After a bumper four days of meetings, networking, pitching and forums, the 10th Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry development programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office and Durban International Film Festival (Centre for Creative Arts, UKZN), closed in style with its awards ceremony at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel in Durban, South Africa on 22 July.
Addressing the audience of 300 filmmakers from South Africa, Africa and across the globe, Toni Monty, head of the Durban Film Office and the Durban FilmMart, said, “We have enjoyed a packed programme, this year with a record number of more than 1000 delegates registered for the DFM, representing 40 countries, 19 of which were from Africa. This year we had 50 projects in our Finance Forum, Talents Durban, Jumpstart, Realness Writers’ Residency and CineFAM programmes who pitched their film projects in development to potential financiers, filmmakers, producers, partners, festivals, distributors and agents in hundreds of meetings.”
“As we reach our tenth anniversary this year, we are reminded of the value that the DFM provides the developing African industry,” says Monty. “The Mart acts as a springboard that enables film-makers to meet and network, benchmark themselves, gather information and learn. Of course this would not be possible without the support of development organisations, our partner markets, and other funding bodies, all of whom we graciously thank.”
“The DFM would like to acknowledge the eThekwini Municipality, the principal funder of the DFM for its involvement in supporting the market, which has become a vital cog in the engine of making film on the continent.”
This year 20 official DFM film projects were pitched at the Finance Forum through the sponsorship of the Industrial Development Corporation and the National Film and Video Foundation. Six CineFam Africa television series projects were mentored by Caribbean Tales, Canada; Jumpstart (Produire au Sud, France) and the Realness Script Writing Residency hosted scriptwriters’ labs for a total of 10 projects; and HotDocs Canada, together with Don Edkins of Afridocs, mentored 13 documentary projects.
Supported by Berlinale Talents and the Goethe-Institut, Durban Talents hosted 18 young filmmakers, and 3 Talents Press.
A number of delegations were hosted including the in-bound delegation from Canada with support from the Canadian High Commission and Telefilm Canada.
The CineMart Award, sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, went to the fiction project, Sunflowers in the Dark (Zimbabwe) produced by Ben Mahaka, Tapiwa Chipfupa and directed by Tapiwa Chipfupa. The project is given an opportunity to attend the Rotterdam Lab, a five-day training and networking event for producers from all over the world.
Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes)/ IFAS awarded the fiction film Sunflowers in the Dark (Zimbabwe) produced by Ben Mahaka, Tapiwa Chipfupa and directed by Tapiwa Chipfupa an opportunity to attend its developmental workshop programme, PAS, where they will be given tools, expertise, and opportunities to develop European networks.
Carthage Film Festival awarded Pieces of Salma (South Africa) produced by Khosie Dali and David Horler and directed by Imran Hamdulay, an opportunity to participate in their programme in Tunisia.
Sørfond awarded the project Mami Wata (Nigeria) produced by Oge Obasi, directed by C.J. Obasi with an opportunity to pitch at the Sørfond Pitching Forum in Oslo later this year.
NFVF CineFAM-Africa Incubator Accelerator Programme Award of a R50 000 development grant went to Sylvia Vollenhoven for Buckingham Palace.
Videovision Entertainment awarded the “Best South African Film Project” to The Bursary (South Africa) produced by Brett Michael Innes and directed by Nomawonga Khumalo. They receive a prize valued at R75 000, which guarantees its release once it is completed. The prize also includes marketing and distribution support from Videovision Entertainment.
Stage 5 Films Award for the ‘Most Promising Narrative’ went to The Bursary (South Africa) produced by Brett Michael Innes and directed by Nomawonga Khumalo. They receive a R50 000 cash prize accompanied by an additional R25 000 worth of script coverage, production support, market analysis and packaging for further finance.
Durban FilmMart Talents Award for the Durban Talents Project Selected as a project for DFM went to Twelve Pangas directed by Xola Mteto (South Africa).
Versfeld & Associates, communications consultants awarded Those Who Dwell in Darkness (South Africa) produced by Dolly Mhlongo and Sithabile Mkhize, and directed by Michael James; The Home (South Africa) produced by Justin Cohen, Jessie Zinn, and Chase Musslewhite, and directed by Jessie Zinn and Chase Musslewhite; and Talents Durban project And Who Will Cook? by Samira Vera-Cruz (Cape Verde) was awarded one-on-one publicity consultations.
The broadcast stream, Afridocs, that flights African and other international documentaries across 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa on a weekly basis, gave a €2500 award, funded by the Bertha Foundation, to Kongo is Burning (Uganda / Congo) produced by Ali Musoke and directed by Arnold Aganze.
DoK Leipzig Award went to Black Women and Sex (South Africa) produced and directed by Godisamang Khunou who will be given an opportunity to participate in the 2020 DoK Leipzig programme in Germany.
Hot Docs Blue Ice Award, a cash prize of 2000 Canadian Dollars went to the documentary project Kongo is Burning (Uganda / Congo) produced by Ali Musoke and directed by Arnold Aganze.
The DFM ended on 22 July, but the Durban International Film Festival continues until July 28.