Earlier this year, a new initiative was launched at the Cannes Film Festival to help provide support for South African filmmakers.
Titled the Cannes South African Film Factory, the program will provide the chance for four South African directors and four international directors to collectively produce four short films that will have a greater likelihood of screening at the official Cannes Film Festival next year. No South African films screened as part of the festival’s official selection this year, but the South African National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) hopes this initiative will help change that in the future.
And it looks like that change has effectively begun.
Courtesy of the NFVF:
DW (France) and Zidaka (South Africa), in partnership with the KwaZulu Natal Film Commission, the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), and the Cannes Quinzaine Directors Fortnight, have announced the selection of the four South African directors who will participate in the inaugural Cannes South African Film Factory – culled from a short list of 12 directors who were invited for final interviews, which took place in Durban on the 15th of July.
The four South Africa directors selected are: Zamo Mkhwanazi, Zee Ntuli, Sheetal Magan, Samantha Nell.
Two of the directors are KwaZulu Natal (KZN) born, and two are from Gauteng.
Cannes South African Film Factory will provide an opportunity for these four directors (who will be matched with four non-South African directors), to collectively direct four short films, which will be produced in South Africa, and then will be screened on the Opening Day of the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors Fortnight / la Quinzaine sidebar, in the official Cannes program next year.
The workshop commences today, Tuesday, July 21, and will run through the 25th, during the Durban International Film Festival this month.
“This is the fourth Factory and, after Asia, Europe and South America, this is the 1st one in Africa. I’m amazed by the high quality of the directors and it was heartbreaking to select only four ”, says Dominique Welinski curator and producer.
Carol Coetzee KZN Film Commission CEO adds “These results are very exciting and mean we are definitely moving in the right direction towards a transformed and sustainable film industry. To have young talents and particularly women being exposed to such an opportunity is a milestone indeed.”
“We are happy to be associated with this project, which not only recognizes our local talent, but also create opportunities for our filmmakers to be the best directors, sharing their vision and talent with the rest of the world. As an enabler, we constantly seek ways of developing the youth and ensuring the growth of our general film industry; this process is aligned to this objective. Congratulations to all selected directors,” says NFVF CEO Zama Mkosi.
Visit the Cannes South Africa Factory website here www.zidaka.co.za.