It is anticipated that the Durban FilmMart will provide African filmmakers with the opportunity to pitch film products to leading financiers, sales agents worldwide and obtain feedback from internationally-recognised directors and producers which could lead to future collaborations.
“We envisage that the establishment of an international co-production market in association with the Durban International Film Festival (in Durban) has the potential to act as a key driver raising the visibility of film content from the African continent,’ said Toni Monty – acting CEO of the Durban Film Office at the launch of the project during the 30th Durban International Film Festival earlier this month.
This is no flash-in-the-pan idea as the DFO and DIFF have spent the past 18 months researching the situation and forming a business plan ‘that would work within the realities of the African context’.
The key findings were as follows:
· Festivals and markets are key components within the global film economy;
· The scarcity of African projects accessing these markets indicates a need for platforms in Africa which would, not only bring the world to Africa, but improve Africa’s access to the world;
· There is a scarcity of investor-ready projects to sustain a market in the short-term unless they are coupled with training interventions (aimed at developing these products for the market place);
· Public – private partnership is essential for sustainability;
· International Best Practice indicates that the success of these markets is dependent upon affiliation with a recognised and established film festival.
“By providing a funding a co-production forum, the Durban FilmMart aims to redress the paucity of film production on this continent and make a vital contribution to film financing and industry development in a time where stability and growth is sadly sporadic,” said Peter Rorvik – Director of the Centre for Creative Arts and the Durban International.

by Ailsa Windsor

Excerpt from Newsonline