The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), with principal funding from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, and the Durban FilmMart (DFM), the joint project of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and DIFF, are pleased to announce that a strategic partnership has been formed with Durban Wild Talk Africa, the continent’s most respected natural history film festival and conference, which takes place at the Docklands Hotel in Durban from July 23 to 26.
The return of Wild Talk Africa to Durban is supported by the City of Durban through Durban Tourism and the Durban Film Office. “We are pleased that after a number of years we can welcome back this prestigious conference and festival to our City,” says Philip Sithole, Head of Durban Tourism and Business Support. “Durban Wild Talk Africa combined with the continent’s two major film events – the Durban International Film Festival and the Durban FilmMart, firms up a truly strong film industry package for visitors and we look forward to welcoming the many local, continental and international industry guests to our shores.”
Durban Wild Talk Africa is considered to be Africa’s key film festival and conference for natural history and wildlife film and television programming. The event includes; workshops, seminars, masterclasses, open pitching sessions, commissioners panels and exhibitions, and is a valuable networking forum with both local and international delegates and industry leaders. This year DWTA will include the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition to be held at uShaka Marine World and sponsored by National Geographic, from 25 July to 25 September 2013.
The Durban International Film Festival is SA’s largest and longest-running film festival, which takes place from July 18 to 28. The Durban FilmMart, which runs parallel to the DIFF from July 19 to 22, is the continent’s premier film industry event, which provides opportunities for selected projects to pitch to financiers and producers, as well as offering a series of master classes and top-drawer networking opportunities with industry players.
A selection of natural history films have been chosen from 445 entries from across the globe, to be screened during 9 slots as part of the DIFF programme. These films were entered as part of Durban Wild Talk Africa’s ROSCAR Awards competition. The Durban Wild Talk Africa has scheduled its conference in the footprint of DIFF, as part of a greater vision to build Durban’s golden mile as a hub for film market activity in the month of July.
“Forming this strategic partnership with Durban Wild Talk Africa, adds a valuable new dimension to DIFF,” says Peter Machen, Manager of DIFF. “The Wild Talk Africa Film Festival selection complements our huge variety of more than 200 factual and fiction films screened at the DIFF. This, no doubt will add to the dynamic and vigorous discourse that usually takes place during the festival both informally and formally in seminars and workshops, as well as in the media.”
“We have chosen our dates to co-incide with the DIFF and DFM in a united effort to build the film festival and market environment for factual content and feature films in Durban,” says Donfrey Meyer, Director of Wild Talk Africa. “As the DWTA is an autonomous conference, running concurrently with the DIFF, we believe that film-makers and industry players will take advantage of the abundance of content, industry representation and opportunities to discuss, network and start conversations about content generation and distribution. There is a global focus on the natural history of this continent and, with this in mind, we are pleased to be welcoming commissioning editors and representatives from Discovery Networks International, NHK Japan Broadcasting Corp., BBC NHU, ORF Austrian Broadcasting Corp., ABC Australian Broadcasting Corp., National Geographic, SABC, NFVF, e.tv. NHU Africa and others to Durban.”
“The success of the Durban FilmMart is clearly demonstrated by the fact that we have seen many of the projects pitched in the finance forum successfully make it to festivals and theatrical release over the past four years.” says Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office. “The DFM provides an important platform for the business of film to be conducted. This, together with the industry events at both the DIFF and DFM, promises to create a conducive environment for delegates to exchange ideas and forge partnerships and relationships.. All of this helps to further develop a dynamic and robust industry on the continent. We see the alignment with Durban Wild Talk Africa as a great opportunity to further promote and develop factual film content in Africa. We are hoping that film-makers and industry representatives attending the DFM will stay on a little longer to engage with Wild Talk Africa, and take in the additional industry opportunities available.”
Registration for the DWTA is now open on www.wildtalkafrica.com. The delegate pass includes full access to workshops, seminars and panels, as well as evening networking events and functions.