Durban FilmMart Project Snapped up by Three International Film Festivals

Durban FilmMart Project Snapped up by Three International Film Festivals

A film, which was one of the officially selected projects in the 2011 Durban FilmMart (DFM), a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), recently enjoyed its World Premiere at the Gotebord Film Festival in Sweden and has been snapped up by two other major international film festivals.

Imbabazi: the Pardon, produced and directed by Rwandan film-maker Joel Karekezi, was one of the features that was selected for the 2011 Durban FilmMart, where the film was also awarded the CineMart Rotterdam Lab Award at the DFM, which provided the up and coming producer with accreditation, accommodation and transportation to attend the Lab, an incubator for producers of new projects which ran concurrently with the 2012 International Film Festival of Rotterdam.

Imbabazi: the Pardon had its USA premiere at the San Diego Black Film Festival in January and this month will enjoy its Los Angeles premiere at the prestigious Pan-African Film Festival.

Clearly Karekezi is a young film-maker to watch. With a diploma in film directing from Cinecours Canada, he has fast garnered accolades, awards and notice for his work. In 2010 his short film The Pardon won the best short film award at Silicon Valley African Film Festival (SVAFF), California. In 2012 he had a second project, The Mercy of the Jungle, in the DFM, which was awarded the Canal France International (CFI) Award for the Most Promising Project with a prize of 5000 Euros. 

Imbabazi: the Pardon tells the story of the Tutsi Genocide through the friendship and separation of two protagonists and carries a deep reconciliation message. 

“As an African and Rwandan director, I am proud to have helped bring this story to a wider audience.” explains Karekezi, who is himself a genocide survivor. “I was honoured to work together with my team through pre-production, production and post-production to bring this story to life. I hope that audiences will embrace the message of hope and forgiveness that is at the heart of the film.”

 “Over the past three years, we have seen how the Durban FilmMart has provided important stepping blocks for film projects.” says Toni Monty, of the Durban Film Office. “The process of creating film is long and arduous, and it is vital that emerging film-makers and projects are given the creative space to be able to develop their ideas and vision in the right kind of environment. Joel has clearly grasped at all the opportunities presented to him to develop this film. So we are truly pleased to see this, one of our selected projects, make it through to multi-festival festival releases. ”

The 4th edition of Durban FilmMart takes place from 19 – 22 July 2013 during the Durban International Film Festival (18 – 28 July) and is open for documentary and fiction project submissions.  The closing date for project submissions is the 15 February 2013. 

For more information on the Durban FilmMart and to submit a project visit

For further enquires and submission correspondence contact


February 10, 2012

Issued on behalf of the Durban FilmMart by:

Sharlene Versfeld / Kwazi Ngubane

Versfeld & Associates

031-8115628/ 083 326 3235 /

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 a valued opportunity to pitch projects to financiers, distributors, sales agents and potential co-producers, and participate in meetings, project presentations and a series of master classes and workshops on latest industry trends.

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 SMME’s in the region.

The Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) presents over 250 screenings from different countries and cultures with special focus on Africa; it includes development programmes such as Talent Campus Durban. 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.