email requesting an invitation or call 011 482 9200

ASE - The Academy of Sound Engineering, 82 Richmond Avenue, Auckland Park, 2006 Johannesburg, Gauteng

GPS: S26°11'08'' - E28°00'34''

To like us on Facebook click here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

SOS Coalition welcomes Public Protector's probe

SOS Welcomes Public Protector Probe.pdf

Thursday, July 10, 2014

NFVF free scriptwriting and editing course open for applications

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) is offering candidates interested in TV and film script editing and feature film script writing, free training through its Sediba Spark Screenwriter’s Training Programme, which runs for five months in Johannesburg. Participation will be part-time as a workshop will be held once a month during weekends. 

Selected editing participants will be required to attend a compulsory induction to the programme, which upon commencement; will place them with a writer to develop engaging concepts with wide audience appeal.

Script editor requirements and application:
  1. Relevant tertiary qualification or extensive experience in the film and television industry
  2. Experience in writing intellectually challenging and coherent reports, articles or essays for a degree programme, creative/ professional writing programme or publication.

  3. A satisfactory understanding of storytelling based either on one of the following:

    • Study of drama, film, television or literature in a university honours degree course
    • Completion of a screenwriting or script editor’s professional development programme or,
    • Experience as a published short story writer, novelist, storyline writer, script writer or script editor for a television drama series or feature film screenplays
    • Vision for making a big impact on South African film and television drama
  4. Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  5. Articulacy in at least one of the indigenous African languages of South Africa as well as English
  6. Work efficiently and effectively to tight deadlines
  7. Enjoy engaging in collaborative working relationships
  8. Ability to act on his or her own initiative

Though not required, a knowledge and understanding of trends in contemporary fiction, theatrical films and TV drama as well as possessing a creative imagination will be advantageous. Good negotiation skills and experience working under pressure and in teams within the production industry will also be beneficial. 

To be considered for this opportunity candidates will need to email the following documentation to Pretty Mthiyane by no later than 21 July 2014:

  1. A completed application form
  2. Curriculum Vitae – including an indication of the entrant’s level of English proficiency and the indigenous African languages which they speak, read and can write in professionally. 
  3. A 1-page motivation letter in which candidates must provide a summary of their passion for the kind of film and television dramas they want to make and why as well as knowledge and experience of the theory and practice of writing for the novel or the dramatic form in theatre, radio, television or the cinema. 
  4. Two report, article or essay writing examples.

Feature film script writer requirements and application:

Applicants must be script writers who have experience in the industry and have a feature film concept that may appeal to the local and international market. 

Preference will be given to applicants who are indigenous language speakers. 

To be considered for this opportunity candidates will need to email the following documentation to Pretty Mthiyane by no later than 21 July 2014:

  1. A completed application form
  2. Curriculum Vitae – including an indication of the entrant’s level of English proficiency and the indigenous African languages which they speak, read and can write in professionally. 
  3. Two page outline of your film (Up to three project submissions will be accepted). It is recommended that entrants make use of the provided template from NFVF website. 
  4. Ten consecutive pages from a script written by the candidate.

Travel and accommodation: 

For those based outside Gauteng, travel and accommodation will be arranged and paid for by the NFVF. 

Pretty Mthiyane
Tel: 011 483 0880
Faxed applications will not be accepted.

Workshop dates will be communicated to successful candidates.

Visit the NFVF website for more information. 

Original article from: Screen Africa

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund now open for applications

“This program contributes effectively to the development of the cultural industry in Africa… and directly supports those in need.” - Camille Mouyeke, 2011 Recipient

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund is a grant program providing financial support to African documentary filmmakers for development and production. Development grants of $3000 - $10,000 and Production grants of $5000 - $40,000 are awarded to approximately four to 10 projects annually.

The $1-million Fund was created to help enable more African documentary filmmakers to tell their own stories and contribute to a new generation of the African documentary community. Applications are open to professional filmmakers who are citizens and residents of continental Africa and are also living and working in the region. In addition to financing, the initiative also offers valuable resources to support production and professional development, and offers filmmakers opportunities to access the international documentary community. Through an accompanying peer-to-peer mentorship program, grantees may team up with international production partners to bring their projects to international markets, festivals, broadcast and online audiences. Additionally, grantees will have travel, accommodation and accreditation support to attend Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Filmmakers Lab.

To date, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund has awarded a total of $383,000 to 23 projects.

Learn more about the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund program

2014 Applications

The application period for the 2014 round of disbursement is now open, with a final deadline of August 22, 2014, at 5:00 pm EST.

Please carefully review the application guidelines and FAQs before submitting your application.

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund Development Grant

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund will provide successful applicants with a development grant of between $3000 and $10,000 CDN which could reflect up to 100% of the development budget. Grant money must be spent in the region on development activities and pre-production. Eligible costs include research, development of a script and story proposal and production of a teaser or trailer. Other eligible costs may include production of pitch and marketing materials, community engagement strategy research as well as distribution strategy research.


Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund Production Grant

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund will provide successful applicants with a Production Grant of between $5,000 and $40,000 CDN to maximum of 50% of the production budget. Eligible costs include those that are standard in the industry during production and post-production.


Carefully review the application guidelines.
Pour Directives du Fond en Français cliquez ici.
Questions? Refer to the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund FAQ.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SOS Coalition's response on the newly appointed SABC COO

SOS Press Statement - Appointment of SABC COO.pdf

MWASA: Confirmation of SABC Permanent COO

The Media Workers Association of South Africa (MWASA) notes the announcement on Tuesday 8 July 2014, of the confirmation of the SABC Chief Operations Officer.

We further note Honourable Minister Faith Muthambi's reassurance statement that this confirmation will bring stability to the management of the affairs of the SABC.

The SABC needs a credible exit strategy from its persistent circumstances characterised by diminished public confidence, widening trust-deficit and compromised business competitiveness.

Short-termist decisions will not ensure sustainability of the SABC, a critical cog in the development and defense of our young democracy.

Strengthening the SABC in terms of its independence from commercial, political and cultural influences is vital whilst further capture of the public asset and deployment as a tool for political point scoring diminishes potential for maximising its public value.

Collective ownership of the SABC like all our public institutions, resources and amenities should be restored.

The endemic preference to epitomize in individuals, the aggregate fate of our public entities is a recipe for failure.

Listening to all voices will benefit leadership at all levels.

All correspondences to be directed to the Office of the General Secretary:
Tuwani Gumani
Contact: /
(+27) (0) 82 743 3867


Reg. Ref. No: LR2/6/2/2169
National Executive: (Acting President) Ms. Lungile Lushozi, Mr. Mzwandile Mnguni (Acting Deputy President), Mr. Daniel Morobane, (Acting Treasurer), Mr. Tuwani Gumani (General Secretary),  Mr. Tsietsi Mohoalali, Mr. Bongani Bophela, Mr. Jan Mashatola, Ms. Nonhlanhla Mathebula(Hon), Mr. Sam Vilakazi, Mr. Rev. Jonga. Ms. Sharlene Probert, Mr. Lucky Mkhwanazi, Ms. Enice Malatji .

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Review of Regulation on South African Local Content (television and radio): Invitation for written representations

In terms of Section 4B of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa Act (Act No 13 of 2000), interested persons are hereby invited to submit their written representations on the Discussion Document regarding the review of South African Local Content on Television and Radio Regulation published herewith by the Authority. 

A copy of the Discussion Document is available on the Authority's website at and in the Authority's Library at No. 164 Katherine Street, Pinmill Farm, (Ground Floor at Block D), Sandton between 09h00 and 16h00, Monday to Friday.

Written representations with regard to the Discussion Document must be submitted to the Authority by no later than 16h00 on 10 September 2014 by post, hand delivery or electronically (in Microsoft Word) and marked specifically for attention: MamedupeKgatshe / Hilda Mashapha. Delivery address: Block A, Pinmill Farm, 164 Katherine Street, Sandton. 

Where possible, written representations should also be e-mailed to and or faxed to: 011 566-3260/3802. Inquiries should be directed to 011 566-3259/3801 between 10h00 and 16h00, Monday to Friday.

Written representation(s) received by the Authority pursuant to this notice, will be made available for inspection by interested persons at the Authority's library and such copies will be obtainable upon payment of the prescribed fee.

At the request of any person who submits written representations pursuant to this notice, the Authority may determine that such representations or any portion thereof is to be treated as confidential in terms of section 4D of the ICASA Act. Where the request for confidentiality is refused, the person who made the request will be allowed to withdraw such representations or portion(s) thereof.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Marikana film resonates beyond our borders

“Rehad Desai’s beautifully filmed and uncompromising documentary, ‘Miners Shot Down’, is about so much more than the massacre by police of 34 striking workers at the Lonmin platinum mine at Marikana in August 2012. The film offers a unique prism through which to view contemporary power relations in ‘democratic’ South Africa (and perhaps globally) where the unholy trinity of capital, politics and security were (and are) pitted against labour…” Marianne Thamm, Daily Maverick. 

Miners Shot Down, the documentary that commentators have said every South Afircan should see, is resonating deeply with international audiences. The film has been picked up by no less than seven international broadcast channels, including more recently Al Jazeera English and North America who will air the film from the 13th August onwards, just prior to the second anniversary of the massacre. 

In the four short months since it was released, Miners Shot Down has been screened to large numbers of people at film festivals across the globe, in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australasia and will be shown in a host of festivals over the coming months, including special 20 Years of Democracy screenings in Berlin and New York. Several festivals have given the film opening night status - One World, Prague, Sheffield Documentary Festival, UK and iRepresent in Lagos, Nigeria. The film has garnered four awards to date.

Vaclav Havel Award, One World Film Festival, Prague, 2014 – Best Film
Camera Justitia Award, Movies That Matter, Le Hague, 2014 – Best Film
Aung San Suu Kyi Award, Human Rights Human Dignity International Film Festival, Myanmar, 2014 – Best Film
Special Choice Award, Encounters Film Festival, South Africa, 2014

As well as festival screenings, a number of independently organized impact screenings of the film have taken place in Europe, including the UK where, for example, the Islington branch of the National Union of Teachers passed a union resolution in support of the Marikana Justice Campaign after watching the film. There have been floods of requests for similar screenings to be organized in Brazil and other Latin American countries.

In July, the film will be shown at the Durban International Film festival, giving people in Durban another chance to see the film on the big screen. An initial week-long cinema release of the film at Ster Kinekor’s Cinema Nouveau was extended to a three week run in key cinemas, due to popular demand. The Bioscope Cinema in Johannesburg has also shown the film and will do so again in the run up to the 16th August, the second anniversary of the massacre.

In South Africa, in addition to a cinema release, over 140 impact screenings have taken place to date in universities, schools, community halls, mining towns, unions meetings and churches, reaching over 18,000 people in South Africa. Many of these were attended by the filmmaker or representative of the Marikana Justice Campaign, including mineworkers who took part in the 2012 strike and lawyers representing the families of the killed miners at the commission of inquiry.

Miners Shot Down is available to buy from Exclusives bookstores, as well as several independent bookshops and on People are invited to buy the DVD and to organise small screenings in their homes, or workplaces.

Given the notable international reaction to the film, it is surprising that there has been no uptake of the film by free to air broadcasters in South Africa,  4 months on we still await news form SABC. ETV have refused. There is no more efficient way to reach large audiences with a film that "every South African should see” than national television.

Miners Shot Down – Synopsis:
In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. The police insisted that they shot in self-defence.

Miners Shot Down tells a different story, one that unfolds in real time over seven days, like a ticking time bomb. The film weaves together the central point-of-view of three strike leaders, Mambush, Tholakele and Mzoxolo, with compelling police footage, TV archive material and interviews with lawyers representing the miners in the ensuing commission of inquiry into the massacre. What emerges is a tragedy that arises out of the deep fault lines in South Africa’s nascent democracy, of enduring poverty and a twenty year old, unfulfilled promise of a better life for all. A  powerful and disturbing film, beautifully shot, sensitively told and featuring a haunting soundtrack, Miners Shot Down points to how far the African National Congress has strayed from its progressive liberationist roots and leaves audiences with an uncomfortable view of those that profit from minerals in the global South.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Be a part of JIFF's 1st International Coffee Table Book

If you have dialogue, if you have photo or poster or film still, if you have song, if you have film shooting location photograph, if you have costume pictures please submit and win the award at JIFF 2015. 

(For Feature Film, Documentary Feature and World Premier,  Short Fiction / Short Documentary / Short Animation)


We are glad to inform you that the JIFF is going to publish INTERNATIONAL COFFEE TABLE BOOK (96 colorful pages, on 170 gsm A4 size paper) in August, 2014. This book will cover the JIFF’s six years very interesting, inspiration journey, Film tourism in Rajasthan State and Film business from Rajasthan state with articles based on regional, national and world cinema and much more...

A total 5,000 copies will be printed and 50,000+ online digital copies will be circulated around the world.

Regular deadline: October 30th, 2014


Youth Documentary Project Call for Directors

The Youth Documentary Project  (YDP ) is initiating a long-term developmental and production workshop, which will enable young South African filmmakers to direct a collective feature-length film. 

The workshop is open to skilled or emerging filmmakers, born in the late 1980s or later. Documentary experience is recommended but not required. What is of importance is the applicants’ vision of South African realities and the manner in which they express this. 

The filmmakers will proceed by immersion, settling within the different spaces and communities that make up South Africa, close to the heart of the country and its people. 

The Youth Documentary Project is a French and South African project initiated by JBA Production (Jacques Bidou & Marianne Dumoulin), with the co-operation of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the support of Arte France

The Youth Documentary Project is an extension of the Cinema Direct Workshop (active in Johannesburg from 1984 to 1994) whose filmmakers directed South African Chronicles (1988) and My Vote is my Secret (1994). The initiative was produced by JBA Production and Arte (the French and German public television channel). Both films won awards in international festivals. 

The Youth Documentary Project will be based in Johannesburg, but filming locations are not restricted to the city. 

Jean-Loïc Portron, JBA Production's Director, will conduct the project with the support of Producers Ramadan Suleman, Bhekizizwe Peterson (Natives At Large) and Neville Josie 
(Jungle Works). 

Participation requires full-time commitment and availability.

Accommodation and transport will be provided. 

Details regarding contracts, accommodation, transport and other support will be provided once the participants have been confirmed. 

Submission Requirements: 

  •  Applicants must send a one-page synopsis, the theme of which is: “What true story would you tell a stranger living abroad, so they could grasp a South African reality 20 years after the first democratic elections?” 
  • Applicants must also submit a CV and, if available, a portfolio of previous work as well. 
  • Selection will be done after an interview process. 

Deadline: 21-07-2014 

Applications should be submitted by email to: Jean-Loïc Portron at

Transforming the South African Landscape through Animation

Words by: Nick Wilson ( and Wendy Spinks (

Just over 4 years ago, before the World Cup in 2010, a foreigner asked for their impression of South Africa would have mentioned the teeming wildlife, safaris, apartheid, crime and of course, Nelson Mandela. 
Not many, however, would have been as aware of the groundswell in the film and animation industry taking place at the same time. The World Cup was a fantastic opportunity for South Africa to re-brand itself and the country has taken the opportunity to reinforce this positive perception in many new areas.

South Africa is known as one of the world's top 5 film destinations and has taken home an Oscar for the film adaptation of Athol Fugard’s “Tsotsi”. Many high quality international and home-grown TV shows and films, including the international sci-fi hit “District 9”, have been produced locally and have set the stage for growth in an expanding industry with a great reputation for delivery. 

Our music industry continues to boom. South African DJ/producers like Black Coffee and Goldfish headline major music festivals nationally and internationally. The country's cultural diversity is also reflected in the music industry, which has brought the conceptual geniuses “Die Antwoord” to the world.  Furthermore, SA boasts Ultra Music Festival South Africa, now the largest music festival in Africa.

Allied to this abundant creativity, Cape Town has been named the World Design Capital 2014; South Africa is in its 20th year of democracy, and has the best infrastructure in Africa. The country has a strong financial sector, the JSE (Johannesburg Securities Exchange) is ranked amongst the top 10 in the world, and with a competent telecommunications industry South Africa is at the forefront of a mobile revolution. As of 11 November 2013, GSMA published its latest comprehensive study of the socio-economic impact of the mobile industry in Sub-Saharan Africa. “The report; “Sub-Saharan Africa Mobile Economy 2013”, developed by GSMA Intelligence, reveals that mobile contributes over six per cent of the region’s GDP, higher than any other comparable region globally, and this is forecast to rise to over eight per cent by 2020.”

Within the next decade Africa will have a population of over a billion people and is currently the fastest urbanising continent in the world with a rapidly growing middle class.  The next big consumer market is Africa, and South Africa is perfectly poised to quench the thirst for original content created by Africans for Africans.  

South Africa has established a reputation for world-class creativity whether in advertising, film, television or music production, with much of our home-grown talent now heading-up major advertising agencies & creative houses in New York, London, Singapore and even Australia.

It should come as no surprise then that today there is a burgeoning animation industry in South Africa. Just as is the case of film, TV, music, and advertising, there have been great strides in development of the animation industry, in terms of talent, experience and capacity. 
South African animation services offer a good value proposition for North American and European companies. Our exchange rate hovers favourably around R10 to the US dollar, and while South Africa is not necessarily cheap compared to providers in Asia and the East, it does comes with fewer cultural and language barriers, manageable time zones and a highly sought after design sensibility. 

In June this year, a delegation of South African animation producers and content creators attended the 2014 Annecy International Animation Festival and Film & TV Market to represent the industry and build on business relationships established last year, taking advantage of the growing awareness of country as a creator of quality animated content. 

According to Glenn Gillis of Sea Monster who attended Annecy for the first time; “What emerged was that although we are still a relatively small player at present, we are increasingly being recognised for the great creative and concepts that we have on offer. We seem to have a particular strength in design and pre-production, and broadcasters and production partners have taken note of some of our recent achievements. The Sea Monster team have delivered over 75 hours of broadcast 2D animation, including shows for Cookie Jar, Disney and others. Our innate understanding of humour, the ease of doing business and, our ability to deliver creatively on schedule and on budget has been proven.  What this means is that our concepts are not only of a world class standard, but also are production-ready, so that creatively, technically and financially there is more control and predictability.”
The South African animation industry however, is not purely positioned to service international projects.  

At the South Africa Territory Focus at Annecy the NFVF’s Production & Development Manager Thandeka Zwana elaborated: “The NFVF (National Film and Video Foundation) is an agency of our Department of Arts and Culture and is structured very similar to France's CNC. We are mandated by our Parliament to develop and promote the film industry in South Africa. This involves funding for South Africans in training (writing and producing), script development, production, post production, distribution, exhibition and marketing. We spend approximately 50% of our funding on development and production and 40% on marketing including assisting filmmakers to travel to various markets and festivals and hosting showcase events to promote our industry.”

The NFVF act as a liaison between the industry and various government departments and one of our most important roles is ensuring that information is shared both ways. Our closest partnerships are with the Department of Trade and Industry who administer all rebates and incentives. The NFVF is responsible for certifying films as either local content or co-productions. Another important partner is the Industrial Development Corporation - the money people who often look to the NFVF for script input when it comes to assessing projects that they are considering for funding. These two entities have been instrumental in growing our industry by providing South African content producers with vital leverage in terms of raising funding especially for the larger co-productions.”

Different companies have experimented with various business models to accommodate both service work and create original content. There has been a definite shift in South African perception toward quality and original content generation, which alludes to a sophistication of the growing animation industry.

The most successful South African creator of long-form animated feature films to date is Triggerfish Animation Studios.  Triggerfish's feature film “Khumba” premiered at Annecy in 2013 before its international release in theatres and has become a significant marker of the progress and maturity of the South African animation industry as a whole.

“Khumba” however, is not Triggerfish's first foray into animated feature films. Their debut feature film, “Adventures in Zambezia”, released in 2012 and is the most successful South African-owned film in the last 30 years, grossing in excess of US$ 34M at the international box office.

Speaking at the Territory Focus on South Africa in Annecy this year, Triggerfish producer Mike Buckland pointed out that the success of South African animated films such as "Adventures in Zambezia" and "Khumba" are a great indicator that there is an international appetite for high quality, original South African content. 

Creative services company Pollen, who has made a name for themselves creating world-class design and animation for TV, Film and Web locally & abroad have embarked on developing their own children's content. In early July the team goes into production on not one, but three children's series: "Fledglings”, "Fishpaste" & "Luminati". The series, all of which have been developed with the global children's market in mind, will be produced in English, as well as Sotho & Afrikaans for local broadcasters with the characters already having been picked up for commercial licensing purposes in 2015. Pollen is currently finalising their international distribution agreements and working on the development of their newest properties "Meet Mo", "Homesick Mole" and "Nikki, Nonna, Noo & you!" which will be going into production in early 2015.

While bigger companies like Triggerfish and Pollen exist there is still room for smaller boutique studios (which are the general norm) such as Mike Scott Animation and Shy the Sun and are attracting international attention for their artistry.  

Mike Scott, an independent 2D specialist has consistently raised the profile of South African 2D animation. His music videos for the South African band Goldfish have been acclaimed worldwide, appearing on MTV International and finding a spot in the ‘20 Best Music Videos’ in the London International Animation Festival 2011. Collectively the six videos have racked up over 10 million views on YouTube. 

Mike’s work has been exhibited at numerous international and local animation festivals, including France’s Recontres Audiovisuelles 2011, the Anima Mundi in Brazil and the Edinburgh African Film Festival. Mike’s latest animated music video was nominated for a 2014 South African Music Award for Best Music Video, he recently sold “HappyLand”  an original IP consisting of 52 interstitials.

He also recently completed a very successful pilot for “Moosebox”, which is one of seven International Shorts greenlit for the Nickelodoen International Shorts program.
“I believe in the importance of developing personal projects alongside commercial work and am increasingly leaning towards original IP.” ~ Mike Scott.