AFDA applicants should under no circumstances pay agents or third party entities to facilitate their application and acceptance to AFDA. AFDA works with accredited agents and online representatives whom are remunerated by AFDA. Kindly contact if for any queries on this matter.

Documentary and Diversity Network

This network, originally known as North – South - South Exchange (NSSE), was founded in 2004 as a close cooperation project between ARCADA University of Applied Sciences (Finland), University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), AFDA (South Africa). At a later stage the National Film and television Institute in Accra (Ghana), the University of Helsinki (Finland) and the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) joined the network. This Higher Education Institution Network is sponsored by the Centre for International Mobility (CIMO). View booklet

The network programmes aim to educate young filmmakers in trans-cultural documentary film and to produce new knowledge on trans-cultural visual communication. Through this programme AFDA has solidified its international profile and relations both in Europe and in Africa, while providing opportunities to collaborate with local peers in mutually beneficial ways”, adds Gina Bonmarriage (Head of Postgraduate School – AFDA – Johannesburg). To date the network has involved 200 students and roughly 80 staff members.

For more information on the North-South-South network refer to the following article or contact AFDA representative

Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemburg

In 2012 a student from AFDA, Amy Cohen was granted an exchange to this institution where she spent 3 months. She received scholarship support from the Filmakademie. She completed her productions for which she obtained her AFDA group project credits at the Filmakademie. Even though the language of instruction is mainly German, learners may apply for other opportunities such as the International Classes run in block segments.

For more information please contact

Images Afrique Formation Programme

The goal of this programme, an initiative of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated by CFI,  is to contribute to the professional capacity building of trainers in eight African film schools over a two-year period, to produce operational players in the field and to contribute to the success of local audiovisual industries. AT the end of the programme the schools will have developed a plan for putting together bilateral training programmes and joint actions that will address identified common needs of all of the schools. Currently there are 8 training centres based in Sub-Sahara Africa:

  • Institut Supérieur de l'Image et du Son (ISIS/SE), Burkina Faso

  • National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), Ghana

  • Institut de Formation aux Techniques de l'Image et de la Communication" (IFTIC), Niger

  • South African School of Motion Picture Medium & Live _Performance (AFDA), South Africa

  • International institution for ongoing professional training and improvement (IMAGINE), Burkina Faso

  • Blue Nile Film and Television Academy, (BNFTA),Ethiopia

  • Institut Supérieur de Formation aux Métiers du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel (ISCAC), Cameroon

  • l’Institut Supérieur des Métiers de l'Audiovisuel (ISMA), Benin

AFDA has participated in the following workshops:

  • Ouagadougou (Burkino Faso, Imagine institute), focused on  management and organisation (AFDA participants: Gina Bonmariage; Steve Drake; Keroshin Reddy)

  • Accra (Ghana, NAFTI) focused on Archiving (AFDA participants Mark Buyskes & James Lizamore)

  • Paris, (France), directing actors (AFDA participant Kevin Yates)

  • Johannesburg (South Africa, AFDA), jointly with the CARA Conference focused on teaching methodology (AFDA participants, all staff JHB for CARA conference were exposed to the African film schools and Gina Bonmariage; Steve Drake and Alicia Price)

  • Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso, Imagine Institute) focused on developing short story telling skills using micro-technologies. (AFDA participant Andrew Hofmeyr)

AFDA’s approach to learning

AFDA has developed a blended learning and assessment approach utilizing a number of progressive pedagogic approaches which include the following: socialised learning through collaborative and specialized learning, integrated vocational learning, outcomes based learning, proximate and scaffold learning, narrow focused action research and market related learning.

The results of this intensive and rigorous training speaks for itself, with AFDA graduates pervading the feature film, commercials, television and online production sector in South Africa, the continent and elsewhere.

Narrative, story and ideas are the biggest and most precious commodity in the entertainment industry by far. And like anything that is precious, it is a scarce and sought after commodity throughout the world. This scarcity has been amplified in our current knowledge economy where access to information is readily available.

Nevertheless, AFDA has developed a unique methodology for training narrative structure, relevant concept and emotional concept for aspiring writer-directors. AFDA has an incredible pull through of students into the industry at all levels in the sector and its associated sectors. Essentially, AFDA graduates are trained to be entrepreneurs, to be responsible for their own careers, to optimise the large national network of AFDA graduates country wide, to create their own work, companies and services, to find work, to climb the industry ladder, to be grateful for the work that you get, to be ambitious but to remain humble, and to live each day as if your last, and learn each day as if your first.

The core course is designed to provide learners with a collaborative framework for developing novel concepts and realising original, market-related entertainment content. The core course consists of five integrated components:

Narrative studies provide the framework to conceptualize and create stories that are relevant to their intended market.

Empowers students to create novel, engaging and extraordinary characters who elicit the desired response from the audience.

Provides the necessary background in the history, media theory and techniques of cinema and television.

Provides the learner with the necessary art appreciation, aesthetic tools and understanding of visual and sonic trends.

The knowledge and research methodologies required understanding potential audiences and their entertainment needs.

AFDA’s efforts towards internationalisation are visible through its extensive network of global partners and through its international student and staff body locally.

As a full member of CILECT (the International Association of Film and Television Schools) since 2004, AFDA has built up considerable relationships with a number of international and continental institutions. Various collaborative projects and exchanges have taken place over the years and AFDA was fortunate enough to host the CILECT Conference in 2012, in which over 140 film schools from 45 countries visited AFDA Cape Town.

Through CARA (Cilect Africa Region Association), AFDA maintains several formal and informal relationships with its African member schools. CARA annually hosts a conference where its member schools and other schools from the region present papers on teaching methodologies and various projects and films.  The conference is a valuable platform to meet other African schools and share ideas and create partnerships. Come 2015, the conference will be held in Marrakesh at the ESAVM Department of Film and Audio Visual Studies. Staff and students from all the CARA member schools will present their films and methodologies as well as be part of a debate that questions the use of culture in teaching in film schools.

The benefits of these programs is that it allows South African but also international students to gain a truer perspective of the opportunities and challenges that the world offers them, as well as to improve their understanding of their own culture through the lens of different and other cultures. Furthermore these relationships create both local and international pathways to one another’s markets and resources. Africa is a vast continent and funding limitations and distance are serious challenges that need to be overcome in order for us to meet and share ideas and resources. The CARA relationship is a vital platform to make this a reality for all its members.

Added to this, is the fact that Africa purchases more content than China, and that this purchase is set to grow to 6 billion dollars by 2016. It is interesting to note, that Naspers, along with Canal Plus (France) and Star (Nigeria) plays a key role in the ownership and distribution of this current content requirement and its projected value. By logical extension, one would assume that it is important for African film schools to contribute to the creation of the intellectual capital that will grow the industry in a sustainable fashion.

Through exchange and industry partners, AFDA students have the opportunity to travel to locations like China and Finland. AFDA alumni (Tristan Holmes and Sashica Archery) and one staff member (Luscious Dosi) recently participated in the Looking China initiative during which ten minute documentaries were produced and evaluated by a panel of industry and institutional experts in Gansu Province. AFDA was fortunate to have received one nomination for the 2016 Beijing Film Festival from this initiative and the opportunity to learn more about Chinese minority cultures and working withinternational film students from other continents.

AFDA has formal relationships with Botswana and the high number of African students studying at AFDA allows for the development of partnerships and relationships between graduating students. AFDA alumni work extensively in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Namibia. For this year alone AFDA has enrolled over 130 international students on five campuses in South Africa and Botswana.