Along with showcasing the best in world cinema, the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) has always been committed to the development and growth of the South African film industry. To this end it runs a comprehensive programme of workshops, seminars and panel discussions about all aspects of filmmaking.
DIFF assistant manager Monica Rorvik is proud to report that for the 10th year running, the festival will partner with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Audio Visual Division to present an audio-visual workshop for entry-level filmmakers from community organisations. “It’s very encouraging to hear that students who have done the course over the years have been absorbed into the industry.’
Rorvik explains that the workshop component has grown enormously in recent years, particularly with the inclusion of Talent Campus Durban (TCD), now in its 4th edition (in co-operation with Berlinale Talent Campus), and, with the partnership of Durban Film Office, the Durban FilmMart (DFM) goes into its 2nd year. “This year sees the addition of Doc Station Durban to TCD, where three selected talents will receive mentoring before pitching projects in DFM’s Doc Circle Day.
“TCD will run two Master Classes. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich (Position Among the Stars) will talk on single-shot cinema, while Gaston Kabore, the renowned filmmaker and head of Imagine Institute in Burkina Faso, will present a master class on the challenges that face African filmmakers.’ DFM delegates may also attend these sessions as part of the Doc Circle exchange.
Panel discussion topics in the open-to-public Africa in Focus programme include distribution; funding; pre-production and post-production issues; documentary ethics; co-producing with Hong Kong, North America and Europe; and a session on animation in India.
The Request For Proposals session will include an RFP from Don Edkins for the global documentary series, Why Poverty?, a follow-up to the documentary series, Why Democracy?
Panel participants will include 3 Continents (Nantes), BRITDOC Foundation, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), Berlinale Film Festival, Dubai, The Good Pitch, Goteborg Film Festival, Sundance and a range of industry experts and filmmakers, local and international.
The festival also highlights African initiatives such as the Mokolo Network, along with Mobi CINE, PUMA Creative, People2People, and the NFVF’s Sediba programmes for scriptwriting and producing. DIFF will be the site of the launch of the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, which is anticipated to boost filmmaking opportunities in the province.
DIFF’s partner for the past 11 years has been the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). Rorvik continues: “DIFF would not be complete without the NFVF’s session for the industry about their plans for the year. The NFVF will also address emerging filmmakers and present their bursary opportunities. They will also present a prize to one of the Durban Short Film Challenge winners.’