The People to People Documentary (P2P) Conference 2011 held in Johannesburg in September was a considerable success for an event only in its 3rd edition.
Over 300 documentary filmmakers, commissioning editors, funders and related professionals from across the African continent and beyond participated in the three-day talkfest. P2P is dedicated to the art, business and technology of documentary in Africa and in 2011 the event boasted a number of feature sessions and a line-up of master-classes designed for students and emerging filmmakers under the P2P Doc-school banner. The event is aimed at supporting and stimulating the vital documentary genre, a practice threatened by economic and political realities.
P2P Online is a newly undertaken legacy project and aims to make conference discussion and outcomes permanently available to a wider audience and is the first online resource of its kind to come from the African continent. The site offers video clips from ten key sessions held at P2P 2011 alongside additional resources on funding, organisations, film festivals and other resources for African documentary filmmakers.
P2P Online is a virtual documentary conference including notable speakers such as international producer and director, Peter Wintonick, Moussa Sene Absa, a film director, writer, producer and screenwriter widely regarded as one of African cinema’s masters and vice-president of programming at ITVS, Claire Aguilar. The platform is aimed at dedicated documentary-lovers, emerging and established filmmakers and film students alike and extends P2P’s identity as space for support and critical interaction.
Highlights include the heated, controversial session Why Love Pirates? which addresses piracy in a context where filmmakers needs are not met by legitimate distributors. Bridging the Distribution Gap confronts the lack of sustainable distribution for documentary. “How you make your film is subjective, but at the end of the day because it’s going to be a first draft of history… we have a certain obligation to the content being verifiable not just emotional.’ So said Jihan El Tahri, a panelist on RealPolitik, Reality vs. Interpretation in the Issue Documentary today. Beyond Convention- Documentary as an Art Form features a panel of young edgy filmmakers and artists interested in each others approaches and outcomes
The most significant session of the conference Africa Unite: Towards an African Documentary Network saw the creation of The Documentary Network Africa (DNA). While DNA is still in its formative stages, it is gathering momentum and promises at the very least to create collegial bonds between documentary filmmakers on the continent.
Visit P2P online at www.people2people.co.za. Comments or suggestions are encouraged and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org