The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission at DIFF 2017

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The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission’s (KZNFC) mandate is to facilitate support throughout the value chain to the local and international film industry, through creating opportunities and also growing the KZN film industry.  The KZNFC has to date introduced various programmes that are meant to ensure successful implementation of its mandate. These include:

Markets and Festivals

The KZNFC has a mandate to market and promote KZN as a choice film destination throughout the value chain, as well as grow and transform the local film industry. In achieving this, the KZNFC has once again partnered with the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), in an effort to create an enabling environment that provides opportunities to engage with local and international members of the film fraternity with the hope to start discussions that may result in co-production and or skills transfer arrangements. DIFF is currently in its 38th year running, and the KZNFC is especially excited about the shift in the direction of the festival, with more focus on localisation of the festival as alluded to by the director of the Centre for Creative Arts, Mr David Wa Maahlamela during his presentation at the KZNFC Film Indaba. DIFF has long been a strategic platform where local filmmakers are able to gain access to international filmmakers and a wealth of knowledge which may include latest trends in filmmaking to ensure we as a growing film industry remain relevant and are able to better our chances to compete with the rest of the world.

This year at DIFF, the KZNFC’s programme will focus on Africa, whereby local filmmakers will get an opportunity to engage with Kenya to better understand their film landscape and vice versa, this will also include one-on-one sessions between filmmakers from both countries.

Simon “Mabhunu” Sabela Film and Television Awards

Named after one of South Africa’s first black film directors, the awards have seen tremendous growth over the years, with just five awards in 2014 to just over 20 categories in 2017. The awards take place during DIFF annually in order to ensure that we showcase excellence in film to potential investors.

Other KZNFC programmes:

  • The Film Fund
    Managed by the Production and Development department, the KZNFC is especially excited about the success of this programme over the last year and is especially proud of the recent box office success enjoyed by some of the KZNFC funded projects such as Keeping Up with the Kandasamys. The film generated over R16 million in box office earnings which is an achievement for a local production. The KZNFC is also proud to have been part of brilliant productions such as Kalushi and Beyond the River. To date the KZNFC, through the film fund, has approved 128 projects, with R510 000 spent on Markets and Festivals, and R4.2 million on Marketing and Distribution. Currently there are 11 projects in production as well as 45 that have completed development.
  • KwaZulu-Natal Film Industry Strategy
    The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission has once again been trusted with the KZN film strategy that will seek to accelerate transformation through creation of sustainable employment in film. The strategy looks at how filmmakers can improve their offering and expand their focus in order to build sustainable businesses in film. The strategy looks at avenues such as Virtual Reality, gaming and animation amongst others, in view of some being the latest trends in filmmaking and some being income generating avenues.
  • Film Industry Transformation Initiative (FITI)
    This initiative is still in its implementation phase and will seek to address the skills in demand in film. Focusing on film graduates, the initiative will focus on experiential training to ensure that the province is able to cater to the needs of major film productions shooting in the province.
  • Locations and Facilities
    In March 2017 the KZNFC officially launched its film cluster, boasting rentable offices, editing suites, hot desks, a private cinema and training rooms. The facility is fitted with state of the art equipment in order to ensure access to facilities for emerging filmmakers and small to medium companies.

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