FILM:Nigerians Dominate Durban Film Fest Talent List

AyandaIt used to be just one or two talents in time past. In fact, up until 2012, but the number of talents from Nigeria who are yearly accredited and invited to attend the annual Talent Durban, a major aspect of the Durban Film Festival (DIFF) has been on the increase in the last 3 years.

This year, six talents, one writer, one film journalist, three other professionals have been selected from the pile of application received from Nigeria to be part of the talent programme. Talent Durban is presented in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents, an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival.

It is one of the six Talents International programmes formed by Berlinale Talents in Africa and around the world including Talents Beirut in Lebanon, Talents Buenos Aires in Argentina, Talents Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Talents Tokyo in Japan and Talents Guadalajara in Mexico.

A practical cum theory-oriented initiative that is held during the Durban International Film Festival, Talent Durban is usually a five-day development programme made up of workshops and seminars for African filmmakers and delivered by film professionals, academics and intellectuals.

The programme aims to boost the already rising flow of current filmmaking in Africa. It is also designed to encourage filmmakers on the continent to share their stories through their own cultured lens. Also, selected participants get to be part of numerous project-oriented, hands on skills development programs.

Each year, talents respond to the call for entries and their applications are reviewed and the talents are subsequently selected through a rigorous application process. Last week, the organisers released the list of participants of the 8th edition of Talents Durban comprising forty filmmakers from 10 ountries across the continent including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Zambia and Cameron.

The talents from Nigeria include award winning scriptwriter Oluwakemi Adesoye, film journalist and publisher of online magazine Nolly Silver Screen Isabella Akinseye and notable movie director Temitope Ogun.

Others are Kassim Braimah, Daniella Esua and Olawale Oluwadahunsi. Adesoye is participating in the script station while Olawale Oluwadahunsi and Isabella Akinseye will participate in the talent press programme.

However, the other talents selected from the other African countries include Ssenkumba Adnan from Uganda, Lawrence Agbetsise from Ghana, Bentley Brown from Tunisia, Lucky Nhlanhla Cele from South Africa, Angeline Dimingo from Zimbabwe and Njata Joseph from Rwanda.

Presented under the theme ‘Start Motion’, the practical development programmes that are held within Talents Durban include Talent Press, Script Station and Doc Station. Script station is a script development programme for short films, which pairs four writers with script editors who assist in clarifying story and getting to an advanced draft of their script.

The other programme Talent Press is presented in cooperation with Fipresci, an association of national organisations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world, which lobbies for the promotion and development of film culture.

The programme invites four critics to cover the films and events of the Durban International Film Festival for online and print publication. Two Nigerian film writers/reviewers Oris Aigbokhaevbolo and Shaibu Hussein are listed as mentors for this diet of Talent Durban.

The third programme the Doc Station selects three documentary projects in development for coaching and mentoring towards participation in a public pitch at the DFM’s pitching forum. Participants are given mentoring prior to the pitching and during preparations at the festival.

The Talent Durban programme is supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, Goethe Institute SA, German Embassy in South Africa and Gauteng Film Commission. This years DIFF will open on July 16 and run until July 26.

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