DFO Training Indaba


Key film industry players met in Durban this month at a time of unprecedented growth for the city’s film industry. High on their agenda was thrashing out strategies to take maximum advantage of the boom.

The Durban Film Office (DFO)hosted the 2006 Film & Television Training Indaba at Suncoast Casino on 16 and 17 March.

The Durban film industry has experienced a phenomenal 41% growth in production activity over the past three years, from big budget Hollywood blockbusters, to a steady stream of local and international commercials and features.

It’s clear that Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province’s film friendly reputation is spreading like wildfire. The economic spin-offs have been huge, with hundreds of millions of rands estimated to have been injected into the local economy.

Says the DFO’s CEO Mandle Ndimande. “This is a perfect time for key role players to meet and discuss strategies to gain maximum advantage from all the local and international film activity in the region.”

The Durban Film Office is the film promotion arm of the eThekwini Municipality.Lively exchanges are guaranteed with topics like the pros and cons of applying the controversial Nigerian film model to the local industry and the ongoing debate over film versus High Definition (HD) formats.

Alsounder the spotlight was the perceived gap between Durban training levels and actual skills required on film productions, with national and international standards pushing the bar higher with every production. Related to this is the topic of how to increase the numbers of Durban cast and crew employed on locally filmed foreign and South African productions.

“The office is thrilled by the success of the BAFTA nomination of the short film Lucky. The film was shot entirely in Durban using local crew and cast, some with first time experience, and that has assured the international players of the film industry that Durban is more than capable of handling world class productions,” said Ndimande.

But there remains a perception among Cape Town and Johannesburg production companies that Durban lacked experience and skills.

“This not only limits opportunities for the local industry, but also acts as a deterrent to filming in Durban due to the added cost of providing accommodation and travel for Cape Town and Johannesburg production services. We are confident that this Indaba will prove a turning point in Durban’s relationship with the wider South African film industry. This is an ideal opportunity for interested and qualified people to make a contribution to the future of film in this city and province,” noted Ndimande.


The 2006 Film & Television Training Indabaprovided local production services, training providers and students an opportunity to workshop the issue of skills development with key organizations such as the Commercial Producers Association, National Film & Video Foundation, South African Scriptwriters Association, Association for Cinematographers South Africa and the MAPPP Seta. The Indaba ran for two days andincluded presentations from key role-players and panel discussions.

Issuesdiscussed included:

* Skills Development and the National Skills Framework – Upgrading existing skills and addressing past imbalances.

* Training Providers – Creating a register of existing providers and program’s on offer.

* Skills Diversity – Establishing industry needs in terms of technical training and business skills.

* Setting the Standard – Accreditation and recognition of acquired skills and knowledge.

* Access – Focusing on the cost of training.

* Format – Film vs. HD and the applicability of the Nigerian film model in the Durban context.


The main objective behind the concept is to firstly encourage the local industry to create and maintain a platform from which industry can voice its needs and challenges to local and national government organizations and to address the need for a unified strategy in terms of skills development in the sector. Secondly, to invite key role-players to acknowledge training needs in our local industry within the National context.

The Durban Film & Television Training Indaba aim was to:

* Further develop and promote the film and television industry andsupport the growth of and access to the industry on both the local and national platforms.

* Inspire the local industry (film, television & multimedia) andaspirant youths to learn and make use of available opportunities within the industry.

* Tackle issues pertaining to the development of the film industryand challenges facing the local film sector.

* To encourage the provision of opportunities for persons to getinvolved in the film and television industry, in particular, persons from previouslydisadvantaged communities.

For further details, please contact

Toni Monty

Phone 27 31 336 2680

Fax 27 31 336 2633




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