Monday, February 29, 2016

SABC open line ban unlawful

 SOS Support Public Broadcasting Campaign is calling for an urgent investigation into whether SABC management ordered staff to drop open call-in lines until after the elections, as reported in the Sunday Times

If this allegation is true, then SABC would be acting in violation of the constitution, its broadcasting licences and enabling legislation.

Open radio call lines are a popular form of public expression across broadcasting stations and any instruction to suspend these should be treated very seriously by all who support freedom of expression and accountable public broadcasting.

The SABC cannot claim that unilaterally dropping open lines is to promote free and fair elections. An election period has not yet been declared and ICASA, not the SABC, is responsible for determining rules on party political broadcasting during election periods. These rules will apply to broadcasters and political parties and not to the views expressed by members of the public calling into radio stations.

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 includes a number of trade union federations including COSATU and FEDUSA, a number of independent unions including BEMAWU and MWASA (Media Workers Association of South Africa); 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: 

  • Michael Markovitz, SOS Working Group member, 083 260 0889
  • Thandi Smith, SOS Chairperson, 073 470 7306

Friday, February 26, 2016

WGSA Muse Award judges shortlisted in an international screenplay competition

Two Writers’ Guild of South Africa (WGSA) Muse Award judges, Yolanda Keabetswe Mogatusi and Sean Drummond, are in the international category quarterfinals of the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, for their scripts "Tshepa Themba" and "Five Fingers for Marseilles" respectively. 

The competition had over 7,500 entries of which 503 were in the international category.

“It’s very exciting. You always hope with these things but you never know, so when you see your name, you are like, what!” said Yolanda. Her screenplay, "Tshepa Themba," a story inspired by true events, is a dark comedy about an ambitious young man who does the unimaginable when he is pushed to a corner and his dream of becoming the next Patrice Motsepe starts slipping. Yolanda is the final round judge for WGSA Muse Awards in the short film category. Her other short film, "Hair That Moves", was selected into the international Focus Features Africa First programme in 2013. 

Sean was thrilled that his screenplay, "Five Fingers for Marseilles," made the shortlist in BlueCat competition. The script is a contemporary South African take on the western genre, set in the Eastern Cape and scheduled for production in mid-2016 with a top South African ensemble cast. The script has previously reached the final 15% of the Academy Nicholl Fellowship and has been a Muse Awards nominee for best unproduced feature film. Sean, both a South African and international executive for shnit Shortfilmfestival, was a first round judge in the short film category of the WGSA Muse Awards this year. 

Theoline Maphutha, the chairperson of the Writers’ Guild of South Africa says, “We are thrilled that two of our judges made the shortlist of the prestigious competition. This is just one example of the calibre of the professionals involved in the WGSA Muse Awards judging process. We hope this would encourage writers to join the guild and enter the WGSA Muse Awards. We’d also like to wish Sean and Yolanda the best of luck in both the competition and their future endeavours!”

The WGSA Muse Awards are an annual awards ceremony presented by the Writers’ Guild of South Africa and place emphasis on writing talent. The awards honour the South African performance writer and allows the local content production industry to celebrate and promote the creativity, quality and writing excellence of local writers. The awards ceremony will be held on the 2nd April 2016 at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Animated Series Produced in Township Sells in 20 countries

South African Animation company, Pixcomm, has pioneered a unique production approach with their animated series Jabu’s Jungle. Produced in Cape Town’s Masiphumelele Township, Jabu’s Jungle has now been sold to 22 countries in Africa and production for Series 2 is underway.

Being based in a community of over 60 000 people with a 40% unemployment rate, Pixcomm realized that job creation and training were vital and should go hand in hand. They brought in professional animators to work alongside talented young artists giving them a hands-on, apprentice style training. By being able to earn money as they trained, the township residents were able to contribute to the series and brought a raw and passionate energy to the production.

The series was able to create 12 new jobs in 2015 and the rate at which artists learned was impressive. Pixcomm identified talented artists in the community and put them alongside industry professionals where they received on-the-job training  in illustration, colouring, design, sound recording and animation. “We don’t really give them a formal training, its more like being thrown in the deep end and it’s sink or swim,” says producer Nic Buchanan. “Fortunately most of the guys have proved to be very good swimmers indeed!” Jabu’s Jungle has benefited from this bold approach and retains a fresh African feel in its visual approach and narrative style.  It’s refreshing and non derivative, a genuine African series that is starting to attract attention in the international market.  A deal with SABC is being negotiated and viewers should be seeing Jabu and friends on TV soon.

Production of Series 2 will create 15 jobs and will be completed in time for the international distributor, Monster Entertainment, to launch it at MIPJunior later this year.

For more information, please contact Nic Buchanan on +27 21 785 2074 or mail

Monday, February 22, 2016


Are you a producer or filmmaker who is faced with the challenge of raising money for your next project? Are you unsure how your project or production company can make sense to investors? Are you a lecturer trying to expose students to the ins and outs of the business side of film? Or maybe business jargon gets you tongue-tied?

 If any of the above applies to you, the Business Model Canvas Workshops are for you, regardless of whether you’re starting out with your first independent production or a seasoned producer with a trail of credits to your name.


"It simplified the business of filmmaking."

"The tool was very easy to adapt and very focused."

"It has made me think out of the box regarding my project."

"Mind expanding."

"The exercises allow you to realise alternative opportunities in your business model."

"Great perspective into my project by other 'attendancers' and a good understanding afterwards of the BMC tool."

After the swift uptake of the canvas in 2015, the DFA continues on its mission to bring this empowering tool to more South African producers. The easy-to-use visual tool helps you map your project or your company in a language that makes sense to people who can give you the financing you need.

Durban FilmMart 2015:

The Documentary Filmmakers' Association in partnership with the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Media Lab and the Durban FilmMart are hosting two full day workshops on the powerful Business Model Canvas Tool for South African filmmakers.

The one day intensive workshops take place over 17 – 20 June at the 2016 Durban
FilmMart and tie into industry events at the FilmMart.

The Business Model Canvas is a powerful visual tool that helps filmmakers plan projects. The workshop team will lead you through a series of exercises to help you identify your specific business models and provide a blueprint for current and future projects.

At the end of the workshop you will be able to identify the different elements of your business model and integrate them to enhance your work, your company, and the products you deliver. You will also be able to extract key points to be able to deliver a 30 second pitch to investors.

We are looking for 16 filmmakers with projects in development or production to attend the
Business Model Canvas workshops.



  1. You are a South African citizen, have permanent residency status, or refugee status in
  2. South Africa.
  3. You have at least one credit as either Producer, Director, or Writer (doc, short, fiction).
  4. Describe the project for which you are currently trying to work out the business model.
  5. Briefly describe your business approach for your proposed project: finance plan, resources, customers, distribution channels and potential revenue.
  6. Provide your filmography, headshot and contact details.
  7. You are able to cover your costs to attend the workshops at the Durban FilmMart. NB! Only one member per organisation will be considered.

Please complete the online application form if you would like to participate:

Email queries to:
Read more on the BMC:



Monday, February 15, 2016

BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016 Call for Entries

Entries are open for the 6th edition of the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival, one of the UK’s leading short film festivals and most exciting cinematic events. ASFF celebrates innovation and excellence in filmmaking and presents many opportunities for industry engagement.

In 2015, ASFF attracted 20,000 admissions across the four day event including industry, filmmakers and thousands of festival-goers providing a dynamic platform for emerging and established filmmakers to showcase their work to a wider, international audience.

ASFF 2016 Prizes:

  • Screenings at BAFTA Qualifying ASFF 2016
  • Awards: Festival Winner, People’s Choice and Category Winners
  • Eligibility to enter the EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA)
  • Editorial in Aesthetica Magazine and promotion via Aesthetica’s online channels (readership 284,000)

Running times up to 30 minutes. 

Deadline 31 May 2016. 
Entry fee is £20 plus VAT. 

@ASFFest 2016: 

View the ASFF 2015 Highlights Film:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


The art of creating your own work
by Lizz Meiring

Lizz Meiring was mentored by the iconic Pieter- Dirk Uys on the art of creating your own work. His motto has become hers: ‘Creating your own work, means you can fully operate as an artist, an individual and a successful  Arts industry professional. It is not only a means of survival, it provides you with a choice as to how you want your career to develop.’

This workshop looks at practical and realistic ways of every aspect of creating your own work - from intellectual copyright, to creating the actual production, to budgeting, sponsorship, media releases, marketing and publicity, performance venues, lighting, sound and other technical aspects, procuring costumes, sets, props, creating a production that can tour, collaboration, venue contracts, booking agents and much more. 

DATE:  Saturday 13 February 2016
TIME:  10H30 for 11H00 until 14H00
VENUE: AFDA, Johannesburg
COST:    Free for SAGA members. Non-members pay R130.00.
RSVP:    Corine Broomberg at by Thursday, 11 February

Lizz is an actress, playwright, feature film writer, TV scriptwriter, copywriter, translator, script editor, magazine and radio columnist , theatre director, theatre producer , TV presenter, public speaker, MC, voice artist, Arts activist, Arts journalist, creative advisor, occasional lecturer, qualified registered auctioneer. 

After 32 years in this industry, she has never been unemployed, often working on 6 productions simultaneously.
She has won 17 awards, and was nominated for an additional 18.  

To date she has done: 
20 Feature films - as actress
282 TV productions - as actress 
342 theatre productions - as actress 
As writer/director - 208 theatre, film, TV productions. (A large number of the theatre productions, she produced) 
More than 5000 corporate / private / fundraising gigs. 
She has published 12 books with two major publishing companies. 
In short (and she is, literally) Lizz is a creativity junkie.

For more information about the SA Guild of Actors click here.