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This holds true for two respected filmmakers producer Neil Brandt and director Francois Verster who will be returning to the Durban FilmMart with their documentary film project for the second time. “Durban FilmMart seems to be becoming the prime film continental film event on the calendar year, combining the best of creative showcasing and business opportunities which are equally important to any filmmaker,” said Brandt who is co-founder of Gauteng-based production and distribution company Fireworx Media.
Both Brandt and Verster’s documentary project The Dream of Shahrazad was part of the official selection at the inaugural Durban FilmMart in 2010 , having recently won the Best Doc in Progress Award at the Sunny Side of the Docs Film Festival in France last month. The Durban FilmMart assisted the duo in meeting and collaborating with a French coproducer for the film which unlocked the opportunity to their attendance at the documentary film festival, said Brandt. The award was a boost for the film and reaffirmed the confidence of their work and interest in African Cinema, said Verster.
Their return to the Durban FilmMart is a testament of their eagerness to promote their work to the best possible audience, said Brandt. “The Durban Film Mart is a highly focused and professional networking environment, and with many local and international broadcasters, funders and distributors present, it’s the perfect environment for films to find partners,” he said.
Durban Film Office Head Toni Monty said that coproduction and finance film market was serving the needs of filmmakers from around the African continent. “This is what the Durban FilmMart is about-identifying the potential and talent of African filmmakers and giving them a platform to make their projects a reality and success,” said Monty.
The 3rd edition of Durban FilmMart, which takes place from 20-23 July 2012, was created as a joint programme of the Durban Film Office and the Durban International Film Festival and 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.
Both Brandt and Verster have a long history of successful collaboration- their acclaimed documentary A Lions Trail won the filmmakers an Emmy Award for Artistic and Cultural Achievement in 2006, When the War is Over won the Best Film at the Norwegian Documentary Film Festival in 2003 and Best Documentary at Milan African Film Festival in 2004, amoungst others. The pair also recently returned from Egypt after completing production on the film Storyteller in Egypt for the Jazeera English Channel. Brandt have Verster have also independently won a number of filming awards that have been broadcast worldwide and appeared at international festival awards.
Peter Rorvik, director of the Durban International Film Festival belives that the event will positively impact on all participants and official delegates. Said Rorvik; “We are confident that there will be many more success stories to come as a result of Durban FilmMart.”
For more information on the registration process visit the official website; www.durbanfilmmart.com
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