What Are We Busy With?

Current Core Projects


The DFA works on several specific projects on its own or in partnership with others. These are key projects the DFA believes are valuable to our industry sector and that require more resources and communication than usually posted via the website, social media and newsletter.



Members Benefits

The DFA negotiates discounts and special deals for its members within the industry. More information


Bi-weekly Newsletters via Email

At the beginning of every second work week, a newsletter is sent via email to all our paid-up members with the latest news, events, funding opportunities, resources, interesting links and a member profile. DFA members are encouraged to share their own news and updates by emailing  The DFA is also active daily on social media and it is FREE to join us on Facebook and Twitter – come join the conversation and our community!


COVID-19 Citizen Journalist Awards 2020

The DFA docLOVE Citizen Journalist was created to recognise filmmakers who volunteered their time and expertise to capture the everyday experiences of South Africans under the Covid-19 Lockdown. Many people, who may not work as professional filmmakers, are using mobile phones and home cameras to document stories. Filmmakers used their skills to support NGO’s, community soup kitchens, fellow artists and a variety of initiatives that spoke to them. This award is for everyone who contributed to documenting this time. We welcome and encourage the winners to participate in opportunities and interactions offered by the DFA. See the 2020 Winners here.


COVID-19 Short Film Grant 2020

The DFA is excited to announce a Short Film Grant for emerging and established documentary filmmakers to produce a short film on the theme of “Life, Love, Rifts and Rage in the time of Covid-19”. Five x R20 000 grants will be awarded to support the production of five short documentaries More details


5 Minutes with…

Get to know the members of our community with the inspiring “5 minutes with…” interviews that profile a range of DFA members. Read the 2020 interviews here


docCHAT 2020

docCHAT is a bi-monthly webinar, designed to keep the conversation going amongst the South African documentary community was conceived at the onset of the national lockdown and worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. In a blink of an eye, all our lives turned upside down and as documentary filmmakers and creatives, our livelihood and our innate and intrinsic storytelling abilities were soon halted. We were not considered essential workers and as freelance documentary filmmakers one would expect that we’d have mastered this way of living; working remotely, ensuring adequate savings for the months that lie ahead without work and finding creative and innovative ways to keep our spirits uplifted. But nothing could prepare any of us for the way the world shifted over the past few months and what is now being described as the “new normal”. Originating in a time of overwhelming anxiety and uncertainty, DocChat creates a time and space for an exchange of knowledge and a sigh of relief to know we are all in this together. Each zoom session is meticulously thought off and structured but the conversation is very informal. The sessions are intimate and often dimmed over load shedding schedules but we envision that it will soon gain traction.



docLOVE 2019/2020

The docLOVE inititiave in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town are FREE screenings followed by a discussion and the opportunity to meet other filmmakers . The screenings programme has had strong support from film aficionados in Cape Town at two regular venues: the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education in Mowbray and Bertha Movie House at the Isivivana Centre, Khayalitsha. In Johannesburg we are screening at The Bioscope and in Durban we are partnered with the Centre for Civil Society at UKZN. Please visit the docLOVE Facebook page for the latest screening details.



Listen to DocStreet Radio

Doc Street Radio will podcast one-on- one interviews with South African documentary filmmakers, masterclasses, and open pitching sessions. At times, we will also engage audiences, academics and filmmakers on the constantly changing face of documentary cinema.



Doc Tour Training Workshops at Encounters 2018

Doc Tour 2018 is a one-day event organised by the Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA) of South Africa in collaboration with Encounters South African International Documentary Festival aimed at young professionals and emerging filmmakers developing projects for the first time. The training opportunity is designed to assist filmmakers who would like to fine-tune their documentary projects in development or production phase to be better prepared for pitching at forums around the world. More information




Doc Tour Knowledge Share at Encounters 2018

First Aid for docs that aim to travel. Doc Tour 2018 is a one-day event in collaboration with Encounters South African international Documentary Festival. It is aimed at young professionals and seasoned filmmakers. In the morning is a training workshop with selected participants and, in the afternoon, a knowledge sharing forum. Following the half-day workshop for young filmmakers we will have an industry session to address issues that affect filmmakers. More information




DTI-Supported Delegations: Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018

DFA Members had the opportunity to apply to attend Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018 as part of the DFA’s application to the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Group Export Sector Specific Assistance Scheme (SSAS). Sheffield Doc/Fest is a film festival comprising; inspirational documentary films from across the globe; dynamic discussion panels and in-depth filmmaker masterclasses; a marketplace offering a unique way to pitch new and groundbreaking documentary projects; and world-famous parties. The delegation left South Africa on the 6th of June 2018 and departed Sheffield (UK) on the 13th of June 2018.  More information 




DTI-Supported Delegations: International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2017

IDFA is unique for its international film program, the variety of genres, its politically-committed programming and the many European and world premieres featured each year. Add to that the presence of many filmmakers, sizeable audiences, all the discussions and debates, workshops, master classes and the experienced staff, and it’s no wonder IDFA is the pre-eminent festival for creative documentaries. The Documentary Filmmakers’ Association’s mandate is to nurture and develop the interests of documentary filmmakers in South Africa. Supported by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Group Export Sector Specific Assistance Scheme (SSAS), the recent DFA delegation attending IDFA surely developed and empowered those attending the festival. More information




DTI-Supported Delegations: Visions du Réel 2017

South African cinema was at the heart of the Focus section of the 48th edition of Visions du Réel in 2017. Visions du Réel honoured many different shades of documentary filmmaking in its ‘South Africa, the ‘Rainbow Nation’. For the seventh consecutive time the Festival cooperated for the Focus section with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), this time to highlight the creativity and diversity of South African filmmaking, exploring personal, political and social topics. More information




Business Model Canvas 2014/ 2015

In partnership with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) and the Canadian Film Center (Media Lab), the DFA offers training to both filmmakers and trainers in the Business Model Canvas to assist filmmakers to develop more comprehensive strategies for their film projects.  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. 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.




My Town Short Film Competition 2009

In 2009 the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association, in collaboration with the Encounters Documentary Festival launched the MY TOWN short documentary competition.  The completion was a big success and helped identify and build relationships with young filmmakers.The short film competition is directed at filmmakers from across the country. The brief of the short film competition relates to how the town we come from or live in shapes who we are. In this short 3 minute documentary competition, filmmakers, aspirant filmmakers, artists and students are invited to make a short 3 minute documentary titled “My Town”.




FAWA – Filmmakers Against Women Abuse 2009

Filmmakers Against Women Abuse (FAWA) is a series of 3 minute films that provides a platform for filmmakers to tell stories that move, activate, reflect and comment on violence against women. In association with the DFA & Encounters

See the projects




Creative Rights & Copyright Balance 2008+

This project has been ongoing with various partners and with the help of PIJIP since 2008, and continues to look at the balance between the right of creators and owners of that copyright, and the need to create new works, which might need to include certain material, under certain circumstances from other works.





Perspective is a Documentary Filmmakers’ Association (DFA) initiative that aims to provide insight into the documentary filmmaking process for those filmmakers who are struggling with their ideas and how to approach the creative process of crafting a film from inception to final product.

We would like to move beyond questions around content only and probe the craft of filmmaking through understanding creative and technical decisions – which are always tied up with content.