France Partners with Africa’s Premier Film Market again

Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes, France partners with Africa’s Premier Film Market Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents, in Nantes, France together with the French Embassy in South Africa have once again partnered with Africa’s premier film finance and co-production forum, the Durban FilmMart (DFM), which takes place during the 36th Durban International Film Festival from July 16 to 26, 2015.

This is the third year that this prestigious film developmental programme has partnered with the DFM, a film industry development initiative funded by the City of Durban and founded by the Durban Film Office and the Durban International Film Festival.

Produire au Sud, focuses on developing film co-productions and supports potentially talented producers with techniques to develop their skills in line with international trends and standards. It partners with the DFM in an endeavour to develop African content through a programme around story development, and creating networking opportunities for African filmmakers on an international platform.

The FilmMart, now in it’s 6th year, includes a Finance Forum, Master Classes and Africa in Focus – a programme of workshops, and also offers a series of networking and social sessions with like-minded industry representatives. For this year’s DFM, Produire au Sud and the French Embassy SA, will be bringing in three leading, international experts, Italy-based documentary director/producer Stefano Tealdi, Cannes-born script-writer expert Sari Turgeman and France-based strategy and development consultant Dominique Welinski, who will mentor 19 selected film projects in the finance forum and conduct masterclasses for all attending film industry delegates.

“One of our key objectives is to provide a platform for African filmmakers to promote their stories ,” explains Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office. “Over the years we have recognised story development as a key area requiring the most support. So we continue to focus on this area in an endeavour to support the promotion of our continent’s narratives.” says Monty. “The partnership is underscored by a mutual goal to elevate African storytelling, we acknowledge and appreciate the valuable input through this partnership with Produire au Sud and the French Embassy, South Africa.”

“We have similar objectives, although we are on two different continents,” says Produire au Sud’s Head Guillaume Mainguet. “Our programme is set within the Festival des 3 Continents which features films from Africa, Latin America and Asia, and it is with this interest in this relationship with the DFM that we are able to support the development of film in Africa. Working together we are able to identify and guide projects that have potential to be developed and strengthened through the finance forum programme, as well as provide valuable practical insights through the masterclasses to delegates. We will also award one project an opportunity to go to the festival in France and work among others, with internationally experience script experts in a week-long programme in our Produire au Sud (PAS) workshop.”

The partnership is further anchored by financial assistance from the French Embassy in South Africa. “We are pleased to once again support the DFM through Produire au Sud’s partnership with the DFM, to bring the experts to Durban and support projects going to France for further development.” says Frédéric Chambon, regional head of Media and Film at the French Embassy. “Our mission is to strengthen the film industry links between France and South Africa and to stimulate growth through creating opportunities for film-makers from both continents to collaborate. In the context of Africa, the DFM is the perfect vehicle for expertise exchange and capacity building.”

A number of projects have, over the past two years been awarded an opportunity to participate in the Produire au Sud (PAS) Script Studio through this partnership. In 2013, the award was given to The Bill directed by Nosipho Dumisa, (co-produced by Travis Taute and Junaid Ahmed) (South Africa) and Whiplash, directed by Meg Rickards (and produced by Jacky Lourens) (South Africa). As part of the France South Africa Seasons that year, Hhola, Hhola directed by Madoda Ncayiyana (and produced by Julie Frederikse) (South Africa) was also selected. Last year, it went to Hawa Hawaii (Kenya / South Africa Co-production) directed by Amirah Tajdin and produced by Wafa Mohamed Tajdin, Bongiwe Selane, Helena Spring and Junaid Ahmed, and Mrs Popplestone (South Africa) directed by Sarah Ping Nie Jones and produced by Jean Meeran.

“The award creates opportunities for the film-makers to have critical input by experts from fresh perspectives.” says Guillaume Mainguet. “It shifts the film-makers out of their local context into an international programme enabling to extend their networks and knowledge. We have seen that in the short space of this partnership strong ties been forged by the recipients of the awards and the international scriptwriters and professionals at the workshop.”

The 6th edition of the Durban FilmMart takes place from 17 – 20 July during the Durban International Film Festival (16 – 26 July). For more information and to register as a delegate visit Durban Film Mart

Note to Editors:

The Durban FilmMart (DFM) is a co-production and finance market and is a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF). DFM provides filmmakers from across Africa with a valuable opportunity to pitch projects to financiers, distributors, sales agents and potential co-producers, and to participate in meetings, project presentations and a series of master classes and workshops on the latest industry trends. Durban Film Mart

The Durban Film Office (DFO) is the film industry development arm of the eThekwini Municipality, mandated to position Durban as a world-class film production destination and facilitator for the development of the local film industry. The DFO drives activity and development in the sector in order to boost tourism, job creation and the development of core skills and SMMEs in the region. Durban Film Office

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) presents over 250 screenings from different countries and cultures with a special focus on Africa. The festival includes development programmes such as Talent Campus Durban and a rich schedule of workshops. DIFF is a flagship project of the Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal, which facilitates creative platforms and economic opportunities for artists and related industries, intercultural exchange and network development, training, audience development and strategic Pan-African and international cooperation in the cultural sectors. Centre For Creative Arts, UKZN

Issued on behalf of DFM by:

Sharlene Versfeld/Ayanda Mabanga, Versfeld & Associates / Email Versfeld & Associates

031-8115628/083 326 3235

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