Durban FilmMart Institute Announces Animation Highlights at DFM 2023

The Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) once again puts animation in the spotlight at Durban FilmMart (DFM) 2023, taking place from 21 – 24 July, under the programme theme African Constellations. This is the third year of concentrated inclusion of animation in the Industry Programme with the Animation@DFM strand, alongside the showcase of 8 animation projects in the DFM Pitch and Finance Forum.  


“The animation industry in Africa is witnessing significant growth and recognition, especially as it highlights cultural diversity and unique perspectives, earning international acclaim for African animators’ creativity and storytelling.” says Magdalene Reddy, Director of the Durban FilmMart. “At DFM, collaboration and networking among African animators will be on the rise, with a dedicated offering of events for animation practitioners.”  


Animation@DFM offers 4 specialised sessions which will not only be a gathering point for creators and institutions, but they also offer a platform to showcase the innovative ideas that are top of mind for leaders in this sector. 


The Correct Picture – The Dynamics of Characterisation in Animation takes a look at the issues surrounding authentic voices and representation across various film mediums.  Exploring characterisation and discussing its significance are crucial for fostering a more inclusive industry as content continues to engage diverse audiences. The session brings together Raymond Malinga (Creatures Animation), Yolanda Mogatusi (1000 Hugs Films) and Dillon Khan (Nickelodeon).


As animation continues to grow and become an important facet of the African film industry, the industry is grappling with the challenge of becoming more diverse and generating opportunities for professionals across the gender spectrum. In Creative Currency – Professional Opportunities For Women in the Animation Industry, DFM will bring together professionals from who are working to create a more diverse and inclusive industry for women-identifying animators. Featured guests include Ebele Okoye (Jolly Squid), Nosipho Maketo-van den Bragt (Chocolate Tribe) and Mounia Aram (Mounia Aram Company). 


KZN Film will present its Animation Growth Strategy targeting KwaZulu-Natal as a province with animation growth potential. They are collaborating on a 5-year strategy with Red Ibis Education for production, education and audience development in the local animation sector and will launch the strategy in order to engage stakeholders and foster partnerships. Isabelle Rorke (Animation SA), Clare Louis (Katanamate Studios), Justin Yarrow (SuperScientists) and Nompi Vilakazi will lead the conversation.

The University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in collaboration with the Tshimologong Precinct and Fak’ugesi Festival, has been undertaking research in the field of digital creative industries intermediaries over the past few years. Intermediaries in Africa, Now and Beyond

will cover the leading data gathered around this research, giving an understanding of the current landscape, while indicating a roadmap for interventions to strengthen the intermediary landscape

moving forward. It will further highlight an intermediary success story from the animation industry indicating the importance of intermediary roles for the digital creative industries. Featured speakers include Eduardo Cachucho (Fak’ugesi Festival and Digital Lab Africa), Sakhile Mogale, Tegan Birstow and Kirsten Khan (University of the Witwatersrand – Digital Arts)


In the upcoming Pitch and Finance Forum, a panel of decision-makers will have the opportunity to listen to the presentations of the 8 official animation projects currently in development. The animators will have the opportunity to engage with industry professionals and explore potential collaborations, funding opportunities and distribution avenues.


Official DFM Animation Projects: 

Azania Rises: Season 1 (South Africa), Producers: Dr. Farayi Chinyanga and Fatuma Abdullah and Director: Farisai Kavayi 


Boy Boi (Kenya), Producers: Shadrack Munene & J. Njogu Macharia and Director J. Njogu Macharia


Between Heaven and Earth (Entre ciel et terre) (Tunisia), Producer, Sarra Ben Hassen and Director, Nadia Rais


My ig World BIG (South Africa), Producers: Busisiwe Ntintili, Mpumi Sinxoto & Amanda Zungu and Director: Lebogang Sekwelenkwe


Naledi (South Africa), Producer: Lesego Vorster, Co-Producers: Valentin Maupin and Aristote Douroudakis and Director:Lola Aikins


Spiky to the Core (Egypt), Producer and Director: Nermeen Salem 


Sola (South Africa), Producers AJ Pitre, Thandiwe Mlauli and Director: Thandiwe Mlauli 


The Passport of Mallam Ilia (Nigeria), Producer: Ferdinand Adimefe and Director:Chekwube Okonkwo


The Durban FilmMart Institute’s animation highlights at DFM 2023 marks another significant step in exhibiting and promoting the thriving African animation industry. With Animation@DFM’s tailored sessions and the Pitch and Finance Forum’s exceptional showcase, these initiatives contribute to the expansion and success of animation on the continent. 


Early Bird registration for participation at DFM is now open until the end of June.


Visit to review the options.


The Durban FilmMart Institute receives principal funding from the Durban Film Office and the eThekwini Municipality. 

The DFM 2023 event is kindly supported by DW Akademie, Ford Foundation, NEFTI, National Film and Video Foundation, Netflix, Viu, Amazon, Film and Publication Board, KZNFilm , KZN Convention Bureau, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), Industrial Development Corporation, International Emerging Film Talent Association, Sheer Publishing,  French Institute in South Africa, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Namibia Film Commission, Wesgro, CC&A, Eastern Cape Development Corperation, Panavision / Panalux, Gauteng Film Commission, Africa No Filter, Sinema Agency, Abaka Amara Productions and Trans-Saharan Artistic Mobility Fund.

Programme partners include Durban International Film Festival, African Real Collective, Animation SA, Berlinale Talents, British Council, Cinemart, Digital Lab Africa, Documentary Filmmakers Association, DOK.fest München, Dok Leipzig, ,  FIDA DOC, 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,  Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, Sørfund, Scpine, SWIFT, TikTok, The Whickers, Trace Studios, TRT Sinema, and Writers Guild of South Africa

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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