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Thursday, July 20, 2017


The Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry development programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office and Durban International Film Festival (Centre for Creative Arts, UKZN) ended on a high note with an awards ceremony at the Tsogo Maharani Hotel in Durban, South Africa on July 17.

“The DFM is one of the most important film finance platforms and industry events on the African continent, and this year’s eighth edition has certainly been our biggest.” said Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office. “We hosted over 600 delegates with over 30 countries participating in this year’s market; 17 of which were from Africa. We are thrilled that we have had a record number of 70 projects presenting at this year’s finance forum.”

Central to the Durban FilmMart have been the networking sessions and meetings held over four days between delegates comprising filmmakers, producers, distributors, agents, broadcasters and film funders and government agencies.  

“Our annual programme would not be possible without our partners and sponsors, and we extend thanks and appreciation to the partner markets, funding bodies and development organisations who have continued to work with us in bringing African cinema to the world, and enabling us to expand the number of projects participating in the forums.”

This year 22 official DFM film projects in development were presented at the Finance Forum through the partnership with Cinemart and IDFA, Netherlands.

Durban Talents was able to host 30 young filmmakers through the support by Berlinale Talents, the Goethe-Institut and the German Embassy.

Four scriptwriters projects were hosted at the DFM in the Realness Script Writing Residency, while Produire au Sud, France, supported the Jumpstart Project, a mentorship programme to introduce six emerging filmmakers to the art of the pitch. Two documentary projects were supported by Hot Docs Canada, and six CineFam projects were rigorously mentored by Caribbean Tales, Canada.

“The Durban FilmMart was made possible by our principal funder, the eThekwini Municipality, and we are privileged to have the ongoing support of a City government that recognises, supports and promotes the value of our industry, and understands the importance of providing African filmmakers a platform to connect with the world, and, importantly, to connect with African filmmakers throughout the continent.

“Together with partners, NFVF, KZN Film Commission, and Department of Trade and Industry, we hosted three co-production delegations this year from Canada, Germany and Kenya, and special thanks go to the Canadian High Commission, the German Embassy and Kenya Film Commission for supporting these programmes.

“This year we were able to host a vigorous Women Led Film Focus together with the DIFF, through the support of MNET and NFVF, as well as support from the Industrial Development Corporation for a insightful “Film Finance: State of the Industry”, adds Monty.

The Awards/Grants:

The International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) awarded the most promising documentary project at the DFM, Lobola: A Bride’s True Price (South Africa, Producer: Sarah Basyouny, Director: Sihle Hlophe) with an opportunity to attend the IDFA Forum, one of the top gatherings for documentary filmmakers, producers, commissioning editors, funds, private financiers and other documentary filmmakers in Europe, in November.

The broadcast stream, Afridocs, that flights African and other international documentaries across 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa on a weekly basis, gave a €3000 grant to Uasi (Kenya), Producers: Matrid Nyagah, Linda Ogeda, Director: Sam Soko.

The CineMart Award, sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, went to the fiction project, Miles from Nowhere (South Africa), Producer: Bongiwe Selane, Director: Samantha Nell. The project is given an opportunity to attend the Rotterdam Lab, is a five-day training and networking event for producers from all over the world.

Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes), awarded the fiction film Miles from Nowhere (South Africa), Producer: Bongiwe Selane, Director: Samantha Nell an opportunity to attend its developmental workshop program, PAS, where they will be given tools, expertise, and opportunities to develop European networks.

Videovision Entertainment awarded the “Best South African Film Project” to the Dabulaphu (The Short Cut), Producers Zikethiwe Ngcobo, David Max Brown, Director Norman Maake. They receive a prize valued at R75,000, which guarantees its release once it is completed. The prize also includes marketing and distribution support from Videovision Entertainment.

Versfeld & Associates, publicity consultants will develop publicity material and advise on publicity profiling through the development two projects: Womxn: Working (South Africa), Producer Tiny Mungwe and Director Shanelle Jewnarain, and Richard Was Here (South Africa), Producer: Akona Matyila and Director: Jack Chiang.

Sørfond awarded the project Uasi (Kenya), Producers: Matrid Nyagah, Linda Ogeda, Director: Soko Sam with an opportunity to pitch at the Sørfond Pitching Forum in Oslo later this year.

CineFAM-Africa Incubator Accelerator Programme award to pitch at the Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Toronto, went to Mary Ann Mandishona for Mamba Kazi – African Warrior Queens.

For more information about the DFM go to