IFAS to host High-Level French Film Industry Delegation in South Africa

Ten of the 12 High-Level French audio-visual industry delegates to be hosted by IFAS in South Africa under the banner of “New Shared Stories” in July. Left to right: Top: Céline Leclercq, Emmanuel Eckert and Frédéric Fiore Centre: Jérémie Palanque, Lynn Bou Malham and Mathieu Ageron Bottom: Michaël Gabrion, Morad Koufane, Mounia Aram and Rémy Jacquelin Abel Vaccaro and Benjamin Guéniot not pictured

This July, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) is bringing a highly esteemed delegation of twelve audio-visual professionals from France and the Reunion Island to South Africa under the banner of “New Shared Stories”. This is an endeavour to assist them to scout, network and develop relationships with the local film industry and stimulate cross-country collaboration and co-productions.

“In June 2023, an extended co-production agreement between South Africa and France entered into force. It is a unique agreement for France as it includes audiovisual co-productions. It is designed to encourage the creation of new content and narratives by expanding and stimulating co-productions between the two regions. It is a crucial step forward for new shared stories to be invented and for reciprocal investment and partnership,” says Ambassador of France to South Africa, Mr. David Martinon.

This delegation follows a successful partnership between IFAS, the NFVF, and IDC which supported a visit of a South African delegation to the Series Mania Forum in France – the biggest series market in Europe, where the outcomes of this focussed effort led to successful business and networking opportunities for future audio-visual collaborations.

“The visit to South Africa has been built on the success of this, and together with local and French partners, we are excited to host twelve professionals who bring with them a variety of interests and expertise,” adds Mr. Martinon.

In Cape Town, the delegation will visit Cape Town Film Studios, meet industry professionals, visit key locations, and attend the premiere of the film Pierre de Coubertin: An Olympic Life – about French educator Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic Games.

Following this, the delegation will visit Durban to attend the Durban FilmMart, the annual business hub of the African film industry, and the Durban International Film Festival which celebrates its 45th edition this year and will also have a French Focus.

At the DFM, the delegation will participate in panels on animation, documentary and fiction film project pitches in the market’s Pitching Forum. In addition they will visit locations, network, and take business meetings with various other South African and African professionals, audiovisual agencies and commissions in attendance at the market.

The delegation includes:

Mounia Aram, who is President of Mounia Aram Company, specializes in entertainment and cultural exchange, develops innovative productions, and manages distribution as an agent.

Mathieu Ageron is the Deputy Managing Director, Co-Founder and Producer of Nolita which producesseries, documentaries, dramas, music videos, and films for various platforms and channels.

Lynn Bou Malham is Head of Development of Federation Middle East Africa Caribbean (MEAC) a subsidiary of Federation Studios that creates and generates IPs from these regions, and produces high-end local films, TV series, and documentaries.

Emmanuel Eckert is Deputy Purchasing Director at Mediawan Rights, a leading audiovisual group in France and the second largest in Europe, with almost seventy production companies in 7 territories.

Frédéric Fiore is President ofLogical Pictures Group which produces and co-produces, finances, and distributes films, series, documentaries, and commercials in France and internationally.

Michaël Gabrion is Producer atGaumont Film Company, a French production and distribution company for feature films, television series, and animation programmes founded in 1895.

Benjamin Guéniot is a writer-director from Reunion Island with 15 years’ experience of making TV series, commercials and short films in Reunion Island and Madagascar. Since 2023 he has been the founder of Storyto Films, an audiovisual and film production company.

Rémy Jacquelin is President of Paradoxal an audiovisual production company. He was responsible for theatrical distribution, international sales and the financing at Gaumont for ten years, and in charge of acquisitions of feature films and series at TF1 from 2000 to 2012. He joined Malberg Pictures and oversaw programme distribution and co-production and financing.

Morad Koufane isDirector of International and Young Adult Fiction at France Télévisions a public broadcasting group, France’s No. 1 media company. His unit is responsible for acquiring foreign series, co-producing international series, and producing young adult series for the French market.

Céline Leclercq isHead of the Co-production, Cooperation and World Cinema Department at CNC (French National Centre for Cinema and Moving Images), a public administrative body responsible for devising and implementing French government policy in the fields of cinema and other moving image arts and industries, in particular audiovisual, video and multimedia, including video games.

Jérémie Palanque isAssociate Vice-President and Producer of Woooz Pictures which is particularly interested in creators and stories from the world, through international co-productions.

Abel Vaccaro is a director and a producer from Reunion Island who is currently the managing director of Wopé, a short films, documentary and institutional productions company focused on showcasing content from the island.

IFAS will further be supporting the development of pan-African talent through DFM’s Jumpstart programme, a vital incubator dedicated to providing aspiring filmmakers with essential tools and techniques for scriptwriting and project packaging hosted in partnership with Produire au Sud, the film industry market arm of Festival des 3 Continent, in Nantes France. Four projects from the continent have been selected to benefit from Jumpstart in 2024.

A French focus also features at the Durban International Film Festival, and includes documentaries and films such as Dahomey, All We Imagine as Light, and Four Daughters, co-produced with producers from around the globe.

The project is supported by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the French Institute, with IFAS and Alliance française in Durban as part of a strategy for the international export of cultural and creative industries. It also benefits from the support of the Reunion Island Film Commission.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb