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01 June 2021 19:01

‘Disrupt! The Shape of Stories to Come’ is the theme of Durban FilmMart 2021

‘Disrupt! The Shape of Stories to Come’ is the theme of Durban FilmMart 2021

Africa’s premier film industry event, the Durban FilmMart, is embracing the disrupting effect the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the film industry when the event kicks off virtually in July. Under the theme, 'Disrupt! The shape of stories to come', the 12th edition of the DFM takes place from 16 - 25 July 2021.

“Building on the success of our first all-digital market last year, the 12th Durban FilmMart will look to unpack the disruption that the film industry has had to navigate while celebrating the unique opportunities it has presented,” explains Magdalene Reddy, acting General Manager of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “We will also acknowledge key aspects that are unique to us as Africans - all while offering the same fair access across the industry, fostering community within the African film industry, and providing a platform for networking with an international market,” says Reddy.

“As a key entry point for both creatives and business professionals, the DFM is a pan-African platform that connects our industry to the world. The 2021 edition will harness the energy of the times, in which online networking, financing, cloud-based workflows and disruption of the distribution eco-system have the potential to democratize access across the film value chain.”

The Pitch Forum from 16-19 July, brings together financiers, funders, investors, and programmers with 70 African projects in development. These include the DFM documentary and fiction projects, participants of the Talents Durban programme in partnership with Berlinale Talents, and a spotlight on selected projects from Lusophone Africa in partnership with the International Emerging Film Talent Association. The Jumpstart incubator programme, in partnership with Produire au Sud, will provide script development mentorship for 6 emerging directors.

Following last year’s inaugural DFM Content Shop, the 2021 programme will present a digital catalogue of 60 African projects (fiction, documentary film of all lengths as well as series and animation) that are ready for sale and distribution. These films have been curated to reflect the unique storytelling of African that is available to the international market.

This year's Industry Programme sees the introduction of new focus areas as well as the return of the successful DFM in Conversation, Durban Does Docs, Engage and Talent Filmmaker Talks.

The DFM in Conversation is a series of keynote talks with leading content producers working in or with Africa. Speakers include Effie T. Brown, the CEO of Gamechanger Films, a highly acclaimed award-winning, film television and digital producer. In addition, the stream will include Kenyan filmmaker and member of the Academy Judy Kibinge, who has written and directed several award-winning fiction and documentary films and multi Emmy Award nominee, Coréon Dú (Semba Comunicação Group) who has over the past 15 years, contributed to the creative industries in his native Angola and beyond.

_Academy Judy Kibinge.jpg

The Durban Does Docs sessions will provide delegates the opportunity to engage with documentary film directors, organisations and initiatives in a series of discussions that centre around the creative documentary filmmaking process. Participating industry players include Mohamed Ouma (DOC-A, Comoros ), Jihan El Tahiri (Doxbox, Egypt), Theresa Hill (Steps, South Africa), Xoliswa Sithole (Documentary Filmmaker Association, South Africa), Steven Markowitz (African Screen Network, South Africa) amongst others.

Talents Filmmaker Talks invites a range of directors from the continent to highlight their storytelling journeys through the various forms of fiction, and documentary. Speakers include film professionals from across the continent such as Mahad Hashi (Somali Reacts, Somalia), Isaac Godfrey Geoffrey Nabwana (Wakaliwood, Uganda), Kenneth Gyang (Òlòturé, Nigeria), Matias Mariani (Shine Your Eyes, Brazil), as well others.

DFM 2021 will introduce a new Animation @ DFM stream which will spotlight the growing influence of animation on the continent. The sessions will allow animators to engage with leading professionals from organisations such as Toon Up (Nigeria), Kugali (Nigeria/Uganda), Na Aap Production (South Africa), Katanimate Studios (South Africa), Tshimologong (South Africa), African Animation Network (South Africa/Morocco/Kenya), Triggerfish Academy (South Africa) and Animation SA (South Africa).

Triggerfish Academy (South Africa) .jpg

Content Shop New Pathways, another new edition to the programme, is a focus on digital opportunities in the areas of training, sales, distribution and festival strategy available on the continent as access to filmmaking across the world becomes more inclusive.

The travelling think tank programme, Engage, will involve filmmakers from Cairo and Lusophone Africa in a programme of robust discussions.

The 2021 Durban FilmMart will interrogate the challenges and opportunities that the changes in the film industry represent, while celebrating the new contours of access as online leads the way, remote working connects us differently, and new collaborations emerge.

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