The 7th Durban FilmMart

The industry development programme at this year's Durban FilmMart will address the issue of telling African stories, with the makers of two recent Jozi-made films among those sharing their experiences.

The 7th Durban FilmMart (DFM), Africa's premier film finance and co-production forum, takes place at the Tsogo Sun Elangeni Hotel from 17 to 20 June during the Durban International Film Festival.

The DFM 2016 industry programme aims to stimulate project collaboration between African filmmakers in order to boost the creation of film on the continent and increase the global visibility of African cinema.

The programme has a strong focus on story development, with a number of sessions scheduled to address the subject of what constitutes an African story and how to tell - and sell - these stories both locally and internationally.

Shooting African stories in Johannesburg

Johannesburg-based filmmaker Akin Omotoso and Durban-based filmmaker Junaid Ahmed will share their experiences of developing their respective latest films, Tell Me Sweet Something and Happiness is a Four-Letter Word, both of which were filmed in and around Joburg.

UK-based Selina Ukwuoma, a script consultant who has worked on projects ranging from the Bafta-winning Boy A to the more recent Teddy, will present a master-class on storytelling, while South African author and entrepreneur GG Alcock will give an unusual master-class entitled "Authenticity is Key - Building Credibility with Audiences".

Then the Business Model Canvas Programme, based on Alex Osterwalder's book Business Model Generation, will demystify business model design for film in order to help businesses to get their first principles right.

'Packaging for the US market' with Jeff Byrd

Another highlight of this year's industry programme is "Packaging for the US Market" with Hollywood producer/director and Spike Lee protégé Jeff Byrd, who will be joined in his presentation by SA producer Themba Sibeko, managing director of Ziya Pictures.

Ingrid Kopp, director of Digital Initiatives at the Tribeca Film Institute in New York City, will lead a workshop on the subject of virtual reality and how it looks set to play out in the film space going forward.

And Todd Brown, founder of the international film website, will present a master-class on "Using Short Films to Build Brand and Audience".

There will be a plethora of other workshops and master-classes in addition to these, as well as round-table discussions with industry professionals on finding the right film partners and using international markets and festivals to establish continental and global networks.

The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa will also present a number of sessions, including "Financing Film through Distribution" and "Marketing and Co-Production with Netherlands".

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Source: staff reporter

Contact the Gauteng Film Commission