Winners of the DFA docLOVE Citizen Journalist Awards

Winners of the DFA docLOVE Citizen Journalist Awards

Winners of the DFA docLOVE Citizen Journalist Awards

The Documentary Filmmakers’ Association (DFA) is pleased to announce the winners of the DFA docLOVE Citizen Journalist Awards. A big shout out to all the winners who each receive a R1000 cash prize and a year’s free membership to the DFA valued at R350. The competition was an extension of the DFA Covid-19 Short Film Grant which supported to 5 short documentaries under the banner of “Life, Love, Rifts and Rage in the time of Covid-19”. Both initiatives were supported by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and the DFA.

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 intitiaves 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.

“It was a privilege to have been involved with the inaugural CitiJourn judging process which acknowledges the extraordinary challenge that citizens took upon themselves to make films on issues that affects them or their communities at large. What is special, is that these first 10 films could never have imagined that they would be awarded for such an act. We acknowledge them and call on future citizen journalists to take up the challenge of confronting matters requiring social change,“ said Riaan Hendricks, independent documentary filmmaker and project manager of the Citizen Journalist Awards.

The winning films are:

Coronavirus Chronicles
by Sapho Wulana
Sapho Wulana is an artist, activist and filmmaker who studied at Big Fish School of Filmmaking in 2016 and her first film, Memories Left to Love, won best film from the iTOUCH Foundation in Feroza Adam Legacy Program. In 2017 Sapho opened a film school in Khayelitsha named Imibono Yethu Film School. In 2019 she graduated from Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking in Television and filmmaking, she is now freelancing and looking for opportunities to learn more in the industry.

Coronavirus Chronicles takes place mostly in Kipling Avenue, Mandalay, Cape Town. The characters in my film are my neighbors and friends. This is because I couldn’t go out during the lockdown and so I had to shoot my surroundings. This film shows how content is always right In front of us, we just need to be creative and bring our stories to life. This film shows how businesses and the working class have been affected by the coronavirus. “I made this film to reflect on the life changing experiences that the pandemic brought to us. This film also shows how we can still smile and be happy even if things are not going well. When the coronavirus broke out, I thought were all going to die in some way. I wanted to leave a trail of some sort of how everything began”.

Watch Coronavirus Chronicles

Covid Fears
by Samuel Flans
Samuel Flans started his rap music career in 2011 while still in high school, which brought him to collaborate with Eh!woza where he gained skills in film production. Eh!woza is an NPO in Khayalitsha that creates health-related media to encourage positive health seeking behavior, their oldest programme produces 4 – 5 documentaries annually about living with TB. He has recently been employed at Eh!woza as a Junior Creative Manager/Director, and manages a team of four trainees.

Covid Fears
This short film explores the feelings and concerns of residents of Makhaza, Khayelitsha and surrounds around COVID-19. The film was shot during level 3 lockdown in South Africa and explores the difficulties of township life under level 3 lockdown. The film highlights that resulting financial and food instability, mask-wearing, and citywide regulations may not be compatible with township life under, and that COVID-19 and other diseases in South Africa exacerbate pre-existing difficulties.
Watch Covid Fears

Kasi Covid Film
by Mandisi Sindo
Mandisi Sindo is an actor, director and articist based in Khayelitsha where he runs the Khayelitsha Art School and Rehabilitation Centre – KASI RC which is an alternative art space for artists and young people. Mandisi and his wife, Liso, a musician, are teaching and training 104 young in theatre, music, poetry, visual arts and dance.
Kasi Covid Film was shot in Khayelitsha where the Shack Theatre was converted into Soup Kitchen and covers the different stories of KASI RC students and their parents, feeding about 350 daily from March to September. We managed to give out more than 2000 masks and sanitizers, more than 8000 food parcels and bags of oranges to elderly people. Thanks to our friends, patrons and supporters for making sure we managed to take care of our community.
Watch Kasi Covid Film

The Anti-Blackness of Covid Evictions
by Samuel Flans
Samuel Flans started his rap music career in 2011 while still in high school, which brought him to collaborate with Eh!woza where he gained skills in film production. Eh!woza is an NPO in Khayalitsha that creates health-related media to encourage positive health seeking behavior, their oldest programme produces 4 – 5 documentaries annually about living with TB. He has recently been employed at Eh!woza as a Junior Creative Manager/Director, and manages a team of four trainees.
The Anti-Blackness of Covid Evictions
On the 18th of July, people without homes occupied land in Zwelitsha, Khayelitsha. Three days later, law enforcement officers from the City of Cape Town arrived to demolish the structures residents had set up. Activist and theatre director, Mandisi Sindo, was arrested by the police while protecting a pregnant woman. During South Africa’s national COVID-19 lockdown, there have been a string of evictions by the City of Cape Town. A recent judgement ruled that the city is not allowed to evict people without a court order and national legislation makes evictions illegal during COVID-19 lockdown.
Watch The Anti-Blackness of Covid Evictions

by Uga Carlini
Uga Carlini is a filmmaker best known for her her film Alison which was nominated in all five documentary categories at the 2017 SAFTAS. Most recently she has directed two in depth 60 minute TV feature pieces on the water crisis in Cape Town (Day Zero) and the humanitarian global refugee crisis (Far from Home) for the world’s biggest TV Network CGTN (China Global Television Network).
Home unites some of South Africa’s biggest names in the entertainment industry, in front and behind the cameras, to help raise funds during the hardest lockdown the world has seen. All of proceeds, across all platforms went to the Feed a Child Coalition which distributes food parcels to those in need due to the devastating impact of Covid-19. Using a music video genre, where people from 16 countries shot their own footage on their cellphones, it is as much an ode to humanity and the connectedness of the human spirit despite physical disconnection, as it is about the fundraiser.
Watch Home

by Faith Riyano
Faith Riyano is a 22 year old cinematographer and filmmaker based in Johannesburg focusing on narrative and music video formats. She holds a BA from AFDA where she trained as a DOP and an Honours degree in Film and Visual Media from the University of the Free State. Her work focuses on reshaping any stereotypes that undermine the artistic excellence of African Cinema.
Inseparable is a poetic micro-documentary exploring how the coronavirus emphasises displacement and strained bonds between domestic workers and their children, through the eyes of 3 affected women. One is a girl whose domestic worker mother has been stuck at her workplace since coronavirus. Another is a domestic worker highlighting her struggle to find caregivers for her own children during this pandemic. Lastly, a Zimbabwean mother currently stuck in South Africa who has found herself housekeeping for her sister.
Watch Inseparable

Solidarity Fund
by Zacharia Mashele
Zacharia Mashele is the Communications Officer for an urban land justice organisation, Ndifuna Ukwazi. He holds a BA in Journalism and Photojournalism and documentary photography certificate from Market Photo Workshop. He is a multimedia specialist with an ongoing fascination with social and spatial justice in post-apartheid South Africa. Zacharia believes in community power as the ultimate catalyst for change.
In March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the National State of Disaster under Coronavirus “”COVID-19″” lockdown. The lockdown regulations were enacted to curb the spread of Covid-19. Most industries and businesses were then temporarily closed while others could not manage to sustain their businesses. This was felt largely by people who received salary cuts while others lost their jobs. Many people were not able to make the ends meet as most jobs requires them to be physically present in order to provide labour in exchange of wages but with Covid-19 regulations, this was a hard protocol to follow. A community-based group known as the Khayelitsha Community Action Network (CAN) made it their priority to provide affected communities and households with educational material on how to prevent the spread of Covid-19, assisting with food distributions, stopping illegal evictions and providing cleaning materials and hand sanitisers. This video follows the profound work done by activists in response to curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Watch Solidarity Fund

Our country needs us, now more than ever!
by Benitha Vlok & Alexa Singer
Benitha Vlok & Alexa Singer
Benitha & Alexa crossed paths several years ago on a commercial shoot. These two creatives immediately recognised their aligned aesthetics and deep appreciation for capturing the essence of people. Their work focusses on capturing real moments and translating relatable expression to viewers.
Having already been a pillar in their community for over a decade, nothing could prepare Where Rainbows Meet for the sudden exponential increase of need for food when SA went into lockdown earlier this year. As an organisation, they had to funnel all their efforts into one goal, feeding their people. Without any support from government, these unsung heroes continue to persevere to feed thousands of people life sustaining meals a day. Our country needs us, now more than ever! highlights a raw and honest plight from founder Mymoena Scholtz whose concern for the wellbeing of her community takes the viewer directly to the front line to see and feel what they do every single day.
Watch Our country needs us, now more than ever!

Sanitizing South Africa
by Reabetswe Maboea
Reabetswe Maboea, originally from the Free State, completed her studies in Film Production at the Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking and the American Corner. She is passionate about anything that has to do with film and hopes her work will speak to “… the broken, the weary, those who might have their first experience of hope, love and courage through the screen of a black box”.
Sanitizing South Africa
The lockdown and the virus have had a negative and yes, positive impact on our life see how this forced change of lifestyle has helped us look at life from different perspectives. Through the short documentary, we follow the lives of fellow South Africans from different backgrounds. We see how tensions run high due to fear. It was important to showcase where we have come so far from struggling to adapt to all the regulations and changes to now being able to make the most of the situation. Many have struggled from unemployment even death, but the people in this short documentary have such a positive outlook on the whole situation. The documentary is to serve as a historical piece that we can one day watch and think “how did I get through that” and the answer will always be:  “together, as a good South Africa and through sanitizing!”
Watch Sanitizing South Africa

By Slindile Maphumulo

Slindile Lindokuhle Maphumulo is a young creative artist, currently in a Film and Television learnership, having participated in performing arts at KCAP in 2019, but was introduced to behind the scenes work and found a passion for writing, producing and directing. Previously Slindile was a freelance actor and did CAMP under The PlayHouse company.

Statistics documents the live of the youth of South Africa under the Covid19 pandemic, where education had to occur digitally, yet load shedding was a major factor contributing towards the internet or the digital platform being disturbed. We meet Noma who is the sole provider for her siblings in a child headed home and is forced by circumstances to make ends meet whilst still getting her education.  

Watch Statistics