CaribbeanTales and Durban FilmMart Partnership 2.0 encourages African Women Filmmakers to think Co-Production

CaribbeanTales and the Durban FilmMart present the second year of CineFAM – Africa, an accelerator program for African women filmmakers.

African / Caribbean partnerships
African / Caribbean partnerships

CaribbeanTales Media Group (CTMG) and the Durban FilmMart (DFM) today announce the renewal of their partnership to support the development of original, serialized television content and films created by women from Africa and the African Diaspora.

 

CineFAM is the CaribbeanTales program that supports bold, original films and television series by women of colour worldwide. In the Haitian-Creole language, “Cinefam” means “films by women”.  This Accelerator Incubator Program builds capacity and creative leadership among women of colour who are traditionally under-represented in leadership roles in the film and television industry globally.  

 

“We have invited a select group of experienced South African women producers to bring their original television series projects that are currently in development to the second edition of CineFAM – Africa to be held during DFM2018,” says CaribbeanTales CEO Frances-Anne Solomon. “We know they will enjoy CaribbeanTales’ unique two-day intensive Accelerator Program that ensures an excellent overview and close guidance on the nuts and bolts of production within the context of Canada and South Africa. They will learn how best to meet the co-production demands of these two countries with their stories, finance and marketing strategies along with enhancing pitch skills.”

 

“We are absolutely thrilled to embark on the second edition of our partnership with CaribbeanTales. The 2018 Accelerator Incubator Program will not only provide an exciting platform to support the development of women-led audio-visual content in Africa, it will create a space to interrogate the application of the SA/Canada Co-production Treaty with serialised content. Through this partnership, we hope to build a bridge between the two organisations that will raise the voices of African women filmmakers,” said Toni Monty, Head of Durban Film Office and DFM the co-production and finance market, which is a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), South Africa.

 

“We are incredibly excited to continue to build on this extraordinary initiative with the Durban Film Mart that opens the gateway of co-productions between our organizations and our two countries” says CaribbeanTales CEO Frances-Anne Solomon. “Our goal is to see the program grow from training to production within the next couple of years and to show the world what women from Africa and the African Diaspora can do within the Canada / South Africa co-production treaty.”  

 

CineFAM – Africa, led by CaribbeanTales Vice-President Nicole Brooks, is a two-day program that will take place during the Durban FilmMart July 20 – 22, 2018.

 

This two-day Accelerator will culminate in a private Mini-Pitch to deliver and work with local and international (specifically Canadian) broadcasters and funders for consideration and feedback. The winner will qualify to participate in the renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator (CTI), in Toronto, Canada. CTI is a year-round development and production hub for Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora Producers that aims to create strong, compelling and sustainable content for the global market. Thus, CTI will increase the pool of world-class indigenous film and television content and build the Region’s audio-visual capacity.

The 39th Durban International Film Festival Announces Opening and Closing Films

A thriller/horror film and a LGTBI love-story have been selected respectively as the opening- and closing films of the 39th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which takes place from 19 to 29 July 2018.

The Tokoloshe

In a bold move to shift perceptions of how African stories can be told cinematically across genres, the DIFF has selected a South African debut thriller/horror feature The Tokoloshe, directed by Jerome Pikwane, for opening night and Kenyan director, Wanuri Kahiu’s tender story of lesbian love, Rafiki as its closing film.

 

“With the current global focus on giving womxn a voice in a world dominated by masculinity and systemic misogyny, we wanted to book-end the festival with films that tell stories about womxn, their strength and their survival. We also want to showcase, from a cinematic point of view, that there are many ways to tell these stories,” says Manager of DIFF, Chipo Zhou.

Jerome Pikwane

The Tokoloshe is directed by Jerome Pikwane, co-written with novelist Richard Kunzmann and produced by Dumi Gumbi and Cati Weinek of The Ergo Company.

 

In The Tokoloshe, which stars Petronella Tshuma, Dawid Minnaar, Kwande Nkosi, Harriet Manamela and Yule Masiteng, a young womxn, crippled by suppressed emotions, must find the courage to face an insatiable demon, wrought in her own childhood, when she tries to save the life of a girl-child abandoned in a rundown Johannesburg hospital.

 

“Using the horror genre I wanted to investigate how we suppress trauma, and what happens when the trauma comes to the surface.  In effect, the Tokoloshe in South African mythology has become a foil for abuse that is ingrained in our society, ” says director Jerome Pikwane. “And the characters, their journey, their relationships are the focus and not the beautiful shots nor the CGI, although we have that too.”

 

“The film is not quite what one expects from its title, so I dare audiences to see beneath the surface,” says Zhou. “It is a horror film, crafted so intricately, unveiling the menace that is our everyday burden as womxn in this country. But the film depicts the story of a survivor, not a victim. It is a chilling story, one that needs to be told now and is particularly relevant as it gives voice to the voiceless.”

Rafiki

Closing film Rafiki, directed by Wanuri Kahiu, produced by Steven Markovitz (SA) and starring Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva, is a touching tale of two very different girls living in Nairobi, who fall in love. Co-written with Jenna Bass (SA), the film was the first Kenyan feature film to be invited to Cannes Film Festival 2018 as part of the Official Un Certain Regard selection, and was a project in the 2012 Durban FilmMart.

 

“Over the years of developing this film, we have seen worrying developments in the anti-LGBTI climate in East Africa,” says director Wanuri Kahiu. “Local films and international TV shows have been banned because of LGBTI content. This has muffled conversations about LGBTI rights and narrowed the parameters of freedom of speech. My hope is that the film is viewed as an ode to love, whose course is never smooth, and as a message of love and support to the ones among us who are asked to choose between love and safety. May this film shout where voices have been silenced.”

 

“We are delighted to be able to screen Rafiki at DIFF,” says Zhou. “The film speaks to the issues of patriarchy that has led the film to be banned in its own country, and closes a festival with a programme packed with films dealing with a host of current challenges that those marginalised in our society, and especially womxn, are “loudly” grappling with.”

 

“At this time alongside the #MeToo and, closer to home, the “#ItsNotOk campaigns, that seek to expose the perpetrators of violence against womxn, these films bookend a conscious and carefully curated selection of cinematic themes that also run as threads through the Durban FilmMart and through our new Isiphethu industry programme for emerging and micro-budget filmmakers.”

 

The DIFF is organised by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts. The Festival also offers an industry programme and outreach activities that include screenings in townships areas, where cinemas are non-existent. Alongside the DIFF is the Durban FilmMart, a co-production market in partnership with Ethekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office, Talents Durban, in cooperation with the Berlinale Talent Campus and the Wavescape Surf Film Festival.

 

DIFF opens at The Playhouse on July 19 and runs until July 29. The closing film is on July 28.

 

For more information visit www.durbanfilmfest.co.za or any one of the DIFF’s social media pages, Durban International Film Festival.