Category Archives: Durban FilmMart

9th Durban FilmMart Programme Announced

Creating Networks, Developing Content  and Building the Business of Film in Africa


Durban, South Africa: One of Africa’s premier film industry events, the Durban FilmMart (DFM), a joint programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) has ramped up its offerings to delegates for its 9th edition, which takes place from July 20 to 23, 2018.

“The 2018 Edition of Durban FilmMart offers some exciting opportunities through a diverse programme of masterclasses, seminars and events for African filmmakers to build business networks, explore collaborations, develop content, benchmark their creative and production work in line with international trends, and look for investment and business opportunities,” says Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office. “But what underpins the DFM, is the focus on developing the industry in Africa, whilst drawing on local African and international expertise.”

“There are a number of lead speakers presenting at this year’s DFM” says Russel Hlongwane, curator of the DFM and DIFF industry programme. “This year’s programme promises to stretch the mindsets of industry players, providing them with innovation and new thinking, coupled with opportunities to engage with succesful and respected thought-leaders that include, amongst others, Dayo Ogunyemi (Nigeria), Stephen Follows (UK) and Peter Russell (USA).”

Dayo Ogunyemi is a Lagos-based creative entrepreneur, investor and founder of 234 Media, which makes principal and private investments in the media, entertainment and technology sectors in Africa. He offers an insightful presentation entitled Africa through the Lens that foregrounds African markets as lucrative territories. His presentation gives context and the state of regional film industries and economies across sub-Saharan Africa.

Stephen Follows will present a high level session entitled A Bird’s Eyeview of Global Industry Trends, which unpacks key shifts and trends shaping the market from an international perspective.  Follows is a leading trainer and thought-leader in how storytelling can be used to change hearts and minds, and data researcher in the film industry, whose work has been featured in the global major publications such as The New York Times.

LA-based Peter Russell is a screenwriter and story doctor in Hollywood whose clients include Imagine, HBO, Participant, Viacom and CBS Television. Peter will present a session entitled The Secrets of TV Mini-Series and Serial Stories & How Filmmakers Can Evolve Into TV Storytellers in which he will share the secrets of how film storytelling can be adapted into the red hot television storytelling market – both in TV mini-series and the serial TV form.

Panel discussions this year include Aesthetics of African Cinema which looks to explore the aesthetical and fundamental values that will define films from the African continent; Financing Films in Africa – providing insights into ways filmmakers can source and work the often hard and tricky world of financing structures on the African continent; Breaking through the Business of the Business will look at how to shift from being a ‘’project based’’  filmmaker towards a more ‘’entrepreneurial approach’’ without compromising creative content; Distribution – Debunking the Myths; and Getting to the heart of your documentary features a diverse panel of continental and international professionals, discussing documentaries that set themselves apart from the rest and the success factors behind this.

Speaking to current issues, the South African Screen Federation will lead a discussion entitled, Are there any Sacred Cows in Filmmaking?, following the recent public debates around handling of sensitive social and cultural issues within film, and Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) will lead discussions on issues of sexual harassment, race and transformation in the industry. Other important discussions taking place include The practicalities and importance of Co-Production Treaties and Copyright vs Copyleft – where to from here? The National Film and Video Foundation will also present a series of workshops and discussions on policies and local industry trends.

Additional insightful sessions will include the Department of Trade and Industry’s launch of the Industries Film Incentives Guidelines and Emerging Black Filmmakers’ Fund Guidelines. The programme will include a set of discussions, led by the Department of Arts and Culture, on current and future collaborations within the BRICS member countries. Filmmakers will have the opportunity to network with member country filmmaker delegations in attendance.

The official pitching forums will include representatives from sixteen pre-selected African film projects that will be pitching film projects to leading financiers, broadcasters and other potential funders and investors at the DFM’s finance forum.

Running parallel to the DFM, and supported by the experts and visiting speakers, is the Durban International Film Festival’s open industry programme, Isiphethu, aimed at introducing entry level, emerging filmmakers, micro-budget film-makers as well as interested members of the public to the inner-workings of the world of cinema.

Manager of the DIFF, Chipo Zhou says, “Our strategy for Isiphethu, in terms of industry growth, is to support filmmakers in developing content. But it is also about supporting the development of the quality of content, which may ordinarily be impacted on by the smaller budgets they may be working with. We want to be able to offer these filmmakers opportunities to incubate projects, be mentored by experts, network with seasoned and experienced peers, and be included in the overall vision of the DIFF and DFM, to grow quality African content. In short to include this sector of the industry into the greater industry fold.”

“Central to the objectives of the Durban FilmMart to encourage African filmmakers to look within to collaborate, finance and develop content,” says Toni Monty,. “We are very excited to see so many DFM alumni projects that have come to fruition, doing very well on local and international festival and cinema circuits and many with good distribution deals: these include films like Rafiki, Inxeba: The Wound and, Five Fingers for Marseilles to name a few. This is exactly the strategy created by the DFO and DIFF nine years ago, and it is heartening to see the long-term value it provides for the African film industry. This year’s programme is rich in diversity and complexity, and we are looking forward to seeing Durban come alive with a real buzz of the business of filmmaking.”

The 9th Durban FilmMart takes place in Durban, at the Tsogo Sun Elangeni from 20 to 23 July 2018, during the 39th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (19-29 July 2018).

Early bird registration closes June 4, 2018, and general registration closed July 13, 2018. For more information on the Durban FilmMart and to register as a delegate visit or for Durban International Film Festival

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Twitter: @durbanfilmmart


Canada and South Africa celebrate 20 years of film and TV co-production at DFM and DIFF 2017

July 6, 2017 – In 1997, Canada and South Africa signed an Audiovisual Co-production Treaty which would pave the way for collaboration between Canadian and South African film and television productions. This was the first ever co-production treaty signed by South Africa and remained the only one until 2003. To celebrate this important milestone, Canada will be a country of focus at the Durban FilmMart (DFM) and at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF).

“We are immensely proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Canada and South African audio visual treaty. The incredible projects that have been produced under the treaty like Molo Fish, the first project produced, will forever be engraved in the memories of many South Africans. The celebrations of the treaty commenced at HotDocs, it is exciting to now host the celebration at SA’s premier film festival DIFF. We look forward to future projects between the two countries.” said Zama Mkosi, CEO of the National Film and Video Foundation

As part of the commemoration of the 20th anniversary, a delegation from Canada will be at DFM and will participate in various sessions of the program. The delegation includes:

– Valerie Creighton, CEO of Canada Media Fund which provides funding for Canadian co-production projects.

– Heidi Tao Yang, Fund Manager for the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund which provides funding to African documentary filmmakers.

– Nicole Brooks and Lisa Wickham from Caribbean Tales who will run CineFAM – Africa, which is a two-day programme with the objective to support the development of original serialised television content created by women from Africa and the African Diaspora.

– Alfons Adetuyi, Producer from Inner City Films

– Daniel Iron and Lance Samuels, Producers from Blue Ice Pictures

– Damon D’Oliveira, Producer from Conquering Lion Pictures

– Mila Aung-Thwin, Executive Producer of EyeSteeleFilm

– Richard Boddington, independent producer who’s film Phoenix Wilder will world premiere at DIFF.

As part of the commemoration of the 20 years of the co-production treaty, a selection of four co-produced films will be screened at DIFF. These include A Million Colours, Inescapable, Jonestone: Paradise Lost, and Phoenix Wilder (World Premiere). From 1997 to 2015, a total of 23 official projects have been produced under the treaty including television series such as Jozi-H and Charlie Jade, and feature films such as The Bang Bang Club.

“It is a great pleasure for us to commemorate 20 years of co-production with South Africa at DIFF, and in the presence of a Canadian delegation with significant co-production experience. We look forward to continuing the celebration at the Toronto International Film Festival in September with our South African colleagues’, said Sandra McCardell, High Commissioner of Canada in South Africa.

Canada has signed co-production treaties with 54 countries and South Africa is an important partner being among the top 10 countries for official film and television co-productions with Canada. Canada sees the film industry as an important job creator, and contributor to its economic growth, generating close to C$5 billion (approx. R50 billion) in revenue annually.