Current Board

Current Board

Xoliswa Sithole

Vice Chair

Double BAFTA and Peabody winner (amongst other awards) Xoliswa is a producer / director making films focusing on human rights. She started as an actress in films like Cry Freedom, then production in Feature Films. She was Producer on ‘Orphans of Inkandla’- she won a BAFTA. She was S.A producer on the ‘Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy’. Producer ‘South Africa’s Lost Girls’ with True Vision, and for BBC Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children’ shot entirely undercover – Peabody and BAFTA winner. Xoliswa made ‘Child of the Revolution’ exploring what happened to the revolution in Zimbabwe. Some of these documentaries have become impact films. Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children raised money for the children in the film to go to school and to build a school. Orphans of Inkandla was used to raise money for make poverty history started by Richard Curtis. Elton John used a clip of the film to raise money for his foundation 2 years in a row about 7million pounds used for ARV research in Kenya. Both documentaries were used to raise money on Red Nose Week program on the BBC to raise money for global charities. Xoliswa is a member of BAFTA and has been a juror three times. She is a founding member of filmmakers against racism and the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective.

Simphiwe Ngcobo


Simphiwe has over 27 years’ experience in training, technical design, commissioning, producing and management in the film & TV industry. He has produced and commissioned several productions for broadcast and non-broadcast purposes in radio, animation, cinema and television. These include amongst others: Yizo Yizo 3 (2003), Gaz’lam (2004), Tsha Tsha (2004), Get Real (2003), Take 5 (2003), and Siyayinqoba – Beat It! for SABC. In 2006 he produced Bantfu Embili 26-part series and Kgotla 13-part series for SABC2 under his production company. He has also produced and directed documentaries for etv on heritage (The Cave dwellers and Dr Thomas Chauke), Zabalaza 2 (SABC1), South Africa Undocumented 8-part documentary series, The rise of a fashion Icon, Democratic elections in the DRC and On a Livingstone mission. He has guided more than 140 projects that were destined for cinema and television through development and production processes.

Simphiwe graduated from the Durban University of Technology in Video Technology (TV Production) in 1993. He later studied Education, Communications and English for a B.A. degree at the University of South Africa in 2000. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from the University of KwaZulu Natal (2005) and finishing his Master of Business Administration degree. He was also trained by Deutsche Welle in Germany on Creative Planning and Production Management in 2003 and attended the International Producing Programme by Angus Finney in 2015.

Karin Slater

Karin was invited as a lifetime member of the Academy and judge of the Oscars in 2020. She works as a director and cinematographer with her main interest in indigenous wisdom and wildlife. Her documentaries have screened at Sundance, Berlinale, Hot Docs, Museum of Modern Art, New York and she has won numerous awards including the Trailblazer Award for innovative and creative work in the field of documentaries at Mipdoc, Cannes 2008, Best Feature Documentary at the International Innovations Film Festival 2019, Switzerland and she’s been eligible for an Oscar. She’s also a teacher of documentary filmmaking and was head mentor at Big Fish film school for seven years and has been a lecturer at Selkirk College, BC, Canada.

Rehad Desai

Rehad runs his own company Uhuru Productions out of Johannesburg. Following his return from political exile. Rehad worked as a health and safety/media officer for a chemical workers union and the head of a HIV prevention unit. In 1997 he completed a master’s in social history at the University of the Witwatersrand, he then entered the TV and film industry as a current affairs journalist, and soon after moved on to focus his energy on historical and socio -political documentary film.

In 2002 he completed a post graduate diploma through EVEA, in 2009 in documentary through Eurodoc. He has produced over 20 documentaries, some directed by himself that have been broadcast internationally, accepted into numerous festivals and been received with critical acclaim. His last film Miners Shot Down has won local and international critical acclaim garnering 28 prizes including the Taco Keiper award for investigative journalism and an International Emmy for best documentary. Everything Must Fall is the last film in the trilogy and has also won critical acclaim, winning awards at home and abroad. The prize for Best Documentary at One World in Prague in 2019 is the last and biggest win to date.

Thea Aboud

Public Officer

Thea started her career in industrial engineering with Iscor, and moved to local, provincial and national government. She branched out into accounting, procurement and human resources and, after 17 years, decided to work for herself. She started Shacabanga Consulting, working as a strategist and capacity-building advisor and, in co-operation with New Horizons, facilitated Business Implementation Plans for local, provincial and national government, non-profit organisations and the private sector in South Africa and other African countries.

In a complete turn-around, Thea then ran a successful take-away / bakery / general dealer in the Eastern Cape, before she returned to Johannesburg in 2010 to set up the Writers Guild of South Africa, which she still runs as Executive Officer in conjunction with the WGSA Council. Among her other clients are the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association, the South African Screen Federation, Sisters Working in Film and Television, the Southern African Freelancers’ Association and the South African Science Journalists’ Association.

Thea’s strengths lie in organisational capacity building, system analysis, financial management, strategic planning and project management, and she has a sound knowledge of the Public Finance Management Act. As a writer, she has screen credits on a children’s programme and has also been a ballet, ballroom and Latin American dancer and trainer.

Miki Redelinghuys

Co Chairperson

Miki is a documentary filmmaker who believes in the power of film for change. She is a co-founder of Plexus Films where she has produced documentary and factual content since 2000. In 2020 she completed a Masters of Documentary Arts at UCT with a focus on social impact through film. She serves as co-chair of the DFA board, supporting initiatives such as docLOVE film screenings and docSHARE film training. In 2020 she co-curated the UCT Impact Sessions. She serves as programme manager for the UCT Sunshine Cinema Impact facilitators course, with a few long term documentary feature projects in the pipeline.

Izette Mostert

Vice Treasurer

Izette is a documentary director and editor with a passion for films dealing with women & children’s rights and humanitarian issues.

A career highlight was the screening of a self funded film, Saying Goodbye on Sean Davison’s Euthanasia court case in New Zealand. The film screened at various film festivals, including Encounters and Luxor as well as institutes dealing with euthanasia. She has worked with Carien Loubser, Elsabé Daneel, Francois Verster, Herman Binge, Jane Dutton, Lauren Beukes, Karen Zoid, Miki Redelinghuys and Revel Fox amongst others.

She freelance lectures at various tertiary institutions, and runs the documentary short course at Stellenbosch University’s Journalism department. She has served on the DFA board as treasurer for the past 7 years, is a member of the South African Guild of Editors and in her free time a runner.

Khanyi Magubane

Khanyi is a seasoned Radio Broadcaster, TV and Film Producer and Media
Entrepreneur. She has cut her teeth across the various media platforms of
Radio/TV/Online and Print and has been widely recognised for her work in broadcast media. She runs Zinokwanda Media and Communications, a Joburg based agency and production company. A journalist by profession, she has worked for radio stations such as Talk Radio 702, YFM and SAfm.
As a producer, she has produced documentaries, talk shows and made-for-television films. She has produced for broadcasters including SABC and Mzansi Magic. Her work includes the critically acclaimed documentary series
Why AreWe So Angry, the hard hitting socio-economical documentary series
Making Cents, and directing biographical documentary series Sheroes in Media. She was also the Executive producer of season one of Visionaries Lounge which aired on SABC 2 in 2016. In 2014 she was the recipient of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship programme by former US President Barack Obama

Shameela Seedat

Shameela Seedat is a former fulbright scholar who worked in law for over 10 years before turning to filmmaking. Her first feature-length documentary WHISPERING TRUTH TO POWER won multiple awards, including from Hot Docs FF, FESPACO , the Luxor Afrcan FF and from the African Studies Association. Her second feature length documentary AFRICAN MOOT is currently in post-production. Shameela has also directed several programs for local and international television stations, as well as a series of ten short films on social justice activists in South Africa. She was the 2019 Film Resident Activist at the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education, and served on the documentary film jury at the Sydney Film Festival in 2018 and on the Documentary Film Association (DFA) Citizen Journalists Jury in 2020. Shameela has published widely on law and social justice in various journals, newspapers and book chapters.

Liezel Vermeulen

Newsletter & Social Media

Liezel Vermeulen is a highly experienced documentary film producer and creative project development specialist, starting her career in teaching television theory at Rhodes University in 2000. She has extensive experience in administering the DTIC Film and TV incentive for documentary, animation and live action projects and line produces on factual and documentary projects including 80 hours of nature programming, the biggest 4K delivery out of SA to date for Blue Ant Media, Canada. Her most recent factual series Anatomy of a Wildfire for ITV Global studios examined the impact of climate change on the global growth in the management of wildfires. Career highlights include SA Story with Archbishop Desmond Tutu produced to celebrate the Soccer World Cup in 2010, working on South Africa’s first homegrown animation series URBO: The Adventures of Pax Afrika and two factual series for about the Bornfree generation. She is the communications manager for the Documentary Filmmakers Association of South Africa (DFA) and the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO).

Sivu Giba

Co Chairperson

Sivuyisiwe is the co-founder and director of SivuBuhle Media, a documentary and multimedia production company based in the Eastern Cape. Sivu comes with a variety of film experiences from feature film to documentary and her passion is mostly documentary filmmaking, where she had her formal film training from Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking specialising in producing and directing. She won Best Documentary Class of 2013 at the Cape Winelands International Film Festival. She is also a Film business developer who is passionate about provincial film development and with her Degree of Entrepreneurship and New Venture creation from WITS Business School, she is able to see business opportunities through film tourism, co- productions and development. Sivu is passionate about indigenous stories and that is what she mainly produces and directs especially authentic rural stories where the heart of the community is.

Desmond Naidoo

Desmond is a documentary and TV producer committed to producing content that combines innovative ideas with imaginative storytelling, which offers unique perspectives on the issues that affect our lives. He is currently in pre-production on a feature length documentary on World War Two fighter pilot Adolph Malan. He has worked as an executive producer at Urban Brew’s Global Productions division, which focused on creating content for the international market. He joined Urban Brew in 2013, producing magazine and current affairs shows and directing and producing short form documentaries for the Pan African channel ED, which broadcasts on DSTV. He worked at the SABC for 11 years, 6 of those as a senior commissioning editor in the factual division. During his tenure at the SABC, Desmond has made transformation a key part of his agenda, affording young emerging filmmakers opportunities to make films. He is passionate about mentoring and never hesitates to share his expertise and experience with new talent. He enjoys traveling and keeps a keen eye on the latest trends in the world of film and television and loves exploring new frontiers in visual storytelling and technology.

Liani Maasdorp

Liani is a senior lecturer in the Centre for Film & Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. She convenes the Master of Documentary Arts degree programme, undergraduate Screen Production courses and the UCT Sunshine Cinema Film Impact Screening Facilitator short course.She is the academic director of the UCT TV Studio and the Stepping Stone community engagement video training programme. She is the founder of the ScreenCubator film and media talent developer.

She was one of the producers of Strike a Rock, which opened the Encounters International Documentary Film Festival in 2017 and screened at Sheffield DocFest, IDFA and DIFF. She has served as judge for the SAFTAS and International Emmy Awards. She was a consultant to the Deutsche Welle Akademie-supported virtual DOC:Co Impact Lab in Colombia (2021) and co-created the 100% online UCT Film Impact Screening Facilitator short course with Miki Redelinghuys and Sunshine Cinema.

Tshililo waha Muzila

I have worked on internationally acclaimed Productions both as D.O.P, Director, Editor, Post Production Supervisor and now currently producing feature-length Documentaries such as Heart-line (Ghana), Homesick (Hong Kong & SA), Tropika Island of Treasure (Thailand & Mexico), Clash of the Choirs, My World, Our Moments, Sheroes, The Perfect Sishebo Show, The Kids are Alright and The Longest Date (DOP)

My professional Directing career started in 2008 with an SABC 2 Human Interest Factual series ‘Heartcore’. This led to a first Tshivenda Reality Pilot project called Vhusiku Hothe Comedy Show, a self-funded project which I co-produced and Directed. I have directed Doccie-Series for both SABC & eTV including Freedom is not Free, Forging Ahead and others.

A 3 times SAFTAs nominated doccie-series, 100% Youth; which won Best Youth Programme at the South African Film & Television Awards 2017.

Recently, I have formatted and directed a SAFTAs 2021 Best Travel Magazine Series, Come Again Season 4. I am also producing 2 documentary series’ for SABC 2, My Father My Hero Season 2 and Kha ri Tshine-Ma Africa Dance Season 1.

Lameze Allie

Project Officer

I am a proudly brown-skinned woman, who believes that anything is possible through hard work, perseverance, and a smile. With over 15 years of experience working in Film and Media, ranging from Feature Films to documentaries and training. Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking played a big role in developing my interest in doing work with a purpose, having spent almost 9 years as Project Manager of the Cape Town Campus. My work ranges from freelancing as Facilitator with Ikasi Media as a Training Facilitator focusing on Production. Ikasi Media trains youth from various parts of the Western Cape and offers much needed bursaries to develop the love of film and storytelling in these communities.

I work as a Production Manager on a Heritage Documentary series called “As The Dust Settles” a story of how displacement has affected the socio and economic trajectory of South Africa’s rural inhabitants. I am currently developing a documentary about an ex Umkhonto we Sizwe Commander who played a prolific role in the liberation struggle and the 1978 Youth Uprising.