DFM’s big winners


The Egyptian documentary project 69 Messaha Square from director Ayten Amin
and producer Wael Omar was presented with the Hubert Bals Fund Award of €5
000 for the Most Promising African Project at the closing night of the 2nd Durban
FilmMart on 25 July.

Two South African projects were recipients of grants given by the International
Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) and Jan Vrijman Fund for the Most
Promising Documentary Projects: Buddha of Africa (producer / director Nicole
Schafer) and Ndiyindoda / I am Man (director Mayenseke Baza and producer
Bryony Roughton).

Says Schafer: “This project is my first feature documentary, so the award is a
real a vote of confidence. Buddha of Africa presents a new way of looking at
China’s engagement in Africa through the story of a Chinese Buddhist
Orphanage in Malawi. It’s a hugely topical subject but told from a fresh

“The award will allow me to be a guest at IDFA, one of the biggest and most
exciting documentary festivals in the world. This has great significance for me
and for my film.’

Schafer intends to go into production as soon as possible and is in the process
of trying to source immediate funds.

Bryony Roughton describes the award as one of the significant moments in her
life as a producer, while Mayenzeke Baza says: “It’s really an amazing feeling. I
didn’t expect it because there were so many great projects at DFM.’

The two filmmakers believe their film has the potential to save lives and change
people’s attitudes towards the ancient Xhosa tradition of ritual circumcision.
“I think it’s an incredible story and something that is very new, especially to an
international audience,’ comments Baza.

Broughton adds: “Attending IDFA will connect us with the top minds in the world
of documentary filmmaking and give us access to international broadcasters,
partners and funding. In the meantime, Mayenzeke and I have a lot of follow up
work after the DFM. We need to work on a few adjustments to the structure of

Three fiction feature films were chosen to attend the CineMart Rotterdam Lab.
These are: James Taylor and Donald Mugisha’s Boda Boda Thieves and David
Max-Brown and Lyle Lewis’ This Boy and Joel Karekezi’s Imbabazi / The Pardon.

This Boy also picked up Videovision Entertainment’s award valued at R75 000 for
the Best South African Film Project. Says David Max Brown: “It’s wonderful to
have won these awards: I have been working with the writer, John Fredericks,
for many years on his life story which he has crafted into a great screenplay.
Kyle Lewis is a young director who I believe has the talent to bring a youthful
and fresh feel to the film.’

Max Brown considers the film unique as it is set in the Cape Flats and written in
Afrikaans by a person who wanted to be a writer but who turned to violence
and gang life after he was raped by an older man.

The Videovision Entertainment Prize includes a commitment to distribution.
“Videovision Entertainment will know best how to reach the international
market,’ notes Max Brown. “There is also a cash prize which will help us in our
task to attach private and corporate investors. We plan to go into production in
March or April 2012.’

Two PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards with a R50 000 cash prize attached to each
were presented to: Femme a la Camera from director Karima Zoubir and
producer Hicham Brini, and Eddie Edwards and Steven Markovitz’s Rollaball.

Says Markovitz: “It feels great to be recognised by an international awards
panel for a film that Eddie and I have been developing for two years with no
external support. Rollaball deals with its subject – Ghanian street people
disabled as a result of polio – in an usual and fresh way, through sport.’

He regards the prize money as very significant. “These days most funders and
broadcasters want to see a 20-minute rough cut before committing to a project.
The prize money will allow us to do this.’

In addition, two R15 000 PUMA.Creative Mobility Awards recognised 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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here