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Monday, December 2, 2013


As the year draws to a close, so too does the Durban Film Office’s successful series of Zero Budget Filmmaking Workshops in 2013.

For those who have never taken advantage of this exciting initiative, hurry to secure a seat at this year’s last Zero Budget Filmmaking Workshop taking place on December 7 at the KwaMashu Community Advancement Project’s Ekhaya Multicultural Arts Centre (Also known as the K-CAP EMAC Centre) during the 10th KZN African Film Festival (December 6 to 15, 2013).

The final leg of the year-long series follows a succession of monthly workshops held at various locations in and around Durban including; Inanda, Ntuzuma, Umlazi, Lamontville, Cato Manor, Mariannhill and many more.

The free-to-public initiative of the Durban Film Office is aimed at developing the local film industry by providing practical skills to meet the growing market demand of low or zero-budget films.

“The workshops have been well-received by budding and impressionable filmmakers that are keen to make their mark in the industry,” said Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office. He also stated that the success of the workshops have assisted the Durban Film Office in their efforts  to promote quality local film productions, irrespective of  budget, as well as facilitate skills–sharing between professional and emerging filmmakers. “Not only has the workshop proved the need for such in-demand skills but it has also been successful in transferring skills to up-and-coming filmmakers around the city,” he said.

The monthly market programme forms part of the Durban Film Office’s drive to provide a platform for Durban filmmakers to develop their craft, promote their projects, networking and an opportunity to collaborate with other filmmakers on new projects.

The day-long workshop will provide budding filmmakers with tools, tips and techniques of how to shoot low-budget production as well as facilitate a dialogue to discuss ideas on independent filmmaking and distribution.

Facilitating this exciting initiative is acclaimed Durban filmmaker Philani Sithebe of local production company Durban Motion Pictures. A veteran in the Durban film industry, Sithebe has almost 20 years of experience working as a scriptwriter, director and producer on a number of hit films including comedy Pushpa’s Love Child, horror Flush, drama Knife edge and Nothing for Mahala Gazi in addition to many more.

Sithebe, who has been commissioned by broadcaster DSTV and their Mzansi Magic channel to produce several feature films, has first-hand experience with low-budget films maintaining that these films have a unique place in the market.

“It is definitely a skill worth acquiring and the response from workshop attendees has reflected this – each month we witness dozens of new, hopeful faces that are eager to be a part of the promising film industry by utilising their newfound skills,” he explains.

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 SMMEs in the region.

The workshop will cover the basics of zero-budget filmmaking and will touch on everything from concept to distribution and everything else in between, including what makes a compelling story, developing a good-quality script, selecting the right cast, attracting investors and applying for funding, creating and managing your budget, dealing with copyright issues, professional camera and editing skills and effective marketing and sales action plans and much more.

The workshop will also include special screenings of popular local zero-budget films alongside their filmmakers who will also engage in a discussion about their unique experiences with attendees.

The Zero Budget Filmmaking Workshop will take place on December 7, 2013, from 08h00 to 17h00 at K-CAP EMAC (B25 Giya Road, Kwa Mashu) during the KZN African Film Festival (December 6 to15)

To book a place or for more information on the workshop, contact Faiza Williams on email: or call 031 311 4243.

For more information on the Durban Film Office, visit