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Delegate Registration Opens for Durban FilmMart

Durban South Africa: Delegate registration for Durban FilmMart (DFM) opens today (June 6), with the continent's premier film finance and co-production forum urging industry delegates to take advantage of the discounted early bird registration. Now in its fourth edition, the DFM takes place from 19-22 July and promises an exciting programme of masterclasses and networking opportunities.

The Durban FilmMart - a joint project of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) - is an African co-production market that provides a platform for international experts, broadcasters, financiers and filmmakers to meet and develop strategic partnerships that get films made. The four-day event comprises of a programme of Master classes, Africa in Focus panels, networking functions, the DOC Circle Pitching Forum and the Finance Forum for selected projects of the market. Delegates will also get to enjoy the selection of films screening at the  Durban International Film Festival.

“The FilmMart objective is to facilitate the development of African film content and to fuel business and employment opportunities within this sector on the continent,” says Durban Film Office’s Toni Monty. “We have seen some strong projects emerge from the Finance Forum programme into theatrical exhibition and onto important international film festivals. We have also seen how the DFM has become an important meeting point for film-makers from South Africa, Africa and increasingly from beyond the continent to network and engage in meetings, discussions, master classes and further develop their professional careers.”

The Durban FilmMart programme features a range of masterclasses presented by leading industry experts on a wide range of topics ranging from world trends in co-production to finance, distribution, script development and new media. Africa in Focus is comprised of a range of seminars and panel discussions featuring local and international filmmakers experts, specifically dealing with salient issues in African cinema. DOC Circle Pitching Forum is a high-level pitching event where the selected documentary projects of the DFM as well those of as Talent Campus Durban's Doc Station pitch to an audience of financiers, commissioning editors and broadcasters as well as DFM delegates. This pitching forum is invaluable for the development of new filmmakers. In addition, Durban FilmMart  delegates have access to a range of networking events attended by key industry professionals . Delegates can also attend workshops, seminars and screenings in the festival . 

World-renowned film expert Clare Downs will present a scriptwriting workshop entitled Strategies for development: the Agony and Ecstasy. Clare Downs is a founding member of the script analysis team for EAVE and has worked in training, script development, producing and writing for over three decades.  Clare has been involved in many international development and training programmes including the Southern African Producer training programme AVEA (2000 -2005). 

Filmmaker, author, strategist and consultant John Reiss will present a transmedia masterclass drawing from his critically acclaimed book Think Outside the Box Office -The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era. John Reiss is the director of numerous films including the documentaries Bomb It and Bomb It 2, which look at the subversive and often controversial international subcultures around graffiti. 

Presenting a masterclass on co-production entitled The Art of Working Together is Christoph Thoke, a German film and television producer and president of Mogador Film, who has worked for leading German/French broadcaster ARTE and German production companies including Bavaria Films, Taunus Film and CineMedia. Mogador’s first film Lorna's Silence by the Dardene Brothers was selected in competition for Cannes 2008 and screened at the Durban International Film Festival.

Marketing and Publicity for Cinema: the Mentality to Promote is the masterclass to be presented by film distribution and marketing expert Alvaro Vega of Vertigo Films - Spain's leading distribution company (recently incorporated into Wild Bunch). Vega has been involved in the distribution of films for leading directors including David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Wong Kar-Wai, Mike Leigh and Sofia Coppola.

A number of local, continental and international broadcasters,as well as various government agencies, film commissions, and distribution agencies will be in attendance, enabling delegates to establish contact and engage in one-on-one meetings. 

This year the DFM partners and supporters include the International Film Festival Rotterdam's (IFFR) CineMart, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the Berlinale Film Festival, Worldview, and others. Attending DFM this year, the Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival - North America’s largest documentary film festival - through its Blue Ice Fund Group initiative will continue to facilitate a financing and mentorship program for six African film grantees, awarded earlier this year. New partners include Paris Cinema’s film market Paris Project, who will select one project for their 2014 edition. Independent Filmmakers Project, America’s largest independent film non-profit, will select one DFM project to attend their lab for this year. ARTE returns to award a cash prize to the best fiction project, while Festival des 3 Continentes – Nantes and the International Organisation of Francophone will also be in attendance.

Renowned South African film and television pitching coach, Howard Thomas of Busvannah Communications will deliver four one-hour primers on proposal writing and pitching, covering the areas of research, target audience, writing and budgeting. These primers are aimed at beginner and intermediate producers active in content producing and will form part of the Durban FilmMart and Talent Campus Durban programme, with limited seats available to the public.

Following the DFM, and running from 23 to 26 July, is Wild Talk Africa, Africa’s key film festival and conference for natural history and wildlife film and television programming. “This is also a great opportunity for delegates to stay on in Durban and take advantage of the valuable opportunities in factual television-producing and broadcasting that Wild Talk presents.” says Monty.

“This year DFM’s has a really strong contingent of top quality experts and industry representatives, which adds significant weight to the level of engagement that will take place.” says Peter Machen, Manager of the Durban International Film Festival. “We look forward to welcoming delegates and hope that they seize the opportunity to network with the peers and experts in a meaningful way, and that this year’s Durban FilmMart continues to stimulate the growth of the industry on the continent.”

The 4th edition of Durban FilmMart takes place from 19 - 22 July 2013 during the Durban International Film Festival and is now open for delegate registration. Early bird registration, which enables the delegate to be included in the industry manual closes on July 2 and costs R1250. Registration thereafter costs R1750 and closes on July 18.

For more information and to register visit www.durbanfilmmart.com

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