After a packed four day programme of project pitching, industry masterclasses, seminars and workshops, and networking, the 6th Durban FilmMart (DFM) comes to a close with the announcing of the market awards and grants at the awards and closing function sponsored by Videovision Entertainment.
The DFM saw around 550 guests from 26 countries, 32 workshop and panel discussion sessions presented by various local and international industry experts and professionals.
“It has been an extremely productive and pleasing market this year, with over 900 official business meetings documented in the Finance Forum.” says Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office, which partners with the DIFF to present the DFM. “The Durban FilmMart is considered one of Africa’s most important film finance platforms: this is borne out of the fact that we have been able to track the progress of many of the projects which had their beginnings at the market which have successfully made it to the screen. This year the Durban International Film Festival was able to screen six DFM alumni films, a concrete indication that this model is working well.”
“Once again we are honoured to have hosted this important film event, which brings together industry representatives from around the globe.” says Monty. “Besides the many levels of business that is conducted at this market, we are also proud to be able to showcase the City as a film destination on a global level to the hundreds of delegates attending.”
The closing night awards dinner sees key local and international partners of the annual co-production market, award a number of projects with development support through cash grants, invitations to partner markets or business support, to take the projects through the next stages of development.
This year 8 awards were made by an evaluation panel made up of local and international film industry experts. Recipients of the 2015 DFM awards are as follows:
The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program award for a documentary film project that demonstrates potential for strong storytelling craft, artistic use of visual language, originality, feasibility, and relevance went to The Other Half of The African Sky directed and produced by Tapiwa Chipfupa which receives a cash award of $7000 for further development.
Afridocs, the broadcast stream that sees African and other international documentaries screened across 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa on a weekly basis, awarded a €3000 grant for an outstanding documentary project to Truck Mama directed and produced by Zipporah Nyaruri and co-directed by Peggy Mbiyu.
The CineMart Award, sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, awarded the fiction project Sunflowers Behind a Dirty Fence directed by Simon Mukali and produced by Nathan Magoola, with an opportunity to attend the Rotterdam Lab, a five-day training and networking event bringing together producers from all over the world.
The International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) awarded the most promising documentary project at the DFM, Truck Mamadirected and produced by Zipporah Nyaruri and co-directed by Peggy Mbiyu, with an opportunity to attend the IDFA Forum, the largest and most influential meeting place for documentary filmmakers, producers, commissioning editors, funds, private financiers and other documentary stakeholders in Europe, from November 23 to 25.
The New Cinema Network awarded Riot Waif directed by Zinaid Meeran and produced by Jean Meeran an opportunity to attend the 10th edition NCN in Rome, where the producer/director will be able to present the project to film companies at an international level.
Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes), awarded the fiction project Inkabi “The Hitman” directed by Norman Maake and produced by Peter Pohorsky with an opportunity to attend its developmental workshop program, PAS, where they will be given tools, expertise, and opportunities to develop European networks.
The Restless Pitch awarded, a one-on-one consultation with Restless Talent Management co-founder Tendeka Matatu, to two projects: Brace Yourselfby Thati Peele, and Lucky by Jacobus van Heerden. The company will provide development services such as image-building and positioning, project packaging, PR, and advice on film sales, distribution and promotion. Restless Talent Management also made a special mention of Mark Waambui forHeterophobe for an edgy and challenging concept.
Durban’s Videovision Entertainment, awarded the “Best South African Film Project” Inkabi “The Hit Man” directed by Norman Maake and produced by Peter Pohorsky a prize which guarantees the films release once it is completed. The prize includes marketing and distribution support from Videovision Entertainment and is valued at R75 000.
Five of these projects have emanated from film-makers that are either Durban- or Berlin Talents alumni – the industry development programme of the Berlin International Film Festival, with which DIFF is a partner. These are Tapiwa Chipfupa (The Other Half of the African Sky) – Talents Durban (2013) and Talents Berlin (2015); Truck Mama filmmakers – Zipporah Nyaruri – Talents Berlin and Talents Durban (2011) and Peggy Mbiyu Talents Durban (2011) and Talents Berlin (2012), Nathan Magoola (Sunflowers Behind a Dirty Fence) Talents Durban (2013) and Talents Berlin (2012) and Jacobus van Heerden (Lucky) Talents Durban (2013).
“We had a very strong line up of projects this year,” says Monty. “We were pleased with the diverse topics and themes that have been explored in both the fiction and documentary sections, and with strong representation of filmmakers collaborating across the continent. The DFM has been placing emphasis on the telling of African narratives, and in doing so hope to continue to discover new African projects.”
“We have seen numerous filmmakers pitching projects at the DFM over the past 6 years go from strength to strength. They are engaging more confidently with the many financiers, funders, sales and distribution agents, showing a maturing of the market.”
“We would like to thank our new and old sponsors and partners who have supported the DFM. It is through their continued interest and support that we are able to assist African filmmakers develop the industry and access the local and international market.” says Monty.
For more information on the Durban FimMart visit www.durbanfilmmart.com