With most cultural events going digital as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, the 11th Durban FilmMart (DFM) Virtual Edition, which takes place from September 4 to 13 is no exception.
"Using the theme Brave New Cinema, we are bringing together leading and emerging African film professionals in an online space, to benchmark themselves, learn from peers, pitch their ideas and projects and network, and demonstrate our courage to tell our own stories," DFM head, Toni Monty said.
"DFM 2020 will focus on African filmmakers who contribute cinema images that celebrate, and canonise our struggles and our beauty," says Monty.
"These stories challenge oppressive structures, engage with dominant value systems, and reflect our daily experiences. The creation of film is an act of courage because of the ever-increasing challenges in both funding and media freedom in many parts of the continent. This will be a gathering of filmmakers in a celebration of collective African resilience, collective victories and a call for the stories of the future."
The programme looks at current filmmaking development, distribution and marketing trends, with a Pan-African focus, and how the future of cinema will navigate new landscapes including the digital world.
To connect these professionals across the post-colonial divides and create new synergies and networks, this edition will include French and Portuguese, two languages largely spoken around the continent.
The DFM's unique online approach has birthed the following: The DFM Content Shop (a film catalogue); The Pitch Forum (September 4 to 7) will offer financiers, funders, investors, and programmers a chance to fully explore the 70 African projects in development that will be presented.
Also, Engage, the pan-African think tank will discuss the difficult social, economic, and political landscapes that filmmakers are required to navigate.