The Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) has opened the call for the third edition DFM ACCESS.

DFM Access is a 12-week development platform for entry level South African producers. It provides a nurturing framework for participants with existing long-form or episodic independent film projects to hone and improve their scripts and project packages.

This online incubation programme supports producers in shaping their stories, preparing their project presentations and understanding the marketplace in order to create effective strategies for their current projects and to plan their professional trajectory. The programme consists of one-on-one mentorship and talks led by industry experts.

Minehle Luthuli, DFM Access 2023 participant, says this about her experience of the programme, “I was still on the first draft of my treatment and without a producer when I submitted my project Abany’Omama (then called Ma) to the DFM Access Programme. Since my participation in the programme and rigorous sessions with my mentor, Kethiwe Ngcobo, I was able to refine the story and create a deck from scratch. The practice pitches we had every Friday prepared me to pitch my project to the panel at the DFM Finance Forum. I am grateful for this opportunity because I was able to network and take meetings with future collaborators and present my project at a market for the first time.” –

Ms Luthuli was one of the three participants who, because of the DFM Access Programme, was selected to pitch at the DFM Pitch and Finance Forum 2023.

At the end of the 12-week mentorship programme, projects will pitch to an independent panel who will select 3 projects to participate at the Pitch and Finance Forum at DFM 2024 as an official project.

“This programme, currently in its 3rd edition, is part of the Durban FilmMart Institute’s year-round offering.  This type of support provided to filmmakers in the country and on the continent is helping stimulate the development of strong African producers who have the skill to compete on both local and international stages,” says Magdalene Reddy, Director of the Durban FilmMart Institute. 

Reddy continues, “these programmes create a community of filmmakers that develop long term connections which is useful for collaborations and international coproductions.”

DFM Access 2023 is supported by the National Film and Video Foundation PESP funding.

Application criteria:

  • The programme is open to emerging South African filmmakers with an active feature length or episodic project in development.
  • The programme is open to both fiction and documentary projects.
  • The producer must not have participated in an international lab/ pitching programme or market before.
  • The producer must not have produced a complete film or series before.

To apply, visit:


Deadline for applications:
Tuesday, 17 October 2023

Programme dates:

17 November 2023 to 13 February 2023

Thank you

Submission received