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Talent Campus exports to Africa

Five-day Berlinale film program held at Durban

The Talent Campus Durban (TCD) is an intensive five-day program of workshops and seminars that runs alongside — and is overseen by — the Durban Film Festival.

The TCD is held in cooperation with the Berlin Film Festival’s Talent Campus. The Berlinale has exported the Talent Campus concept to selected festivals in other countries, such as Argentina (Buenos Aires), Mexico (Guadalajara) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo).

In South Africa, the Talent Campus was originally aligned with the Sithengi Film and Television Market, which collapsed after its November 2006 edition left it over budget and underfunded..

TCD targets African filmmakers, living in Africa. The first edition in Durban attracted 40 participants from 19 countries and this year the same number will be attending from 21 countries.

Under the theme Roots and Shoots: Creating a New African Cinema, this year’s TCD includes daily sessions to practice pitching, visits to local production companies like Videovision and Vuleka, script stations and a networking dinner with festival guests.

The filmmakers also benefit from the broader program of open workshops, which attracted 1,500 members of the public last year in a province where the film industry is still in its infancy. Many of the films screening at the festival have their directors on various panels, so aspiring filmmakers benefit from the diverse experiences of Cameroonian, Kenyan, Indian, Indonesian, Italian, Nigerian, Palestinian, Senegalese and South African helmers.

In addition, entertainment lawyer Debbie Lazarus will discuss copyrights; the Refinery’s Tracey Williams will explore post production; there will be two days focusing on animation; and Mtutuzeli Matshoba (“Chicken Biznis”) will discuss writing screenplays in indigenous languages.

Christine Troestrum will also explain how to apply for the Berlinale Talent Campus, for which she is project manager.

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