France heads to the Durban FilmMart – Africa’s Top Film Industry Event

France heads to the Durban FilmMart – Africa’s Top Film Industry Event
France heads to the Durban FilmMart

Durban, South Africa: The Durban FilmMart (DFM) has firmly established itself as one of the most important meeting grounds to conduct the business of film on the African continent. After the renewed and extended co-production agreement between South Africa and France entered into force in 2023, a delegation of 12 film professionals from France and Reunion Island driven by the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) will make its way to the DFM, taking place from 19 to 22 July, to network with South African filmmakers and begin discussions around possible co-productions for the future.

“This is a very exciting time for filmmakers, as the benefits of co-productions are really enormous,” says Emmanuelle Denavit-Feller, Regional Head of New Media, Film and Music at IFAS. “The fact that a year after the entry into force of this new agreement, we have some serious conversations taking place, is a testament to the will of the French industry to pursue and develop discussions with the South African audiovisual industry including development organisations, film commissions, government structures, individual producers, and other film professionals, that could help pave the way for future productions.”

The Durban FilmMart (DFM)
The Durban FilmMart (DFM)

“As we know, the business of film creates large, small, and micro business ecosystems that not only support the economy, but it also acts as a holistic driver for growth, inclusivity and capacity building. This initiative aims to help the French delegates to scout, network, and build relationships within the local film industry, fostering cross-country collaboration, co-productions and new shared stories to tell.”

 

In driving French-South African collaboration forward, the DFM will also host a ‘Co-Production Focus: France’ session that focuses on co-production opportunities and more broadly on the support schemes proposed by France to international players. The panel will comprise of French delegates Rémy Jacquelin, President of Paradoxal, an audiovisual production company, Morad Koufane, Director of International and Young Adult Fiction at France Télévisions, and Céline Leclercq, Head of the Co-production, Cooperation and World Cinema Department at the Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), as well as South African industry experts, Terrence Khumalo, Project Monitoring & Evaluation Manager at the NFVF, and Ramadan Suleman, Producer and Founder of Natives at Large.

 

The delegation will also participate in panels where 20 animation, documentary, and fiction film projects will be pitched to other potential co-producers, sales agents, broadcasters, and film funds at the DFM Pitch and Finance Forum. Here they will give feedback on the public pitches and also take one-on-one meetings with the filmmakers.

“We are really pleased that such a high-level delegation will be representing the French film industry at the DFM,” says Magdalene Reddy, Director of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “Over the past 15 years, the DFM  has seen the tangible results of the robust engagement that emanates from the market, and we believe that the delegation will be stimulated by the quality of projects and the stories that are being developed on the continent.”

Additionally, IFAS is supporting pan-African talent through DFM’s Jumpstart programme, a dynamic incubator that equips aspiring filmmakers with skills in scriptwriting and project packaging, and aims to empower them to tell their stories with authenticity and impact. This initiative is hosted in collaboration with Produire au Sud, the film industry market of Festival des 3 Continents in Nantes, France.

 

The project is supported by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Institut français in Paris, with IFAS and Alliance française in Durban, as part of a strategy for the international export of cultural and creative industries. It also benefits from the support of the Reunion Island Film Commission.

For more information about IFAS go to www.frenchinstitute.org.za

For more information about the Durban FilmMart go to www.durbanfilmmart.co.za