The Durban FilmMart Institute has announced that the 12th Durban FilmMart (DFM) which will take place virtually from 16 to 25 July 2021, with its call for submissions of film projects in development closing on 21 February.
“Given that there is no absolute clarity on what the global situation will be with the Covid-19 pandemic in the foreseeable future, the DFM Institute board has taken a decision to implement a virtual DFM for 2021 following on the success of the 2020 DFM,” says Magdalene Reddy, acting General Manager of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “As much as we would love to work, network and engage with filmmakers in a physical format, we need to proceed with some level of caution in continuing to service our mandate of developing African film content, and ensuring everyone’s safety whilst doing so.”
Key to the DFM is the bringing together of filmmakers with thought leaders, film funders, festival programmers, agents, buyers, and distributors to get down to the business of making films. Included in this is the internationally regarded finance and pitching forum which, in 2020, saw 80 film projects in development connect with possible markets and partners and funders.
“It’s a robust and highly dynamic market, that has seen countless film projects reaching festivals and screens big and small – which is ultimately the aim for developing content,” continues Reddy. “Some of the successful projects that had their beginnings at the DFM have been officially selected as submissions for the 2021 Academy Awards – this includes Lift like a Girl (Egypt) directed by Mayye Zayed, This is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Lesotho) directed by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, You will Die at 20 (Sudan) directed by Amjad Abu Alala, Softie (Kenya) directed by Sam Soko and The Letter (Kenya) directed by Maia Lekow and Christopher King.
Fifteen feature-length documentary and fifteen fiction projects will be selected by a DFM independent adjudication committee for the pitching forum where the director and producer will participate in a packaging and mentorship programme. This will be followed by one-on-one meetings with international film financiers, buyers, and distributors.