Durban FilmMart Institute Announces DFM Access Projects Selected to Pitch at DFM 2023

Durban FilmMart Institute Announces DFM Access Projects Selected to Pitch at DFM 2023

The Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) is pleased to announce the three projects selected from 2023 DFM Access Programme to pitch at the DFM Pitch and Finance Forum in Durban from 21 – 24 July.

DFM Access is a programme that supports emerging filmmakers who already have long-form or episodic film projects in development. It aims to help participants enhance their projects and improve their pitching skills to succeed in the global film market. The 12-week programme, which concluded in May, was sponsored by the National Film and Video Foundation’s PESP funding. 

During the programme, 23 South African projects received one-on-one mentorship and weekly masterclasses highlighting story development, film financing, international co-production, distribution, film packaging and pitching and much more. The programme concluded with all 23 projects receiving the opportunity to pitch their projects to a panel of industry professionals with three chosen to be featured as part of the 29 official projects – comprising 8 animation, 10 documentary and 11 fiction projects – participating in the 14th annual Durban FilmMart Pitch and Finance Forum.

“DFM Access is an important platform to develop filmmakers who have never participated in a market before.  We are grateful to all the mentors and speakers who have invested their expertise and knowledge into the next generation of filmmakers.  Although only 3 filmmakers were selected to participate in DFM 2023, we believe that all project participants received valuable guidance that will benefit their careers long term.” – Magdalene Reddy, Director of DFMI.

Selected Projects:


Namakwaland, The Green Frontier, produced by Haroon Gunn-Salie

“It is an honour and a privilege to be selected to present my project at the Durban FilmMart Pitch and Finance Forum. Participating in the Access programme over the past few months has been an enriching experience and to be selected from a group of incredible peers is greatly encouraging. I am appreciative of my mentor Khalid Shamis, as well as all the panellists who shared their experiences, wisdom and insights in weekly sessions. I am grateful to the Durban FilmMart Institute for the opportunity and care throughout the process.” – Haroon Gunn-Salie


Abany’ Omama (Some Mothers), produced by Minenhle Luthuli

“After an intense 12 weeks at Access, I’m looking forward to finally putting all the theory I learned about project packaging into action at Pitch and Finance Forum.” – Minenhle Luthuli



GASLIGHT, produced by Emma Tollman

“What is meant for you won’t miss you. I put my heart and back into DFM Access. Self-belief and bravery is vulnerable against the odds. As Writer and Producer, it feels incredible to receive this opportunity. At the Pitch and Finance Forum, I intend to meet prospective co-production and distribution partners.” – Emma Tollman

The Durban FilmMart (DFM), Africa’s leading film industry event, returns for its 14th edition under the theme “African Constellations” from July 21 – 24, 2023 in Durban. After the shift to digital, the event is welcoming attendees back for an in-person experience. The focus of DFM 2023 is to celebrate the champions of film industry initiatives and envision a future-forward African Star System for professionals. Inspired by the constellations in the sky, the event aims to highlight each film project as a unique world, showcasing the diverse and abundant continent. The programme includes live action and animation projects in development, masterclasses, panel discussions and roundtables covering various topics such as women in film, marginalised communities, queer representation and partnerships within Africa and the diaspora. The goal is to foster networking, collaboration and new ideas to push the African film industry to new heights.

The Durban FilmMart Institute, which organises DFM 2023, receives its primary funding from the Durban Film Office and the eThekwini Municipality. The success of the event is made possible through the generous support of various organisations and entities. These include DW Akademie, Ford Foundation, NEFTI, National Film and Video Foundation, Netflix, Amazon, Film and Publication Board, KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, KZN Convention Bureau, Industrial Development Cooperation, International Emerging Film Talent Association, Sheer Publishing, French Institute in South Africa, Namibian Film Commission, Wesgro, CC&A, Eastern Cape Development Cooperation, Panavision, Africa No Filter and Trans-Saharan Artistic Mobility Fund.

Additionally, the event benefits from partnerships with esteemed organisations and festivals. These programme partners include the Durban International Film Festival, African Real Collective, Animation SA, Berlinale Talents, Cinemart, Digital Lab Africa, Documentary Filmmakers Association, DOK.fest München, Dok Leipzig, FIDA DOC, The Gotham, Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund, International Documentary Association, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Independent Black Filmmakers Collective, Independent Producers Organisation, Locations Africa, Miradas Doc, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Produire au Sud, Red Sea Fund, Sørfund, SWIFT, TikTok, The Whickers, Trace Studios, TRT Sinema and Writers Guild of South Africa.

Visit for more information and to explore the full programme of activities and opportunities on offer at DFM.

For Further questions: [email protected]



About the Durban FilmMart Institute:

Durban FilmMart Institute is the business hub of the African film industry in a world where professionals and products are globally competitive and celebrated. The mission of the Durban FilmMart Institute is to provide appropriate and effective programmes and services to promote, support and facilitate investment in the African film industry.

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