Durban FilmMart Head Toni Monty: ‘Africa Has Its Own Story to Tell’

Variety | 7/17/2019 | Christopher Vourlias
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The Durban Film Festival’s industry program, the Durban FilmMart, celebrates its 10th anniversary as the leading confab for filmmakers from across the continent, with a lively program of panel discussions, seminars and workshops unspooling from July 19-22 in this sunny seaside city. In addition, 10 fiction and 10 documentary works-in-progress have been selected for the DFM’s Finance Forum, a pitching competition that acts as a key launching pad for African projects looking to access the global market.

Like the Durban fest itself, which fetes its 40th anniversary this year, the DFM has grown and evolved, offering a vital snapshot of the production landscape on a continent that is constantly in flux. This year’s edition includes a day-long documentary strand, Durban Does Docs, that will bring together documentary filmmakers, funders and industry professionals from across the globe to explore the potential for the African doc space; Engage @ DFM, a series of think tanks and in-depth discussions concerning diversity and de-colonial approaches to and models for filmmaking; and the Locations Africa Expo and Conference, which will reignite efforts to position Africa as a key filming destination for international and local film productions.

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Variety spoke to Durban Film Office and DFM head Toni Monty about the FilmMart as a unique meeting place for African filmmakers, the role the “global North” can play in supporting African talent, and how the DFM can stay relevant as it embarks on its second decade. “We would like to see the industry playing a bigger role in determining the future of the African market,” says Monty. “Our message to the rest of world this year? Africa has its own story to tell, please do take a moment to listen.”

The Durban FilmMart is the leading confab for both the South African film industry, and for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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