The Cape Town International Film Market and Festival, taking place from October 12th - 21st at the V & A Waterfront will be not only a celebration of film, but also is the start of a collaborative project aimed at driving the growth of the local film industry.
As a wholly independent festival, managed, funded, and operated by a small and diverse team of industry professionals, the aim of both the Market and the Festival has been to focus on the positive elements within the industry and to work towards a collaborative and inclusive approach.
The team behind the Festival reflects this aim and includes a diverse group of young managers. They are supported by more experienced working industry professionals including CEO Nazeera Hartly Roach, and Marketing Director Jehad Kasu.
Kasu says this about the team, "I think it's worth mentioning that the company has a female CEO of colour who is the anchor of our team. I think it makes a bold statement about the transformation of ownership of businesses in the country. Additionally, many of our management team are young people of colour and we have made a committed attempt to use small black-owned businesses as suppliers. We are committed from our own personal experience to reach out to communities locally and further afield."
Executive Chairman Rafiq Samsodien is a local home-grown filmmaker. From humble Cape Flats beginnings , Rafiq was nominated for an Oscar for the 2013 short film Asad.
"I am glad that the Festival has produced so many discussions about the state of the industry," says Rafiq. "Our aim is to be as collaborative as possible, and to be just one of the many positive projects that drive our industry forward. As a filmmaker, and specifically as a filmmaker from Cape Town, I understand the challenges that are out there, and together with a small and dedicated team, we are attempting to create a platform that will continue to develop, evolve, and ultimately, serve the needs of the industry as a whole. We invite people to join us in this process, with both positive and critical feedback, as the most important thing is to be part of the collaborative solution."
The CTIFM&F programme includes both industry and public focused events, all produced with the aim of igniting conversation that pushes forward the development of the local film industry. The 4-day business-driven expo is focused on the smaller support services that drive the film industry locally, with a complimentary schedule of industry events that includes local and international film industry professionals.
A host of additional local and international filmmakers and industry professionals have been added to the schedule of panel discussions and workshops, including Maynard Kraak (South African producer and director), Lee Ann van Rooi (Africa Academy Award Support Actress Nominee), Akin Omotoso (Nigerian director and actor), and Mapumba Cilombo, (composer and director).
Additionally, the CTIFM&F has invited top international professionals to share invaluable experience and insights that will benefit all local producers and industry professionals.
The festival is excited to host Aron Warner on the programme as one of these guests. Aron, who won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature as the producer of Shrek, and who featured as the voice of the Big Bad Wolf in the film, can teach delegates about Oscar-winning animation as well as voice artistry. He is in a position to help delegates commercialise their projects.
The CTIFM&F has also shown a commitment to addressing two of the biggest needs in the industry: distribution and funding. The workshop schedule includes these important sessions: Performers/Actors Forum, moderated by Colin Daries, that focuses on building sustainable careers for artists and creatives, and a session on Growing Film Economies, hosted by Justin Grey, as well as workshops focused on the Art of Pitching.
Building bridges across Africa is also essential to the local industry and the CTIFM&F has reached out to filmmaking communities from across Africa with delegations from a host of countries attending the event and sharing their experiences. These will include Cameroon that will be represented by a host of filmmakers and producers while Kenya's Tilo Blythe from Whatsgood Studio will also be running a workshop on creating content for multi media platforms. Egypt's Azza El Hosseiny from the Luxor Film Festival will also take part in the discussion on Film Festivals.
In the 10 days of film screenings of the Film Festival of a range of incredible international films, there is also host of South African films. These include the world premiere of District Six: Rising from the Dust, by local filmmaker Weaam Williams, the world premiere of Woodwind, the extraordinary work by Fin Manjoo, as well as the world premiere of Liana Hassim's Gracie.
The South African premiere of Kagiso Lediga's Matwetwe will take place hot-on-the-heels of its world premiere in the US. These and other premieres will all have the directors in attendance hosting Q&A's after the screenings.
Other South African films to be screened include Ndamu Farisani's Make Up and Cigarettes, Puleng Stewart and Jannous Aukema's Until the Silence, and Jesse Brown's Post amongst others.
The full festival schedule, as well as market programme will be posted this week on www.filmfestival.capetown