The Business Model Canvas



In 2012 Tina-Louise Smith (Accidental Films and TV) travelled to The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival in Toronto with the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association’s (DFA) delegation of South African documentary filmmakers. There she attended a four-hour workshop on how to apply the canvas to documentary film projects.


“The workshops were engaging and illuminating. Suddenly I understood business terminology and could see clearly how to map the business plan for the project I was working with. If this tool could make the business of filmmaking clear to me, I was certain it could do the same for other filmmakers and producers back home. This experience was the catalyst that set this entire journey of bringing the canvas to South Africa’s filmmakers in motion.”   TINA-LOUISE SMITH


Working under the auspices of the DFA, and partnering with the CFC Media Lab’s Ana Serrano and Orla Garriques, Tina-Louise Smith of Accidental Films and TV and Orla Garriques of OG & CO Media designed a Business Model Canvas programme for South African producers. In 2014 the pilot programme was solidified and delivered at the 2015 Durban FilmMart.


The first installment of the programme ensured that six South African producers would be trained to be able to facilitate application and understanding of the tool beyond the FilmMart. Along with this, 19 producers participated in the programme to get an introduction to the tool and learn how to apply it to their own projects.  As a jump off from DFM 2015, our trainers delivered a series of workshops over the course of the year for organizations and events such as DISCOP, BIG FISH, the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival and independent companies.


As a result of the programme’s success in 2015, Smith and Garriques designed a second installment for the 2016 Durban FilmMart. We think it is important to be flexible to be able to respond to the needs of our audience and stakeholders which is what we did with the 2016 programme by introducing new components such as the interactive panel presentation and opening up slots for festival delegates to participate. Subject matter expert, Erica Shaw, joined the team of lead facilitators in 2016. Similar to last year the DFM became the launching platform for what promises to be another exciting year-long offering of the workshops by SA and CAN facilitators.





If you would like us to facilitate an introductory workshop or an in-depth session of the canvas, please contact our trainers about their availability and rates:


David Max Brown | Gauteng |
Jane Lipman | Gauteng |
Fidel Namisi | Gauteng |


Nisha Naidoo | KwaZulu-Natal |


Michael Lee | Western Cape |
Izette Mostert | Western Cape |
Tina-Louise Smith | Western Cape |





With two years of success under our belts and a range of producers from the workshop completing film projects we are pleased to say the initiative to bring the Business Model Canvas to the South African film sector has not only met our initial objectives but exceeded partners’ expectations.


“Canada and South Africa have a rich history of collaboration. As 2017 marks the 20th year of the SA-CAN co-production treaty and the 3rd installment of the BMC programme, part of our future plans for the programme include a focus on co-pro, co-venture and co-development models in an effort to further strengthen relationships, build global connections and better entrepreneurial practices.”   ORLA GARRIQUES


We have established a dynamic programme and plan to grow an enterprising professional network of experts both in Canada and South Africa comprised of content producers, investors, educators and other industry stakeholders. In addition to BMC facilitation this international brain trust expertise in production, financing, marketing, pitching and business affairs and development provides an holistic enriching approach that has serviced over 500 content producers globally to date.


Special thanks to our network for their contribution to this initiative:
CANADA – Ana Serrano, Aaron Williamson, Marva Ollivierre, Anne Marie Maduri, Suzanne Stein, Eric Reis, Warren Coughlin and Erica Shaw
SOUTH AFRICA – Refiloe Hlabioa (NFVF), Neiloe Whitehead (NFVF), Tiny Mungwe (DFM), Odette Geldenhuys (DFA), Teboho Pietersen (DFA), Izette Mostert (DFA), Fidel Namisi, Nisha Naidoo, David Brown, Michael Lee and Jane Lipman.


All of us who have been a part of this programme know how amazingly the canvas simplifies the business of filmmaking and how it will empower and benefit other content producers who are exposed to the tool and workshops.


As we wrap this years’ programme, Smith and Garriques begin work on the third installment. This installment promises to deliver an even more integrated programme at DFM 2017, provide a series of case studies of successful production models, promote more workshop opportunities throughout the year, garner more industry support and partnerships locally and abroad.