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Eight awards at this year’s Durban FilmMart

The 2015 Durban FilmMart announced its market awards and grants at the awards and closing function, sponsored by Videovision Entertainment. The DFM saw around 550 guests from 26 countries, 32 workshop and panel discussion sessions presented by various local and international industry experts and professionals.

“It has been an extremely productive and pleasing market this year, with over 900 official business meetings documented in the Finance Forum,” says Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office, which partners with the DIFF to present the DFM.


The closing night awards dinner saw key local and international partners of the annual co-production market award a number of projects with development support through cash grants, invitations to partner markets or business support, to take the projects through the next stages of development.

This year eight awards were made by an evaluation panel made up of local and international film industry experts.

1. The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program award for a documentary film project that demonstrates potential for strong storytelling craft, artistic use of visual language, originality, feasibility, and relevance went to The Other Half of The African Sky directed and produced by Tapiwa Chipfupa which receives a cash award of $7000 for further development.

2. Afridocs, the broadcast stream that sees African and other international documentaries screened across 49 countries of sub-Saharan Africa on a weekly basis, awarded a €3000 grant for an outstanding documentary project to Truck Mama directed and produced by Zipporah Nyaruri and co-directed by Peggy Mbiyu.

3. The CineMart Award, sponsored by the co-production market of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, awarded the fiction project Sunflowers Behind a Dirty Fence directed by Simon Mukali and produced by Nathan Magoola, with an opportunity to attend the Rotterdam Lab, a five-day training and networking event bringing together producers from all over the world.

4. The International Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (IDFA) awarded the most promising documentary project at the DFM, Truck Mama directed and produced by Zipporah Nyaruri and co-directed by Peggy Mbiyu, with an opportunity to attend the IDFA Forum, the largest and most influential meeting place for documentary filmmakers, producers, commissioning editors, funds, private financiers and other documentary stakeholders in Europe, from 23 – 25 November.

5. The New Cinema Network awarded Riot Waif directed by Zinaid Meeran and produced by Jean Meeran an opportunity to attend the 10th edition NCN in Rome, where the producer/director will be able to present the project to film companies at an international level.

6. Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents (Nantes), awarded the fiction project Inkabi “The Hitman” directed by Norman Maake and produced by Peter Pohorsky with an opportunity to attend its developmental workshop program, PAS, where they will be given tools, expertise, and opportunities to develop European networks.

7. The Restless Pitch awarded a one-on-one consultation with Restless Talent Management co-founder Tendeka Matatu, to two projects: Brace Yourself by Thati Peele, and Lucky by Jacobus van Heerden. The company will provide development services such as image-building and positioning, project packaging, PR and advice on film sales, distribution and promotion. Restless Talent Management also made a special mention of Mark Waambui for Heterophobe for an edgy and challenging concept.

8. Durban’s Videovision Entertainment awarded the “Best South African Film Project” Inkabi “The Hit Man” directed by Norman Maake and produced by Peter Pohorsky a prize which guarantees the films release once it is completed. The prize includes marketing and distribution support from Videovision Entertainment and is valued at R75,000.

Five of these projects have emanated from filmmakers that are either Durban- or Berlin Talents alumni – the industry development programme of the Berlin International Film Festival, with which DIFF is a partner. These are Tapiwa Chipfupa (The Other Half of the African Sky) – Talents Durban (2013) and Talents Berlin (2015); Truck Mama filmmakers – Zipporah Nyaruri – Talents Berlin and Talents Durban (2011) and Peggy Mbiyu Talents Durban (2011) and Talents Berlin (2012), Nathan Magoola (Sunflowers Behind a Dirty Fence) Talents Durban (2013) and Talents Berlin (2012) and Jacobus van Heerden (Lucky) Talents Durban (2013).

“We would like to thank our new and old sponsors and partners who have supported the DFM. It is through their continued interest and support that we are able to assist African filmmakers develop the industry and access the local and international market,” concludes Monty.

For more information, go to http://www.durbanfilmmart.com.