Durban FilmMart – Offering The African Film Industry Opportunities To Connect And Develop

The 8th edition of the annual Durban FilmMart (DFM), the joint film industry programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), promises many opportunities for African filmmakers to build valuable business networks during the four days of masterclass’s, seminars and industry events at the Tsogo Elangeni Hotel in Durban from July 14 to 17 this year.

The DFM, which takes place during the DIFF, the longest running film festival in the country, will see some 500 delegates, from South Africa, the continent and abroad, gather in the City to engage in the “business” of film.

A diverse industry programme is scheduled for this year’s DFM, which aims to stimulate collaboration between African filmmakers and international producers and financiers. Key speakers include film distributor Tilane Jones, ARRAY Now, audience development specialist Moikgantsi Kgama, ImageNation, film executive Charles Hopkins, Shoreline Entertainmnet, writer-director Shmerah Passchier, virtual reality expert Ingrid Kopp, distributor Nicole Brooks, editor-director Karen Harley, editor-producer Sabrina S Gordon, producer Mila Aung-Thwin, screenwriter Busisiwe Ntintili, filmmaker, playwright, poet and activist Tsitsi Dangarembga, producer-director Stefano Tealdi and producer, director and writer Alby James.

Topics covered by the speakers include “Women Led Film – Disrupting the Status Quo”, “Ten Questions to ask yourself before making your Pitch”, “Virtual Reality: What’s Happening in Africa and What Can We Make Happen?”, “Making Socially Impactful Documentaries”, “From Novel to Script”, “Interpreting the Script for the Screen”, “Understanding German Film Funds”, “Co-producing with Canada”, “Film Finance: State of the Industry” and “African Distribution” amongst others.

With the thematic focus of “Women Led Film – Disrupting the Status Quo”, the DFM and DIFF, together with the Durban Film Office, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the lobby and advocacy organization Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT), and international partner CaribbeanTales Media Group, will be focusing on the role of women in the industry. The programme will present a number of workshops, roundtables and panel discussions with leading women in film.

The DFM Finance Forum programme provides pre-selected African film-makers with the opportunity to pitch film projects to leading financiers, broadcasters and other potential funders.  This year 10 documentaries and 12 feature fiction films in development will be pitching their projects, providing them with valuable opportunities to fine-tune and further consolidate their ideas towards a fully-fledged film for screening. The Finance Forum programme is supported by platinum sponsors, Industrial Development Corporation SA and National Film and Video Foundation SA, and a number of key international partner markets, including Cinemart Rotterdam, International Film Festival Amsterdam, Hot Docs Canada, Produire au Sud France, Sundance USA, Restless Talent UK, Berlinale Talents Germany, Sørfond Norway, Afridocs, as well as local programme partners, The Realness and VideoVision Entertainment.

As part of a collaboration between DFM and Produire au Sud, Nantes, producer director, Stefano Tealdi, will be conducting a pitching workshop for DFM Official fiction projects and DFM’s “Jumpstart” projects. The Jumpstart programme was created in an endeavour to support emerging filmmakers to bridge the gap from self-funding projects to investment/funded ones, this year’s Jumpstart programme offers ten young South African filmmakers, an opportunity to hone their pitching skills.

Nicole Brooks, vice president of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution facilitates the CaribbeanTales Market Incubator Programme. Brooks will be presenting “CineFAM – Africa, an Accelerator programme for African women filmmakers” for pre-selected filmmakers.

“Fostering collaboration between African filmmakers is vital for the future growth of African cinema,” says Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office. “The Durban FilmMart aims to provide an affective platform in Durban, to raise the visibility of African cinema, act as a stimulus for production and facilitate project collaboration between African filmmakers.”

The 8th Durban FilmMart takes place in Durban, at the Tsogo Sun Elangeni from 13 to 17 July 2017, during the 38th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (13-23 July 2017).

For more information on the Durban FilmMart and to register as a delegate visit

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers.

Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry.

Catch him on Twitter:
And IMDb: