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South African Film and Video Project

Culture, Communication and Media Studies (CCMS), University of KwaZulu-Natal, is a partner  in the The South Africa Film and Video Project (SAFVP - SAFVP is a collaboration of seven institutions in South Africa and Michigan State University (MSU). SAFVP is creating a definitive multinational database of film and videotape about South Africa. It will contribute to saving important deteriorating videotape and film resources on South Africa and making those images more widely available via the distributors of these titles.  The MSU project has been running since the late 1970s. CCMS’s association with it started in 1989. Digitization of Community Video Educational Trust VHS videos started in Cape Town last year. A website is being build by the Project for CVET. 

The MSU database currently consists of over 13 000 entries. It provides access to public, schools and teachers, scholars, and professionals, especially in the USA, with distributor information attached. The entries cover the broad and deep heritage of the film and video that recorded the panoply of the world’s most extraordinary history of political and racial transition of the twentieth century – from colonialism, to the apartheid state, to the coming of democratic rule in South Africa and other countries of the Southern Africa region (see also 

The project aims to:

  1. Inventory what is available in KZN especially (and where appropriate elsewhere in South Africa), entering sources into the database, even if only to note it as an archival source of the production.  We re particularly interested in VHS videos from the 1980s and early 1990s, but also in titles released in DVD format made later.

  2. Negotiate the rights to digitize for use by scholars to consult for research purposes at the two participating sites:

    1. Two digital copies to be supplied to the owner or provider

    1. Two digital copies to be held by CCMS for scholarly consultation and use (one master for archiving and one copy lodged in the UKZN Library for scholarly review)

    2. Two digital copies to be held by Michigan State University for scholarly consultation and use (one master for archiving and one copy lodged for scholarly review)

    3. Obtain meta-data on the production for database entry and add description of content.

SAFVP does not represent producers, earn income from their work, compete in distribution or act as their agents.  The project is an archival one which involves the building of a web-based index of titles, and to thereby promote such titles through their distribution agents. Such titles will continue to be bought or rented from the producers' own distribution agents who will be listed on the site.     We would like to enter as many titles as possible onto the data base to ensure as wide an accessibility as possible.   For further information please contact Keyan at:

Keyan G Tomaselli


Culture, Communication and Media Studies

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus

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