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Monday, August 18, 2014


The 5th Durban FilmMart (DFM) came to an end after four exciting days of networking, workshops and film! This year’s event was acknowledged a resounding success with over 450 delegates in attendance from 32 countries, 24 workshop and panel discussion programmes presented by 32 industry experts and professionals, and over 900 official business meetings documented in the Finance Forum - which excludes the frenzy of meetings that took place outside of the Finance Forum room at the Elangeni Hotel.

The Durban FilmMart, is a joint initiative of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and Durban Film Office (DFO) funded through the City of Durban, which took place over July 18 to 21, 2014, at the Tsogo Sun Elangeni Hotel in Durban. Set on Durban’s picturesque Golden Mile, the Durban FilmMart has, over the past five years, become Africa’s most important film finance platform and has certainly created a global buzz about Durban as a key destination for film business and tourism alike.

“The City is honoured to be associated with the Durban FilmMart, as it is a strategic platform to market the destination as an ideal film location to potential film directors and producers, which will significantly help boost the tourism industry,” says Head of Durban Tourism, Phillip Sithole. “Durban is a diverse and culturally rich city with strong African, Eastern and Western influences. Through the vast potential of the Film industry, we would like to use the Durban FilmMart to market the destination on a global level and this also aligns well to our strategy of Taking Durban to the World.”

Every year the Durban FilmMart activities close with the closing night awards dinner, where key local and international partners of the annual co-production market, select a number of projects to receive development support for their respective projects in the form of development grants or invitations to attend partner markets. This year’s closing night dinner, held at the Maharani Hotel in Durban, presented 10 awards, guaranteeing these projects additional support and opportunities beyond Durban FilmMart. Through an evaluation panel made up of local and international film industry heavy weights, recipients of the 2014 DFM awards are as follows:

The CineMart Award sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam:  Hawa Hawaii (Kenya / South Africa co-production) to be directed by Amirah Tajdin and produced by Wafa Mohamed Tajdin, Bongiwe Selane, Helena Spring and Junaid Ahmed. This award invites and sponsors the DFM 2014 fiction winning project to attend the Rotterdam Lab, a five-day training and networking event bringing together producers from all over the world.

Most Promising Documentary Pitch sponsored by the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA): The Sound of Masks (South Africa) to be directed by Kofi Zwana and produced by Sara Gouveia. This award will provide Kofi Zwana and Sara Gouveia with an invitation and travel support to attend IDFA Forum.

New Cinema Network: Alex on Seventh (South Africa) to be directed by Engelbert Phiri and produced by Guy Bragge. This award gives Phiri and Bragge the opportunity of attending the 9th edition NCN in Rome, taking place in October with the chance to present their work to active companies of the International Film industry.

Award sponsored by Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes): A developmental workshop programme aimed at familiarising producers with a variety of important tools and international techniques, this was awarded to Hawa Hawaii (Kenya / South Africa co-production) to be directed by Amirah Tajdin and produced by Wafa Mohamed Tajdin, Bongiwe Selane, Helena Spring and Junaid Ahmed, and Mrs Popplestone to be directed by Sarah Ping Nie Jones and produced by Jean Meeran. These filmmakers will be given the invaluable opportunity to attend the Produire au Sud (PAS) workshop, where they will be given tools, expertise, and new connections especially with European networks through this one week unique training programme.

The Docubox award, an East-African documentary film fund: In search of African Duende: The Uganda Flamenco Project (Uganda) – to be directed by Caroline Kamya and produced by Keren Cogan. This Ugandan documentary project will have the support for their non-Kenyan East African Documentary production with $2500 development funds.

The Restless Pitch: Shattered by Philani Ndaba won a one-year representation deal for the project by Restless Talent Management, who provide development services such as image-building and positioning, project packaging, PR, and advises its clients on film sales, distribution and promotion.

Organisation Internationale de Francophonie (OIF) award of €5000: Home Expulsion (Rwanda) to be directed and produced by Kayambi Musafiri.

ARTE France International Prize of €6000: The feature film project, The Wound (South Africa) to be directed by John Trengove and produced by Elias Ribeiro.

The Videovision Entertainment Best South African Film Project prize valued at R75,000: Nyanga Sky (South Africa) to be directed by Matthew Griffiths and produced by Rafeeqah Galant. This award guarantees Nyanga Sky a release once the project is completed and includes marketing and distribution support from Videovision Entertainment.

Afridocs: A new award of €4000 that was inspired by the Durban FilmMart events was awarded to Amal to be directed and produced by Mohamed Siam.

“The quality of projects presented this year were quite good,” says ARTE France’s representative Rémi Burah. “There was a good balance in the eclecticism of their subject and film style in which their directors wish to bring their story to the screen. The diversity of countries represented emphasizes the relevance to the DFM to play an important role as a platform for African cinema. Our objective as a partner of DFM is of course to discover new African projects. It is important that Africa keeps producing its own films and we want to help.”

Durban Film Office’s Toni Monty adds: “The 5th Durban FilmMart has been one of the most dynamic ones we’ve had. We have seen a dramatic change over the past five years in how attending filmmakers engage with guest financiers, funds, sales and distribution agents. The market is maturing faster than we expected, the projects are getting stronger every year and the filmmakers are well prepared to tackle the market when they arrive.

“For us,” Monty continues, “this is an indication that the market is really working and the vision of creating a credible platform to promote African stories has been achieved. Together with the celebration of the 35th Durban International Film Festival, Durban certainly rocked African Cinema this year! We extend a huge thank you to our sponsors and partnerships, new and old, they have truly helped the DFM reach its goals in helping African filmmakers access the market place and grow their understanding of the business of film.”

For more information on the Durban FimMart visit