The leading organisation for documentary filmmakers in South Africa, the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association (DFA), has expressed its support over the appointment of Denis Lillie as the Cape Film Commissioner.
The DFA represents the interests of South African documentary filmmakers. Since its inception the organisation has been actively engaged in the transformation of the documentary sector.
After two meetings with the newly appointed Commissioner, the DFA is encouraged by his accessibility. Denis Lillie has demonstrated his openness to working with all members of the South African filmmaking community. Documentary film is an untapped and unexplored source of economic activity in South Africa, but Lillie has indicated that he will travel this unfamiliar road with local documentary filmmakers. For hundreds of SMME producers who previously generated content for and income through the SABC this is heartening and suggests the potential for growth of documentary film that has been stifled in numerous ways in the past.
Denis Lillie met with representatives from the DFA Western Cape soon after his appointment and tabled a proposal to include the DFA and the documentary industry in the CFC’s new five year strategy plan. The CFC Board accepted the proposal to co-opt the DFA onto the board in recognition of the role of documentary film in the province. The DFA looks forward to inputting constructively in developing this genre within the province and we look forward to a positive relationship with the new CEO and the CFC.
In the past the DFA has had a good working relationship with the CFC and has had support from the CFC on various projects. The Documentary sector’s role in the Western Cape is both economic and social and the DFA believes a strong documentary voice on the CFC board is required to ensure the growth of our industry. We appreciate the recognition of this by the new CEO.
The CFC has under the new Commissioner’s leadership most recently supported a DFA/CFC seminar on Commercial Documentaries for the International Market as part of our Professional Development Programme.
The DFA supports the new CEO’s hands-on and tangible attempt to engage the documentary industry and his acknowledgment of our contribution to the development of the film industry in the Western Cape.
The DFA believes that filmmakers need to be able to work with someone like Lillie, who in his brief period at the helm of the CFC, has shown he is able to grasp the complex issues, passions and interests of the film industry landscape. The DFA is confident that he will work with all filmmakers to find an appropriate way forward.