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Violence chokes Durban FilmMart



Africa’s premier film event, Durban FilmMart (DFM) has postponed the virtual affair which was scheduled to run from today to July 25 due to the ongoing unrest and violence in parts of South Africa.

The country is witnessing widespread violence, destruction and looting of property in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, which was sparked by the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma last week for his failure to appear before a corruption inquiry.

Zimbabwe has two fiction films, Akashinga produced by Jérémie Palanque and directed by Naishe Nyamubaya, and Come Sunrise, We Shall Rule produced by Bramwel Iro, directed by Nyasha Kadandara.

DFM acting general manager Magdalene Reddy said the 12th edition of Africa’s premier film event, will now take place from August 13 to 22.

“The decision to postpone the virtual event by a month was not taken lightly. The board of the Durban FilmMart has decided that in good conscience, we cannot host an event that celebrates African film while large parts of South Africa are experiencing such trauma,” she said.

“We remain sensitive to what South Africa and its citizens are going through, and this decision takes into account both operational integrity and the safety of all concerned.”

Chairperson of the Durban FilmMart Institute Jacintha de Nobrega said this year’s event will take place under the theme “Disrupt”, adding that the shape of stories to come will interrogate the challenges and opportunities the changes in the film industry represent.

“What we are experiencing right now is disruption on a massive scale, and it directly informs the stories we tell and the way we work. This is a potent reminder that we are not divorced from the reality of the world around us. Celebrating the new contours of access as online leads the way, as remote working connects us differently, and new collaborations emerge,” Nobrega said.

“Using the opportunity to harness the transformative nature of disruption to come out the other side stronger as an institution and more resilient, we are determined to use the power of story-telling as a catalyst to build and strengthen the enormous talent pool that exists in South Africa and across the continent.”

The event will feature 28 projects, comprising 14 documentaries and 14 fiction features selected from hundreds of applications submitted.

Delegate registration is still open on the following link: http://www.durbanfilmmart.co.za

The Durban FilmMart 2021 is produced by the Durban FilmMart Institute with principal funding from the Durban Film Office and Ethekwini Municipality in KwaZulu Natal.

The virtual event is supported by the National Film and Video Foundation, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, Film and Publications Board, International Emerging Film Talent Association, Institut Francais– South Africa, Wesgro and Namibian Film Commission.
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