24 July 2012 –
“It has been our labour of love to promote and develop the African Film Industry which is both our livelihood and passion,” said Durban International Film Festival Director Peter Rorvik at the close of the event. Said Rorvik; “We have walked away from this event remaining true to our African roots and local story-telling in the face of global and commercial film industry trends; this is what our primary message to our delegates has been.”
Durban Film Office Head Toni Monty expressed satisfaction with representation at the event which attracted over 400 delegates from around the continent. Said Monty; “Our large contingent of delegates have shown and expressed their support and appreciation to the Durban FilmMart- a major indication that we are addressing the needs and challenges relevant to African Cinema.”
The Durban Film Mart programme was undertaken in threefold; the development platform Finance Forum which is open to selected documentary and feature film projects and the Master-classes and Africa in Focus range of panel discussions and seminars which are both open to all participants and delegates of the event.
The Durban International Film Festival’s range of Africa in Focus panel discussion sessions highlighted the nitty-gritty of film production in Africa from sourcing international coproduction, access to global funding and training opportunities, film packaging, marketing and distribution to developing authentic African stories and digital and new media technology. Masterclasses were held with acclaimed local and international experts in the fields ranging from; ‘Getting to Greenlight’ for independent producing with acclaimed SA producer Helena Spring, Coproduction and Finance between Africa and Europe with Roshanak Behesht Nedjad and Developing African Stories for Global Markets with Scriptwriting expert Jacques Akchoti both of the European Audio Visual Entrepreneurs (EAVE), Visual Film Experts Stefan Puschendorf and Steve Macpherson as part of the COA partnership leading discussions on the Art of 3D Dimension and Pre-visualisation to Virtual Production Technologies respectively.
The Africa in Focus programme also includes presentations by the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) who present their annual comprehensive industry engagement under the guidance of newly-appointed CEO Zama Mkosi, which provided a platform for industry dialogue between executive management of the national body and the SA film industry and the public. The NFVF also facilitated the high level scriptwriting training and development programme Sediba Spark Masterclass during the programme targeted at providing foundational principles of scriptwriting. Also on the programme included the NFVF’s ‘In Conversation with Filmmakers on International Platforms’ educating the audiences on accessing and navigating international markets and festivals.
Driving the agenda of African Film Industry was the presence of a dozen African broadcasters for the first time at the Durban FilmMart as part of sponsors Canal France International’ contribution to the France South Africa Season 2012 & 2013. The ‘Meet the funders’ panel discussion, another event highlight on the schedule of events, introduced a group of international funders and co-producers who informed delegates of the many funding opportunities available with a vested interest in African Cinema. Delegates and participants also had the opportunity hear the first-hand accounts of filmmakers who had participated in film funding, mentorship and residency programs as well meeting with local and international television broadcasters who are currently seeking proposals for authentic African stories. The programme also delved into case studies unpacking the challenges and experiences of African distributors as well as Documentary Filmmakers Association case studies of transmedia projects.
Also high on the agenda was the significant launch on the KZN Film Commission, a project undertaken by the KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism which will be mandated to develop, promote and market the province of KZN as a global destination for film production to a local, national and international audience as well as facilitate the investment in the film industry in the province of KZN.
During the period of the Durban FilmMart, African project participants (12 Documentary and 11 Feature film project directors and producers) underwent a gruelling mentorship and skills training which prepared them to pitch to their ‘work in progress’ film projects in one-on-one sessions to international film funders, broadcasters, distributors and sales agents. The African filmmakers also had an opportunity to interact with industry elite at several scheduled networking sessions.
The winners, which were selected by official sponsors of the awards, were announced at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony. They are;
PREPARED FOR: The Durban Film Office
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. www.durbanfilmoffice.com
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. www.durbanfilmfest.co.za