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Durban FilmMart Press

Durban FilmMart Press
The co-production market for African filmmakers, a joint programme of the Durban Film Office & the Durban International Film Festival.

Locations Africa Expo and Conference at 10th Durban FilmMart

The Durban FilmMart, the continent’s leading film industry event, will host the inaugural Locations Africa Expo and Conference, an exciting and innovative new addition to this year’s 10th edition which takes place from 19 to 22 July during the 40th Durban International Film Festival (18 to 28 July) in Durban, South Africa.

Locations Africa, is a platform conceived in 2015 by Zesan Films and Events, and Martin Cuff Consulting as a marketing tool with an aim to increase the number of films shot in Africa, and to develop an economy around filming locations on the continent by creating employment opportunities and exposing these locations to the rest of the world.

This first Expo and Conference at the DFM and DIFF will focus on re-igniting efforts to position Africa and key filming destinations as being “open for business”, and where relevant, equipped with the various elements a filmmaker needs to consider before production. The Expo will showcase African filming locations, crew, various facilities and opportunities for co-producing, while the Conference will provide opportunities for filmmakers to unpack and discuss production and locations needs, opportunities and the possibilities that exist for filmmakers from within and without the continent.

“We are really delighted to welcome Locations Africa to the ever-growing industry offerings in our DFM programme, as we provide more opportunities for filmmakers to develop content, create films and drive a very lucrative economy around film,” says Toni Monty, head of the DFM. “This is a perfect opportunity for really network the continent across borders and inter-continentally as well.”

The four-day Expo will include representation and exhibition showcases from national and regional film commissions, government departments including South Africa’s Arts and Culture, Tourism, Trade and Industry as well as private sector film studios, locations management companies, set designs, crew and talent agencies, production teams, equipment businesses, music, SFX and post-production services.

The Conference will run over four days, with two to three engagement sessions a day. Sessions are titled Where We Are – Setting The Scene which is an introduction to the concept of a Locations Africa event, focusing on why this segment of the film industry is important, Sell The Dream which will look into the realities Locations Africa faces when promoting locations and services to international producers, Getting Involved, which will unpack training and awareness for new entrants into servicing and facilities management and Africa is Ready, which showcases through case studies, just how ready the industry is.

“Locations Africa has been over four years in the making with research from across the continent on the practicalities of physical production to ensure that our information through this expo, conference and web portal are as relevant and practical as possible,” says Azania Muendane, director of Locations Africa. “Africa is ready for business and we believe that through Locations Africa, this will grow. We are very excited to be in partnership with the DIFF and the DFM, as this is the perfect setting to introduce a focused engagement of physical production, Locations and facilities on our continent. We encourage more inter-country productions and inbound international productions to interface with us at Locations Africa online or at the expo for their location shoot needs.”

Locations Africa will take place at the Tsogo Sun, Elangeni Hotel in Durban from 19 to 22 July, and is open to all Durban FilmMart delegates.

For more information on Locations Africa email info@locationsafrica.com

Deadline extended for Talents Durban 2019

The 40th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, in co-operation with Berlinale Talents, has announced that the 12th edition of Talents Durban – in partnership with Durban FilmMart (DFM) – will take place from 18 to 22 July 2019.

The exciting partnership with DFM, Africa’s leading film finance and co-production market, aims to raise the visibility of Talents Durban projects, create networking opportunities with potential co-producers, and facilitate funding opportunities for promising projects.

Talents Durban is open to African screenwriters and directors, with animation, fiction, documentary or hybrid projects in development. The five-day event consists of workshops, discussions, screenings, and programmes for specific disciplines. The initiative also includes Talent Press, a co-operation with FIPRESCI and the Goethe-Institut, which will once again host mentorship for emerging film critics.

Talent Labs

  • Storytelling Lab selects three features and three short films currently in development. The stories are given advanced consultation and mentoring by three script editors, as well as participating in scriptwriting workshops.
  • Doc Lab is a hands-on training programme in which three Talents Durban participants who submitted documentary projects are given expert mentorship. The participants then pitch their projects at the Durban FilmMart’s African Pitching Forum.
  • Animation Lab is open to screenwriters and animation directors with animation projects. The lab will focus on character development, visual development, and the business of animation in Africa.
  • Talent Press offers mentorship for three emerging African film critics and journalist. Participants will cover the 40th Durban International Film Festival. FIPRESCI is an organization of film critics and films journalists established for the promotion and development of film culture.

As well as focused mentorships, industry-specific expert master classes, workshops, and a creative platform for self-expression and networking, Talents Durban will also cover participants’ accommodation, airfare, and festival accreditation. Participants will have direct access to DIFF screenings, DFM masterclasses, networking sessions, and other activities with experts and industry players from around the world.

2019 Focus and Theme

This year’s Talents Durban theme ‘Authenticity’ is inspired by the contemporary moment in African cinema. Following a global renaissance of African cinema and television content, the demand for stories from the continent is rising. African storytellers and audiences seeking to connect with African cinema are grappling with the question of what is authentic African cinema. For filmmakers, this question has a far more inward dimension – before the auteur can offer the answer to this question they have to ask the question of themselves – what is authentic to me? With the four-day programme we are looking for storytellers who embody the future of what it means to have an ‘authentic voice’ – to join this pertinent conversation.

Selection process

Talents Durban will invite 18 Talents, carefully selected by a panel of industry experts. Prospective Talents should complete the application form online, provided they have a recognised portfolio of previous work and a project in progress. Selected projects will be announced on 16 May 2019.

Applications are now open online. Deadline is 30 April 2019.

For more information contact Menzi Mhlongo, +27 (0) 31 260 2506 or talentsdurban@gmail.com


Delegate registration opens for the 10th Durban FilmMart

Delegate registration is now open for the 10th Durban FilmMart (DFM), which takes place from 19 to 22 July during the 40th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).

The DFM is a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO), the eThekwini Municipality’s industry development unit, and the DIFF, and aims to develop the African film industry, grow African content and network film practitioners.

Considered one of the most important film industry events on the continent, the DFM introduces three new programmes to further complement its co-production market, finance and industry development forums.

“The DFM is really excited to add new programmes in this year’s event, creatively curated by South African creative industries consultant Russel Hlongwane, and producer, curator and arts manager, Tiny Mungwe,” says Toni Monty head of the DFO and the DFM.  “Durban Does Docs is a two-day documentary conference, consisting of panel discussions, masterclasses and plenary presentations aimed to attract documentary filmmakers and scholars from the continent and around the world, who will unpack and discuss the state of the documentary in a global context.”

“We introduce the Creative Corner, a robust open space for emerging scriptwriters, actors, set designers and make-up artists, which will run over four days and will consist of script to live sessions, panel discussions around the creative elements of filmmaking such as editing, make-up, sound design and set design.”

“And then we welcome the Locations Africa Exhibition and Conference, a private sector initiative that focuses on film locations in an effort to re-ignite efforts to position Africa as a key filming destination which has all the necessary elements for inbound productions and local film projects. Key to this is economic transformation within the film sector.”

Locations Africa comprises of a comprehensive expo featuring film commissions and location representatives from South Africa and the continent; running concurrently to the expo is a full four-day programme of seminars, workshops and panel discussions that will delve into a myriad topics including location selection, marketing locations, servicing and facilities management, relationships between location scouts and management and many others.

“This is an ideal opportunity for African countries to market their locations on the continent but also to international producers and investors,” says Monty. ‘A welcome addition to the DFM and DIFF offering, Locations Africa will also provide producers, location scouts and location managers with a ‘one-stop-shop’ to see the many options Africa can provide for filmmakers.”

Adopting the theme Imagine Community, the DFM will use this year as a call for the recalibration of the film industry. According to the curators this provides the framework to build community within and across markets and across countries for the development of the industry on the continent.

The DFM’s forums, will consist of panel discussions, world cafe style engagements and the high level masterclasses focusing on relevant topics that reflect on and forecast African cinema both from an aesthetic and commercial point of view, the convergence of technology and filmmaking, diversity in filmmaking and women in filmmaking. Delegates can look forward to international, African and local cutting-edge speakers delivering perspectives shaping the international and local industry.

DFM delegates also have access to an industry lounge and exhibition, providing opportunities for networking sessions and to create meaningful business relationships across the globe.

Other elements of the DFM include the finance forum in which 20 pre-selected feature film and documentary projects from Africa pitch to potential sponsors, funders or partners, as well as the 12th Talents Durban, for pre-selected intermediate African filmmakers and within the DIFF the Isiphethu Hub programme for entry level and emerging filmmakers which is free to the public.

“We are expecting this year to be a bumper one, as we celebrate our 10th anniversary along with the DIFF’s 40th,” says Monty. “Our programmes are being consolidated and there has been a lot of creative input and film community support as we begin the lead up to this very significant moment in the history of film on the continent.”

Early bird registration is open until 28 June 2019. Early bird fees are R1300 (ZAR) for the four-day programme, which includes four day’s access to the DFM Industry Programme, access to DFM producers lounge and DFM networking events, 10 tickets to Durban International Film Festival screenings and company information published in the industry manual. After 28 June fees are R1600 for the full programme while daily passes are R450 each (the daily pass does not include tickets to DIFF screenings or access into the opening and closing events). All tickets exclude meals.

Visit the DFM website to register.

The third CineFAM Co-Production Accelerator aims to develop female-led Canada-South Africa content

CaribbeanTales Media Group (CTMG) and the Durban FilmMart (DFM) have announced the renewal of their partnership to develop films and television content by African women and women of colour from the global Diaspora. The 3rd CineFAM-South Africa Co-Production Accelerator will be launched during the 10th DFM which takes place from 19 to 22 July 2019.

The 2019 CineFAM programme will take the form of a series of workshops, in Canada and South Africa, that aims to kickstart original co-productions led by experienced and seasoned female producers, writers and directors from both countries.

“We are excited to expand our programme and our partnership with DFM, with a focus on building a slate of compelling co-productions aimed at the global market. Our ultimate goal is to increase the pool of world-class female-driven content so as to build the audio visual capacity of both our countries,” said Frances-Anne Solomon, founder and executive director of CineFAM, and CEO of the CaribbeanTales Media Group.

The programme is co-led by Solomon and experienced South African producer Zikethiwe Ngcobo of Johannesburg-based Fuzebox Entertainment who said: “I am delighted to join this successful initiative. There is undeniably a need for women to start working across borders with each other, and at the helm of strong original international co-productions.”

Women of colour are woefully underrepresented and underpaid in the global industry, including in South Africa and in Canada, where statistics do not even exist. The CineFAM Accelerator is specifically geared to building capacity and creative leadership among women creatives and producers.

In 2017, CineFAM  and the Durban FilmMart joined forces for the first time to host the inaugural CineFAM – South Africa  Accelerator. The winning producer — Mary Ann Mandishona — attended the renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator programme in Canada, where she won 3rd Prize for Best Pitch. Also in 2017, CineFAM-SA in association with South African Women in Film & Television (SWIFT) jointly held a Short Film Challenge. The winning short — The Walk — was screened at the 1st CineFAM Film Festival in Canada in September 2017.

In 2018, the second iteration of this hugely successful programme focused on introducing South African producers to Canadian broadcasters in order to explore projects for co-production. From this intake, the original television series project, Queen of the Rain has received funding under the Canada-South Africa Co-Development Incentive, a collaboration between the Canada Media Fund (CMF ) and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), with Canadian broadcaster AfroGlobal Television attached.

Toni Monty, Head of the Durban FilmMart said, “We have had an extremely productive partnership with CaribbeanTales through the CineFAM Programme, and are delighted to renew our relationship with Ms Solomon and to welcome Ms Ngcobo on board who brings to the table her experience and proven talent as a successful producer in South Africa. The programme comprises carefully structured workshops to actively reimagine and strategize how to facilitate, encourage and promote co-productions between South Africa and Canada and to ensure that they are women-led.”

The overall goal of the 2019 programme will be to identify and develop suitable scripts, within the terms of the South Africa-Canada co-production treaty. Selected  projects will participate in a two-day intensive workshop during DFM where they will be supported by senior executives and mentors. In September, the best projects will attend and pitch their projects at the 2019 CineFAM/ CaribbeanTales Incubator (CTI), held annually in Toronto, Canada, in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). It is intended that from these, a number will be go forward for development and production in 2020 / 2021.

The Durban Film Office celebrates 15 years of moving the local film industry forward

This year marks the 15-year anniversary of the establishment of the Durban Film Office (DFO), the eThekwini Municipality’s film industry development unit. To reflect on this important milestone, as well as report back on its achievements to date and to share its strategic vision and insights from consultations with local film industry representatives, the DFO hosted a stakeholder engagement at the ICC on 20 March.

In welcoming the stakeholders, the eThekwini Municipal Mayor, Councillor Gumede, said, “As we feel the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the global economy, and as we observe that the world is digitally dynamic, and ever-changing, creating new roles for people to be economically active in ways we have never imagined, it is vital that as a City we remain ahead of the game. As government we act as an enabler for economic development, and with the express goal to eradicate the triple-challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment, we are mindful of the role that film plays in driving a particular economy and how film and the moving image feeds into this new digital economy. The Durban Film Office plays an important role in keeping our economic development hub in touch with the film industry, as well as being strategic about how filmmakers can be supported to ensure this City continues to strive to become a hub of film activity with endless possibilities of economic growth.”

“The film industry is not merely about the creative process and end product, there is an entire value chain that benefits from it: from locations and infrastructure, logistics and services, hospitality and catering, post production and distribution amongst other things,” said Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office. “Then, as a by-product, films ‘sell’ the city as a tourism destination and/or a film production destination of choice. These economic drivers are what we are looking at harnessing going forward.”

The DFO was established in 2003 by the Ethekwini Municipality as a sector development office mandated to promote and support the development of the local film and television industry in Durban.  Since its inception, the DFO has spearheaded several developmental programmes to build capacity and awareness of the local industry – one of these being the Ethekwini Filmmakers Association (EFA) in 2011, after the DFO recognised the need to establish a collective voice for emerging Durban filmmakers and supported the association through various mediums, including workshops to aid them in their field of filmmaking.

A Micro Budget Film Fund was established in 2012 and was one of the first of its kind in South Africa aimed at bridging the gap between emerging and intermediate filmmaking. The fund provides emerging filmmakers with an opportunity to produce their first film within a mentoring environment. To date, the DFO has supported 25 micro-budget productions, and 12 films have been completed with others still in production.

The DFO also established its Development Fund, designed to assist intermediate and professional filmmakers to package film projects for the broader market and increase capacity to attract production funding from provincial and national funding agencies and private investors. To date, the programme has worked with eight projects, two of which are completed and the other six are still in development.

The DFO has, furthermore, developed a Location Scout Service to further incentivise local and foreign productions to scout Durban as a potential location for their next project. SCOUT is a programme to provide and develop local location scouts and expose young and previously-disadvantaged filmmakers to the business of location scouting and, eventually, full location management.

In 2009, the DFO established a highly-successful market access programme, the Durban FilmMart (DFM), in partnership with the Durban International Film Festival. The DFM is an African co-production market that aims to promote collaboration between Durban and the rest of South Africa, as well as between Durban and African and global markets.

The business model was the first of its kind in South Africa and Africa and has enjoyed tremendous support from important partners across Africa and the world, with a record attendance last year of 856 delegates. The market provides opportunities for emerging, intermediate and professional-level filmmakers, and this year celebrates its 10th edition in July 2019 alongside the celebration of 40 years of the Durban International Film Festival.

To date, the DFM has worked with more than 200 projects in development with countless success stories, such as Five Fingers For Marseilles, Alison, Inxeba (The Wound) and Train of Salt and Sugar (the latter two being official selections for Oscar consideration), among many others. “Two important additions to the DFM this year are the African Locations Expo and a content buyer’s programme, which we believe are going to be major drawcards for filmmakers.” The Festival and Market Support Policy is an additional market access programme that provides support to Durban filmmakers who have been invited to present completed works or projects in development at other markets and festivals.

Over the years, the DFO and DFM have also formed strong partnerships with “sister city” festivals in Nantes (3 Continent Festival) and the International Film Festival of Rotterdam; festivals and markets such as Berlinale, Hotdocs Canada, Caribbean Tales Canada, Sundance Film Festival (USA) and the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam (Netherlands); and funding and investment agencies such as the National Film and Video Foundation, Westgro and Department of Trade and Industry. Going forward, Monty explained that the DFM has upcoming relations with the Motion Picture Association, and – in 2018 – a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the DFO and the KZN Film Commission to ensure good intergovernmental cooperation and programme synergies.

A key focus of the strategy is to develop programmes to attract functioning production hubs into the city. “We supported the establishment of Stained Glass Productions studio in KwaMashu that produces the ‘most-watched’ SA TV soap, Uzalo, on home turf. To date, this production hub has contributed R190 million over three years to the local economy and employed over 600 locals across the value chain. We also have strong relations with Durban film producers VideoVision, who have invested in, produced and distributed countless South African films, including the current television drama Imbewu. Other TV shows include the highly-popular Nat Geo Series Snake City and the reality show eHostela. Encouraging additional productions hubs in Durban will go a long way towards stabilising the local industries’ growth path.”

Durban has also played host to many film productions that have gone on either to be box-office hits, or else snapped up for the international festival circuit, providing enabling environments for filmmakers to network and develop relationships globally. Successful films made in the city include Izulu Lami, Otello Burning, Keeping up with the Kandasamys (with a sequel about to be launched this year), White Wedding, the Spud series, More Than Just a Game and Deep End, which is currently on circuit in 26 cinemas around the country.

The DFO statistics viewed over 15 years illustrate the steady growth of the industry. Its permit office works with an average of 150 productions per annum, issuing in the region of 250 film permits annually. Since 2003, the Durban Film Office has assisted over 3000 productions to film in eThekwini locations, which has created employment to the tune of over 30 000 crew days over the last 15 years. These production activities contribute R329 million to the local economy annually. A key aspect of the strategy is to promote a service culture in the city and increase these numbers over the next five years.

Finally, going forward, and in consultation with the industry, the DFO has developed a Sector Strategy, which will essentially focus on four pillars.

“We need to grow the local business network through the design of programmes to encourage local film business formalisation, which will allow these businesses to access more opportunities,” explained Monty. “Another pillar is to encourage new market entrants, which we would achieve by the creation of a transformation and localisation policy, and – within this – further grow the existing content development and market access programmes. We also need to attract film and television hubs to the city through the creation of a policy to entice TV series production, which provides consistent opportunities for filmmakers. This will include a framework to promote ‘Digital Durban’, which will aim to attract post-production and visual effect opportunities. Finally, the DFO aims to grow a film service culture through a strong marketing approach to uncover, showcase and promote the services available in the city and to build a film service community and promote Durban as a Film-Friendly City.”

SA women make their mark in internationally acclaimed short Escala

Escala is a carefully-crafted US-made short film which boasts a 100% female crew and has been officially selected for six international film festivals since its world premiere in July last year.

Three South African women have been instrumental in the creation of Escala: editor Eileen de Klerk; co-writer Tammy-Anne Fortuin; and sound designer and music editor Reanne de Klerk. Escala is a multi-award-winning short film featuring SA actor Nick Boraine.

Last week, Escala was announced as an official finalist for the Utah Film Festival which means that it is a nominee in at least one award category. Categories were announced on Saturday, 9 March, and the film has nominees in two categories: Best Score (Miriam Mayer) and Best Editing (Eileen de Klerk). The festival awards will take place in Utah on 6 April and the team will be attending the festival.

Escala has been screened to rousing public and critical acclaim at five leading industry showcases thus far. It had its world-wide premiere at the LA Shorts International Film Festival in July last year which ranks among the most prestigious and largest international short film festivals in the world.

In September it was screened at the Tops Shorts International Film Festival. At the festival, the film walked away with three accolades: Eileen de Klerk was winner of the award for Best Editing; Reanne de Klerk won Honorable Mention for sound design. Winning the Inspiring Woman in a Film category was Jy Prishkulnik, who played Amalia in the film.

The year wrapped up in California with an official entry to the Culver City Film Festival in December. So far this year, Escala was screened at the World-Wide Women’s Film Festival in February in Arizona as part of the official selection. The film returned to Arizona to be screened at the Sedona International Film Festival last month. Next up is the Utah Film Festival scheduled for early April.

Escala tells the story of Amalia, a teenage violinist torn between tolerating the inappropriate advances from her music instructor and winning the competition of a lifetime to change the future for her and her father. It features South Africa’s Nick Boraine as Dereck; James C Burns as Gustav and Jy Prishkulnik as Amalia.

“The film is only 16 minutes long – so every frame, every gesture, every nuance counts. Oftentimes it is more of a challenge and far more intense to communicate a story in a few minutes, rather than the more typical format of a full-length movie or series,” considers editor Eileen de Klerk.

“Being part of this amazing production has been the most astonishing journey,” “The critical acclaim has been extraordinary, hugely affirming and quite unexpected,” she adds.

Reanne de Klerk concurs. “For us as South Africans working really hard to develop careers in the hugely competitive American film market, we are especially chuffed to have our film, and in particular our individual contributions to the film, being so affirmed by the global film industry.”

“It is reassuring that South Africans – and in particular South African women – can find their place in the global marketplace. Our experience and journey in South Africa have set us up to allow us to do what we love with like-minded creatives who have amazing skills, tenacity, vision and commitment to make great work.”

Durban FilmMart 2019 project submissions now open

Project submissions for the 10th Durban FilmMart (DFM) which takes place from 19 to 22 July 2019, during the 40th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) in South Africa, are now open.

The DFM is a joint project of the Durban Film Office (DFO), the eThekwini Municipality’s industry development unit and the DIFF, which aims to support and stimulate the growth of the African film industry and develop connections between African filmmakers and the world.

“We are very proud to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Durban FilmMart and we look forward to welcoming the next set of projects to join our network,” says head of the Durban Film Office, Toni Monty. “The Durban FilmMart has worked with over 200 projects since its inception 10 years ago, and we are thrilled to have seen many of these projects finding their way onto the international cinema circuit, and for some, winning prestigious awards at global markets and festivals.”

The DFM comprises a stimulating four-day programme of workshops, seminars and networking sessions. The market attracts approximately 600 film-makers, distributors, broadcasters, agents, financiers and investors and other film industry representatives from around the world.

“The Durban FilmMart has become an important launch pad for African content, and we intend to expand opportunities for participating filmmakers even further as we approach our decade celebrations,” says Monty. “For the 2019 project selection, we will be looking for extraordinary African stories with strong creative visions that offer interesting and unique perspectives on African realities. For 2019 we will also be on the lookout for narratives and documentaries that bring women’s voices to the fore.”

Some examples of DFM alumni projects that have received international acclaim include Inxeba:The Wound andTrain of Salt and Sugar (which were South Africa and Mozambique’s respective selections for an Oscar consideration for Best Foreign Language Film in 2018), Five Fingers for Marseilles and Rafiki to name a few.

Ten documentaries and ten fiction feature length film projects will be selected from the submissions, and these projects will undergo a two-day packaging and mentoring programme followed by two days of one-on-one meetings with a panel of film financiers, buyers and distributors from across the globe.

The DFM is open to both full length feature and documentary films projects with Africans in the major creative roles (writers, directors and producers) that are looking for co-producers, financiers, sales agents and funders. Film projects submitted are reviewed by a selection committee for consideration. All projects must have both a producer and director attached to them and must be submitted by 14 January 2019.

For more about the Durban FilmMart 2019, project submission criteria and how to submit your project, visit the DFM website.

The 40th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) takes place from 18 to 28 July 2019.

For further enquires contact: info@durbanfilmmart.com

Durban FilmMart awards 2018

It’s been a bumper year for this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry development programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office (DFO) and Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which ended with an awards ceremony at the Southern Sun Maharani Hotel in Durban, South Africa, on Monday, 23 July.

Speaking at the DFM awards ceremony, Toni Monty, head of the DFO and the Durban FilmMart, said, “As one of the most important, film industry events and film finance platforms on the continent, we are really pleased that we have grown the DFM substantially this year with 877 delegates attending. We had over 40 countries participating this year, of which 19 were from Africa. A total number of 52 projects were pitched to potential partners, financiers, filmmakers, producers, distributors and agents during countless meetings.”

Key to the value that the Durban FilmMart provides filmmakers are the many meetings and networking sessions that are held between delegates over the four days.

“The important work we do to enable filmmakers, would not be possible without our partners and sponsors,” said Monty, “And we would like to thank our partner markets, development organisations and funding bodies with deep gratitude.”

“The work we do at this mart supports the DIFF and DFO’s vision to dynamically grow the industry and bring African cinema to its own people and to global platforms.”

Eighteen official DFM film projects in development were presented at the Finance Forum through the sponsorship of the Industrial Development Corporation and the National Film and Video Foundation.

Supported by Berlinale Talents, the Goethe-Institut and the German Embassy and in cooperation with Fipresci, Durban Talents was able to host 16 young filmmakers, and three Talents Press.

“We hosted a number of scriptwriters’ labs including Jumpstart which is supported by Produire au Sud, France and the Realness Script Writing Residency. Hot Docs Canada, mentored 11 documentary projects in development and six CineFam Africa television series projects were mentored by Caribbean Tales, Canada.”

“We recognise the important role that the eThekwini Municipality, the principal funder of the DFM plays in its success,” continued Monty. “The city’s involvement actively enables the economic growth of the industry, and we thank them for this.”

The DFM hosted a number of delegations this year including the in-bound delegation through the Department of Trade and Industry, the BRICS Film Festival delegation through the Department of Arts and Culture. Special thanks must go to the Canadian High Commission and US Embassy and the French Institute (IFAS), NFVF and KZN Film Commission for their support in bringing in delegates.

The Awards/Grants:

  • The International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) awarded the most promising documentary project at the DFM, Cheese Girl (South Africa), produced by Batana Vundla, Marion Isaacs and directedby Milisuthando Bongela, with an opportunity to attend the  IDFA Forum, one of the top gatherings for documentary filmmakers, producers, commissioning editors, funds, private financiers and other documentary filmmakers in Europe, in November.
  • 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 Zinder, The Seeds of Violence (Niger), produced by Clara Vuillermoz, Ousmane Samassekou and directed by Aicha Macky.
  • The CineMart Award, sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, went to the fiction project, Nyanga/The Horn (Zimbabwe), produced by Sue-Ellen Chitunya, Brett Michael Innes and directoed by Brett Michael Innes. 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) awarded the fiction film Porta-Retrato (Mozambique), produced by Aldino Languana, Osvaldo Lupini Bambamba and directed by Orlando Mabasso Jr., an opportunity to attend its developmental workshop programme, PAS, where they will be given tools, expertise, and opportunities to develop European networks.
  • Videovision Entertainment awarded the “Best South African Film Project” to Snake (South Africa), produced by Paul Egan, Stanford Gibson and Mustapha Hendricks and directed by Meg Rickards. 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.
  • Versfeld & Associates, publicity consultants awarded Nyanga/The Horn (Zimbabwe), produced by Sue-Ellen Chitunya, Brett Michael Innes and director by Brett Michael Innes, the development of a press kit.
  • Sørfond awarded the project How to Steal a Country, produced by Rehad Desai and Zivia Desai and directed by Mark Kaplan, with an opportunity to pitch at the Sørfond Pitching Forum in Oslo later this year.
  • CineFAM-Africa Incubator Accelerator Programme award to pitch at the Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Toronto, went to The Summit Club by Layla Swart


New awards this year include:

  • Hot Docs Blue Ice Award – a cash prize of 2000 Candian Dollars went to the documentary project The Master’s Plan, produced by Hanne Phlypo and directed by Yuri Ceuninck.
  • 11th Talents Durban “Talents Press” Recognition Award went to Cornelia Glele.
  • Durban FilmMart Award for the Durban Talents project selected as a project for DFM 2019 went to When Shadows Move by Aliki Saragas.

The DFM ended last night, but the Durban International Film Festival continues until 29 July. There is a free industry programmer – Isiphethu – happening opposite the Southern Sun Garden Court Marine Parade with seminars and workshops for the public and emerging filmmakers, as well as free screenings at various venues.

DFM 2018: Durban FilmMart keeps getting bigger and better

The 2018 Durban FilmMart (DFM), currently taking place alongside the 39th Durban International Film Festival at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, has seen a substantial increase in numbers in its ninth edition. Toni Monty, head of the Durban Film Office (DFO), beamed when sharing that numbers are up once again this year for Africa’s premier film market.

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office, has for nine years presented this imperative hub for filmmakers from across the African continent and abroad with a specific aim at growing the African film industry.

In recent years projects coming out of the DFM have been gaining more international recognition at premium festivals and awards shows than ever before: “That is, I believe, due to how we have structured the mart,” says Monty. “We have created a global network of partners that are very interested in African content, that work with us throughout the year to identify new talents and that is where the magic lies.”

With this in mind, the DFO have implemented interesting programmes and incubators, with the help of its international partners, in order to further that growth going forward. One such initiative is the CaribbeanTales’ CineFAM programme: “We started the CineFAM Africa incubator last year on serialised content. It’s in its second year and we’ve got six projects incubated this year as well as two Canadian broadcasters that have come out to work with them. We’re going to be looking at the applicability and accessibility of the treaty in terms of serialised content and how we can increase co-production between Africa and Canada in the realm of serialised content.”

Monty shared that when developing the conference strand at this year’s DFM, the focus was as always on key areas of development for the African film industry. However, this year saw the introduction of new discussions targeted at tackling important issues currently affecting the global film industry. “First and foremost we have a focus on co-production as it is a co-production market. We have a focus on financing film in Africa… we also wanted to look at South Africa and Africa being an emerging market. We wanted to look at sustainability for filmmakers…” Monty comments, “But aside from that there were some very important issue that we wanted  to bring into the discussions; the focus on women in film and transformation, as well as the #MeToo discussion – supported by SWIFT – are conversations we will continue with in years to come. We want to create stronger support for women both in front of and behind the camera.”

This year the DFM conference also touched on other topics that have arisen from recent public debate currently surrounding the industry: “We had a session titled ‘Are There Any Sacred Cows in Filmmaking’ where we looked at the issues and concerns around cultural appropriation in filmmaking… It is an incredibly important discussion, not just for filmmaking but for South Africans and Africans as a whole, and it’s something that we never really address because it’s a difficult conversation to have. We do hope to continue that thread over the next few editions.”

Additionally, Monty made note of the Isiphethu hub – launched this year in partnership with Durban Tourism – which is DIFF’s open industry programme, running for four days, aimed at introducing entry level, emerging and micro-budget filmmakers, as well as interested members of the public, to the inner-workings of the world of cinema. “DFM is a professional level market and whilst we have many emerging filmmakers in the Durban FilmMart, with Isiphethu, we wanted to create a place where entry-level filmmakers can feel at home and call it their own,” she comments.

Next year is a milestone year for the Durban FilmMart as it will be turning 10. “Next year will be 10 years of Durban FilmMart, it will be 40 years of DIFF. We have already started planning for 2019 and we certainly do plan on having a major celebration – so definitely watch this space! Ten years of DFM means it’s time to take it to the next level so we will certainly be bringing in some new aspects to the Durban FilmMart.”

Durban Tourism partners with DFM and DIFF to support emerging filmmakers

“Durban is a cocktail of cultures,” says Sbusiso Zondi, Durban Tourism’s passionate senior manager of marketing and communication, and with the aim to capture and project just that, the organisation has partnered with the 9th Durban FilmMart (DFM) and the 39th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) to introduce a new open industry platform, called Isiphethu.

Running parallel to the DFM and taking place over four days, beginning Monday, 23 July, Isiphethu – supported by experts and visiting speakers to DFM 2018 – is DIFF’s open industry programme aimed at introducing entry level, emerging and micro-budget filmmakers, as well as interested members of the public, to the inner-workings of the world of cinema.

Zondi says it was a ‘no-brainer’ for Durban Tourism when it came to partnering with DFM and DIFF, as film – and films coming out of Durban in particular – has proven to be an exceptional tool in increasing tourism in Durban. “As Durban Tourism, we’ve said: ‘Let’s invest in the imaging market, let’s partner with those capturing Durban – its people, its essence and its culture. Let’s talk to young filmmakers and the guy who’s just bought a camera and is passionate about film… and teach them how to capture the essence of Durban and package it for the international market’.”

In addition to the industry programme, Durban Tourism has partnered with National Geographic and the Discovery Channel to launch a film competition aimed at emerging filmmakers. The competition will run from 23 July and the winner will be announced on 24 September. The winner will be awarded a one to two week incubation opportunity at Discovery in the UK where they will be mentored while developing and producing a 60-second commercial aimed at increasing tourism in Durban.

“One of the ultimate goals in supporting this initiative is because we want Durban to be a creative hub for filmmaking,” Zondi adds. “Let’s support emerging filmmakers because as Durban Tourism and the Durban Film Office, it is part of our mandate to aid economic development.”

Follow Durban FilmMart and Durban International Film Festival on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up with all the action.

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