PRODUIRE au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents, in Nantes, France, and the French Embassy in South Africa have 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.
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.
The FilmMart, now in it’s sixth 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.
They will mentor 19 selected film projects in the finance forum and conduct masterclasses for all 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 Produire au Sud’s head Guillaume Mainguet: “We have similar objectives, although we are on two different continents.
“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.”
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) and Whiplash, directed by Meg Rickards (and produced by Jacky Lourens).
As part of the France South Africa Seasons that year, Hhola, Hhola directed by Madoda Ncayiyana (and produced by Julie Frederikse) was also selected.
Last year, it went to Hawa Hawaii, directed by Amirah Tajdin and produced by Wafa Mohamed Tajdin, Bongiwe Selane, Helena Spring and Junaid Ahmed, and Mrs Popplestone, directed by Sarah Ping Nie Jones and produced by Jean Meeran.