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Thursday, May 23, 2013


(Jolynn Minnaar, director of “Unearthed”)

Eighteen projects by African filmmakers have been selected for the finance forum of the Durban FilmMart (DFM) which takes place from July 19 to 22.

The Durban FilmMart, which is a co-production, finance market, and filmmakers networking event, is a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) which takes place from July 18 to 28.

The event, an important event on the South African film calendar, is an opportunity for filmmakers, financiers and top film experts to gather and share expertise, explore new ventures and keep up to date with industry trends.

The finance forum of the DFM provides filmmakers from across Africa an opportunity to pitch their projects to international financiers, distributors, sales agents and potential co-producers, as well as meet experts in master classes, attend meetings and engage with industry professionals.

“The Durban FilmMart, which attracted around 350 delegates last year, is now firmly established as a prominent project development and finance forum on the continent,” said Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office, who is currently at Cannes to promote the DFM. “ We are pleased that the filmmakers are now looking to this market as a valuable step in the development of their projects.”

A total of 113 submissions, comprising 31 documentaries and 82 features were received, out of which eight documentaries and 10 fiction projects were selected. A Reader Panel of African and international film professionals assessed these projects and made the selection based on a number of standard criteria. The directors and producers of these projects will have one-on-one meetings with potential investors and co-producers at the Finance Forum.

“Making film is not simple process. Months and years of planning go into developing concepts and projects. The DFM allows filmmakers an opportunity to unpack and investigate financing possibilities for their projects and it can provide the momentum to shift projects to the next level.” says Peter Machen, the manager of the DIFF. “We look forward to seeing how the DFM paves the way for further opportunities for these African filmmakers.”

Among the selected documentaries are the South African productions: Blindness directed by Sarah Ping Nie Jones and produced by Jean Meeran; Behind the Falls directed by Rowan Pybus and produced by Sydelle Willow Smith; Miners Shot Down directed/produced by Rehad Desai, produced/written and co-directed by Anita Khanna and produced by Brian Tilley; Not Just a Stripper directed and produced by Izette Mostert; and Unearthed directed and produced by Jolynn Minnaar

In the selected Fiction Projects category South African productions include Andani and the Mechanic directed and produced by Sara Blecher; Five Fingers for Marseilles directed and produced by Michael Matthews and written and produced by Sean Drummond; Sea Monster directed by Anthony Silverston and co-produced by Stuart Forrest and Mike Buckland; The Bill directed by Nosipho Dumisa and produced by Travis Taute, and Whiplash directed by Meg Rickards and produced by Jacky Lourens.

The 4th edition of the Durban FilmMart takes place from July 19 to 22 during the 34th edition of the Duran International Film Festival which takes place from July 18 to 28. Filmmakers who did not submit projects for official selection can still register as delegates for the event and enjoy the expert panels, master classes and networking opportunities. Registration will officially open on June 6, 2013. For more information or to register go to