Among the overseas experts attending the Durban FilmMart Co-production & Finance Market, which runs from 20 to 23 July, is Rahdi Taylor, associate director of the Sundance Documentary Film Programme. Taylor will participate in the Finance Forum as a financier. She is responsible for finding, cultivating and financing documentary films from around the world as part of the Sundance Documentary Fund, which awards between $1m-$2m annually to documentarians.
Taylor is also an award-winning filmmaker; her works as a writer and director have screened nationally and internationally and garnered her nomination for the Rockefeller Fellowship for Media Arts. Her film Blue Note was the recipient of the Grand Jury Prize – the Paul Robeson Award at the FESPACO film festival in Burkina Faso.
Prior to Sundance, Taylor was director of Marketing and Communications for California Newsreel, where she headed distribution campaigns for new releases and was responsible for strategic marketing and branding initiatives.
Taylor is passionate about supporting independent filmmakers through mentoring and community service. She has served as director of Production Assistance (film development) at Women Make Movies, where she supported 20 documentaries annually moving from script to screen and administered a Fiscal Sponsorship Program. She also has served as chair of the Board of Directors for the AIVF (the national home for independent and alternative filmmakers), been a STAND (Support Training and Access for New Directors) mentor at the Film Arts Foundation, guest lecturer at Mills College, Southern University and an artist in residence teaching digital artists at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Fransico. Taylor holds a Bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley and a Master of Fine Art degree from U.T. Austin.
Taylor will attend the pitches at the Durban FilmMart’s DOC Circle Pitching Forum on Sunday 22 July and take one-on-one meetings with selected documentary projects at the Finance Forum. She will also appear in the Africa in Focus panel on 21st July entitled Finding the Right Fund for your Film.
The Durban FilmMart is a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), with aims to reach out to key players in the film sectors, both national and international, to facilitate opportunities for African filmmakers to tap into various sources of funding, encourage co-production, and introduce entry level filmmakers to the industry.
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