The 40th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), hosted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, in co-operation with Berlinale Talents, is proud to announce the 12th edition of Talents Durban in partnership with Durban FilmMart (DFM), taking place from July 18 to 22, 2019.
Emerging African film professionals should note that the programme has a new application deadline, which is April 30, 2019.
A statement by Nolwazi Magwaza and Sharlene Versfeld Memeza Communications says the exciting partnership with DFM, Africa’s leading film finance and co-production market, aims to raise the visibility of Talents Durban projects, create networking opportunities with potential co-producers, and facilitate funding opportunities for promising projects.
“Talents Durban is open to African screenwriters and directors, with animation, fiction, documentary or hybrid projects in development. The five-day event consists of workshops, discussions, screenings, and programmes for specific disciplines. The initiative also includes Talent Press, a co-operation with FIPRESCI and the Goethe-Institut, which will once again host mentorship for emerging film critics,” says the statement.
Talent Labs features Storytelling Lab, Doc Lab, Animation Lab and Talent Press.
Storytelling Lab selects three features and three short films currently in development. The stories are given advanced consultation and mentoring by three script editors, as well as participating in scriptwriting workshops.
Doc Lab is a hands-on training programme in which three Talents Durban participants who submitted documentary projects are given expert mentorship. The participants then pitch their projects at the Durban FilmMart’s African Pitching Forum.
Animation Lab is open to screenwriters and animation directors with animation projects. The lab will focus on character development, visual development, and the business of animation in Africa.
Talent Press offers mentorship for three emerging African film critics and journalist. Participants will cover the 40th Durban International Film Festival. FIPRESCI is an organisation of film critics and films journalists established for the promotion and development of film culture.
“As well as focused mentorships, industry-specific expert master classes, workshops, and a creative platform for self-expression and networking, Talents Durban will also cover participants’ accommodation, airfare, and festival accreditation. Participants will have direct access to DIFF screenings, DFM masterclasses, networking sessions, and other activities with experts and industry players from around the world,” the statement further explains.
This year’s Talents Durban theme ‘Authenticity’ is inspired by the contemporary moment in African cinema. Following a global renaissance of African cinema and television content, the demand for stories from the continent is rising. African storytellers and audiences seeking to connect with African cinema are grappling with the question of what is authentic African cinema. For filmmakers, this question has a far more inward dimension – before the auteur can offer the answer to this question they have to ask the question of themselves – what is authentic to me? With the four-day programme we are looking for storytellers who embody the future of what it means to have an ‘authentic voice’ – to join this pertinent conversation.
Talents Durban will invite 18 Talents, carefully selected by a panel of industry experts. Prospective Talents should complete the application form online, provided they have a recognised portfolio of previous work and a project in progress. Selected projects will be announced on May 16, 2019.
Applications are now open, online at: http://www.berlinaletalents.de/bt/durban/ap/info/index. Deadline is 30 April 2019.