African animators head to Durban FilmMart

By Content Nigeria reporter
July 15, 2022

Durban FilmMart attendees

The 13th edition of the Durban FilmMart (DFM) is set to take place this month, both in the South African city and as a virtual event online.

Following the theme Revolution/Evolution: Changing the Narrative, the event will be held from July 22 to 26.

It is aimed at facilitating local and international trade and investment in African film content and also highlighting the works of filmmakers changing the narrative in both the established film space and alternative spaces.

Animators from across Africa will be showcasing their new projects at DFM in the catagories of animated fiction series, animated documentary series and animated fiction features.

Projects set to be part of the event include fiction series from Nigeria, namely Aminah’s Journey by Brian O Wilson and Grit by Ajibola Adewole-Oyebokun.

Also in the fiction series category, from South Africa comes Hovers by Bokang Koatjia, Knittyville by Clare Louis and Lolo by Sithembiso Mpehle, while The Memory Keepers, produced by Deidre Jantjies, comes from South Africa and Ivory Coast.

Documentary series include Jupiter’s Cogitations, produced by Stephanie Launay (Burkina Faso).

Fiction features heading to DFM include Kinafo, produced by Alexandre Charlet (Ivory Coast), OKIKI – The Legend of The Half God, produced by Joseph Eseme (Nigeria) and PTD (Prepared To Die), produced by Esther Kemi Gbadamosi (Nigeria).

Magdalene Reddy, general manager of the DFM Institute, said; “Over the last few years there has been an exponential increase of animation productions in Africa. Despite the scarcity of training and development opportunities for animation professionals, there has been notable interest by international networks and broadcasters to purchase African animation content as they see the huge potential of unlocking African consumer markets.

“Recognising the growth, skills and energy of the animation industry and the value it brings to the creative economy, DFM has opened up an enlarged space for animators in the 2022 programme.”

Tendeka Matutu, Netflix’s head of film in sub-Saharan Africa, said: “The Durban FilmMart is an exciting opportunity for the African film community to come together to engage and to share ideas. I’m excited to be attending in person and I’ll be sharing some of our plans for the future and how we hope to make Netflix the home of African film. So I look forward to seeing you all soon and to hear about all the great things you have been working on.”

There will also be panel discussions from key players in film investing institutions, masterclasses and talks by animation experts including Ghanaian animator Francis Brown; Tendayi Nyeke, development executive for Triggerfish Animation Studios; and Diana Maria Rosu, founder of Accra Animation Film Festival. Mo Abudu, CEO at EbonyLife Studios, will also be speaking at the event.

In addition, there will be discussions on the distribution of animation projects, looking at the nuanced difference between animation and live-action, and the challenges and opportunities that exist for film professionals.

The DFM animation programme is supported by the Cultural & Creative Industries project, which is implemented by the German Society for International Cooperation on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut.

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