The 2nd Durban FilmMart (DFM) co-production market closed on 25 July with the presentation of numerous awards. The Hubert Bals Fund Award of 5000 €uros towards script and project development, for ‘The Most Promising African Project’, was presented to 69 Messaha Square (director Ayten Amin and producer Wael Omar).
The jury comprising Jane Williams (UK / Head of Dubai Film Connection), Pedro Pimenta (Mozambiquan filmmaker and producer) and Iwana Chronis (Hubert Bals Fund / Netherlands), were full of praise for the ‘high standard and versatility’ of the subject matter presented in the submissions.
Of the winning project Chronis says: “The director has taken what would normally be seen as a very sad subject (death) and transformed it into something that is alive, vital, beautiful and at times, humorous. It is a universal story that can cross global borders and most significantly, the film is ready to be made! It was a tough choice because all the projects have enormous promise in one way or another.”
In addition, three projects were chosen to attend the CineMart Rotterdam Lab. These are: James Taylor and Donald Mugisha’s Boda Boda Thieves, David Max-Brown and Lyle Lewis’ This Boy and Joel Karekezi’s Imbabazi/ The Pardon. There were presented by Jacobine van der Vloed of CineMart and The Rotterdam Lab.
The grant given by the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) and Jan Vrijman Fund for the ‘Most Promising Documentary Projects’, enables the winning film-makers and producers to attend the IDFA festival in November, where they will receive accreditation and accommodation. The jury comprising Bruni Burres (USA), Kate Townsend (UK) and Cynthia Kane (USA) chose two projects, both from South Africa; ‘Homage to the Buddha’ and ‘Ndiyindoda/I am Man’.
IDFA representative, Adriek van Nieuwenhuijzen says: “It was a real pleasure to work with DFM and DIFF on the inaugural ‘Doc Circle’ event. IDFA is incredibly proud of the process that allowed us to put 10 documentary projects in the spotlight. We are thrilled that our partners (DFM and DIFF) believe in the strength of documentary film and are committed to finding opportunities for African filmmakers to tell their own unique stories to the world.”
This year a total of 126 projects from both the feature film and documentary genres qualified for consideration; 20 of these (10 documentary and 10 features) were chosen for the Finance Forum. Projects were received from South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Tunisia, Cote D’Ivoire, Cameroon, Morocco and Algeria.
Leading South African media and entertainment entity Videovision Entertainment, presented for the first time, an award valued at R75 000 for the ‘Best South African Film Project’, to Kyle Lewis (director) and David Max Brown (producer) for ‘This Boy’. The prize includes a commitment in terms of local distribution, a cash commitment towards P&A and guidance on the films potential for international release.
PUMA.Creative, a new contributor to the Durban FilmMart, gave two prizes with the PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards (seed grants for ambitious and creative documentary ideas) and the PUMA.Creative Mobility Awards (given to filmmakers to help them cover the cost of their travel to locations during filming, or after completion for audience engagement).
Two PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards with a R50 000 cash prize attached to each, were made to: Femme a la Camera from (Director) Karima Zoubir and (Producer) Hicham Brini; and Eddie Edwards and Steven Markovitz’s Rollaball.
Two R15 000 PUMA.Creative Mobility Awards recognized The Flight Pilot, from director Peggy Mbiyu and I, Afrikaner from director Annalet Steenkamp and producer, Lauren Groenewald. Previous Creative Catalyst awardee, Nonhlanhla Dlamini was given an additional contribution of R50 000, towards the development of the next part of her story, Shattered Pieces of Peace.
The commitment of the eThekwini Municipality to the growth of Durban’s film industry was summarised in the words of Speaker, Councillor Logie Naidoo who said: “The eThekwini Municipality remains committed to the South African film industry and to creating a platform for local films, both in South Africa and abroad. We really need to support the growth of African film projects; let us celebrate and endorse our own locally produced films, and let us nurture the vast amount of talent that our artists possess.”
For more on the Durban FilmMart winners see the August issue of Screen Africa.