Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents, in Nantes, France together with the French Embassy in South Africa have once again partnered with Africa’s premier film finance and co-production forum, the Durban FilmMart (DFM), which takes place during the 36th Durban International Film Festival from July 16 to 26, 2015.
This is the third year that this prestigious film developmental programme has partnered with the DFM, a film industry development initiative funded by the City of Durban and founded by the Durban Film Office and the Durban International Film Festival.
Produire au Sud, focuses on developing film co-productions, and supports potentially talented producers with techniques to develop their skills in line with international trends and standards. It partners with the DFM in an endeavour to develop African content through a programme around story development, and creating networking opportunities for African filmmakers on an international platform.
The FilmMart, now in it’s 6th year, includes a Finance Forum, Master Classes and Africa in Focus – a programme of workshops, and also offers a series of networking and social sessions with like-minded industry representatives. For this year’s DFM, Produire au Sud and the French Embassy, SA, will be bringing in three leading international experts, Italy-based documentary director/producer Stefano Tealdi, Cannes-born script-writer expert Sari Turgeman and France-based strategy and development consultant Dominique Welinski, who will mentor 19 selected film projects in the finance forum and conduct masterclasses for all attending film industry delegates.
“One of our key objectives is to provide a platform for African filmmakers to promote their stories ,” explains Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office. “Over the year’s we have recognised story development as a key area requiring the most support. So we continue to focus on this area in an endeavour to support the promotion of our continent’s narratives.” says Monty. “The partnership is underscored by a mutual goal to elevate African storytelling, we acknowledge and appreciate the valuable input through this partnership with Produire au Sud and the French Embassy, South Africa.”
“We have similar objectives, although we are on two different continents,” says Produire au Sud’s Head Guillaume Mainguet. “Our programme is set within the Festival des 3 Continents which features films from Africa, Latin America and Asia, and it is with this interest in this relationship with the DFM that we are able to support the development of film in Africa. Working together we are able to identify and guide projects that have potential to be developed and strengthened through the finance forum programme, as well as provide valuable practical insights through the masterclasses to delegates. We will also award one project ; an opportunity to go to the festival in France and work among others, with internationally experience script experts in a week-long programme in our Produire au Sud (PAS) workshop.”
The partnership is further anchored by financial assistance from the French Embassy in South Africa. “We are pleased to once again support the DFM through Produire au Sud’s partnership with the DFM, to bring the experts to Durban and support projects going to France for further development.” says Frédéric Chambon, regional head of Media and Film at the French Embassy. “Our mission is to strengthen the film industry links between France and South Africa and to stimulate growth through creating opportunities for film-makers from both continents to collaborate. In the context of Africa, the DFM is the perfect vehicle for expertise exchange and capacity building.”
A number of projects have, over the past two years been awarded an opportunity to participate in the Produire au Sud (PAS) Script Studio through this partnership. In 2013, the award was given to The Bill directed by Nosipho Dumisa, (co-produced by Travis Taute and Junaid Ahmed) (South Africa) and Whiplash, directed by Meg Rickards (and produced by Jacky Lourens) (South Africa). As part of the France South Africa Seasons that year, Hhola, Hhola directed by Madoda Ncayiyana (and produced by Julie Frederikse) (South Africa) was also selected. Last year, it went to Hawa Hawaii (Kenya / South Africa Co-production) directed by Amirah Tajdin and produced by Wafa Mohamed Tajdin, Bongiwe Selane, Helena Spring and Junaid Ahmed, and Mrs Popplestone (South Africa) directed by Sarah Ping Nie Jones and produced by Jean Meeran.
“The award creates opportunities for the film-makers to have critical input by experts from fresh perspectives.” says Guillaume Mainguet. “It shifts the film-makers out of their local context into an international programme enabling to extend their networks and knowledge. We have seen that in the short space of this partnership strong ties been forged by the recipients of the awards and the international scriptwriters and professionals at the workshop.”
The 6th edition of the Durban FilmMart takes place from 17 – 20 July during the Durban International Film Festival (16 – 26 July). For more information and to register as a delegate visit www.durbanfilmmart.com