Award-winning filmmakers return to Durban FilmMart 2012

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Award-winning filmmakers return to Durban FilmMart 2012

19 July 2012 –

he Durban FilmMart is fast becoming the source of many success stories for African filmmakers, through the facilitation of opportunities that are often inaccessible to the continents Film Industry. This holds true for two respected filmmakers producer Neil Brandt and director Francois Verster who will be returning to the Durban FilmMart with their documentary film project for the second time.

“Durban FilmMart seems to be becoming the prime film continental film event on the calendar year, combining the best of creative showcasing and business opportunities which are equally important to any filmmaker,” said Brandt who is co-founder of Gauteng-based production and distribution company Fireworx Media.

Both Brandt and Verster’s documentary project The Dream of Shahrazad was part of the official selection at the inaugural Durban FilmMart in 2010 , having recently won the Best Doc in Progress Award at the Sunny Side of the Docs Film Festival in France last month. The Durban FilmMart assisted the duo in meeting and collaborating with a French coproducer for the film which unlocked the opportunity to their attendance at the documentary film festival, said Brandt. The award was a boost for the film and reaffirmed the confidence of their work and interest in African Cinema, said Verster.

Brandt has two documentary projects selected in the line-up for Durban Film Mart 2012; Devil’s Lair directed by Riaan Hendricks and Gold Dust directed by Odette Geldenhuys. Documentary project Soweto Messiah directed by Verster and produced by Mike Auret is also part of the selection of films.

Their return to the Durban FilmMart is a testament of their eagerness to promote their work to the best possible audience, said Brandt. “The Durban Film Mart is a highly focused and professional networking environment, and with many local and international broadcasters, funders and distributors present, it’s the perfect environment for films to find partners,” he said.

Durban Film Office Head Toni Monty said that coproduction and finance film market was serving the needs of filmmakers from around the African continent. “This is what the Durban FilmMart is about-identifying the potential and talent of African filmmakers and giving them a platform to make their projects a reality and success,” said Monty.

The 3rd edition of Durban FilmMart, which takes place from 20-23 July 2012, was created as a joint programme of the Durban Film Office and the Durban International Film Festival and provides filmmakers from across Africa a valued opportunity to pitch projects to financiers, distributors, sales agents and potential co-producers, and participate in meetings, project presentations and a series of master classes and workshops on latest industry trends.

Both Brandt and Verster have a long history of successful collaboration- their acclaimed documentary A Lions Trail won the filmmakers an Emmy Award for Artistic and Cultural Achievement in 2006, When the War is Over won the Best Film at the Norwegian Documentary Film Festival in 2003 and Best Documentary at Milan African Film Festival in 2004, amoungst others. The pair also recently returned from Egypt after completing production on the film Storyteller in Egypt for the Jazeera English Channel. Brandt have Verster have also independently won a number of filming awards that have been broadcast worldwide and appeared at international festival awards.

The filmmakers who will using their appearance to network and market their film project are anticipating another successful outcome from their appearance at the Durban FilmMart this week. Peter Rorvik, director of the Durban International Film Festival belives that the event will positively impact on all participants and official delegates. Said Rorvik; “We are confident that there will be many more success stories to come as a result of Durban FilmMart.”

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PREPARED FOR: The Durban Film Office

Megan van den Heever, FBI Communications
+2731 208 5525/ +2784 282 7674. E-mail: /

The Durban FilmMart is a co-production and finance market and 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.

The Durban Film Office (DFO) is the film industry development arm of the eThekwini Municipality, mandated to position Durban as a world-class film production destination and facilitator for the development of the local film industry. The DFO drives activity and development in the sector in order to boost tourism, job creation and the development of core skills and SMME’s in the region.

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) presents over 250 screenings from different countries and cultures with special focus on Africa; it includes development programmes such as Talent Campus Durban. DIFF is a flagship project of the Centre for Creative Arts (UKZN) which facilitates creative platforms and economic opportunities for artists and related industries, intercultural exchange and network development, training, audience development and strategic Pan-African and international cooperation in the cultural sectors.

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