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Sunday, October 15, 2023



Deadline for applications: Tuesday, October 17, 2023.

The Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) has opened the call for the third edition of DFM ACCESS which takes place online from November 17, 2023, to February 13, 2024.

DFM Access is a 12-week development platform for entry-level South African producers. It provides a nurturing framework for participants with existing long-form or episodic independent film projects to hone and improve their scripts and project packages.

The online incubation programme supports producers in shaping their stories, preparing their project presentations and understanding the marketplace in order to create effective strategies for their current projects and to plan their professional trajectory. The programme consists of one-on-one mentorship and talks led by industry experts.

Minenhle Luthuli, DFM Access 2023 participant, says this about her experience of the programme: "I was still on the first draft of my treatment and without a producer when I submitted my project Abany'Omama (then called Ma) to the DFM Access Programme. Since my participation in the programme and rigorous sessions with my mentor, Kethiwe Ngcobo, I was able to refine the story and create a pitch deck from scratch. The practice pitches we had every Friday prepared me to pitch my project to the panel at the DFM Finance Forum. I am grateful for this opportunity because I was able to network and take meetings with future collaborators and present my project at a market for the first time."

Luthuli was one of the three participants who, because of the DFM Access Programme, was selected to pitch at the DFM Pitch and Finance Forum 2023.

At the end of the 12-week mentorship programme, projects will pitch to an independent panel who will select three projects to participate as an official project at the Pitch and Finance Forum at DFM 2024.

Magdalene Reddy, Director of the Durban FilmMart Institute, says: “This programme, currently in its third edition, is part of the Durban FilmMart Institute’s year-round offering.  This type of support provided to filmmakers in the country and on the continent is helping stimulate the development of strong African producers who have the skill to compete on both local and international stages.

“These programmes create a community of filmmakers that develop long term connections which is useful for collaborations and international co-productions,” she adds.

DFM Access 2023 is supported by the National Film and Video Foundation PESP funding.


Application criteria:

The programme is open to emerging South African filmmakers with an active feature length or episodic project in development.

The programme is open to both fiction and documentary projects.

The producer must not have participated in an international lab/ pitching programme or market before.

The producer must not have produced a complete film or series before.


Applications can be made via the website:

The deadline for applications is Tuesday, October 17, 2023.