The Durban FilmMart (DFM) – the joint initiative of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and Durban Film Office (DFO) – which takes place from 17 to 20 July, has announced partners’ awards for this year’s market, with an exciting new award being presented by the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.
Considered one of Africa’s most important film finance platforms and industry gatherings, the FilmMart sees about 500 film-makers from around the globe, with a significant representation from Africa, attend the festival for four days of industry development forums and networking sessions. An integral part of the DFM is the finance and co-production forum, which this year has 10 features and nine documentary films selected for intense mentoring and pitch sessions to financiers and distributors, and other industry representatives.
Over the years the DFM has developed key relationships with countless industry partners that have seen the value of supporting and developing African content for both continental and global markets.
This year the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program will award a documentary film project that demonstrates potential for strong storytelling craft, artistic use of visual language, originality, feasibility, and relevance with a cash award of US$7000 for further development. “In light of the tremendous talent for documentary filmmaking in Africa and the significant work of the DFM to celebrate those artists, the award is designed to contribute to and support the work of an African non-fiction filmmaker.” explains Rahdi Taylor, film fund director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. “In supporting a broad spectrum of cinematic and creative non-fiction projects globally, Sundance Institute embraces contemporary storytellers as part of the collective consciousness of culture, and documentary film as a vital contributor to the language of the 21st century.”
Partners and awards this year include:
Afridocs, the broadcast stream that sees African and other international documentaries screened across 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa on a weekly basis, will offer a €3000 grant for one outstanding documentary project.
The CineMart Award, sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, provides a fiction project 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) awards the most promising documentary project at the DFM 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 23 to 25 November.
The New Cinema Network awards will give an official project 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), will give one fiction project 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 award, is a one-year representation deal for the project by Restless Talent Management, who provide development services such as image-building and positioning, project packaging, PR, and advises its clients on film sales, distribution and promotion.
Durban’s Videovision Entertainment, will once again award the ‘Best South African Film Project’ a prize valued at R75 000, which guarantees its release once it is completed. The prize includes marketing and distribution support from Videovision Entertainment.
“We are immensely grateful to all our partners for the generous opportunities they have created for the DFM selected projects,” says Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office. “For independent film-makers, this is such an ideal opportunity to take their projects to the next level through the mentorship and support provided at the Market. We are looking forward to a robust and stimulating market this year, and seeing how the projects will evolve and develop through the DFM process.”