Who is DFMI?
Established in 2020, the Durban FilmMart Institute is a non-profit company that facilitates local and international trade and investment in African film content.
To be the premier business hub of the African film industries in a world where African film industry professionals and products are globally competitive and celebrated.
The mission of the Durban FilmMart Institute is to provide appropriate and effective programmes and services in order to promote, support and facilitate investment in the African film industries, so that African film industry professionals and products are competitive and celebrated globally.
The Durban FilmMart aims to:
- Raise the visibility of projects from the African Continent and create networking opportunities with potential co-producers and other industry partners.
- Facilitate access to funding for promising projects and accelerate the financing of participating projects through transnational cooperation.
- Stimulate the production of African content and promote international co-production opportunities.
- Encourage project collaboration between African filmmakers.
- Generate market access for African film industry professionals and content to international markets.
- Build a community of filmmakers that have access to year-round support.
Based on a Feasibility Study and the approval of City of the Durban Council to fund the Durban FilmMart, in 2009 the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to collaborate in the development and the implementation of the Durban FilmMart (DFM). The DFO and the DIFF continued the partnership to steer the implementation of the DFM programme for 10 years.
In 2020 the City of Durban Council approved the registration of the Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) with an independent board governing the non profit company. The inaugural board of the DFMI is composed of individuals from South African film industry bodies.
Board of Directors
Neil Brandt is an award-winning filmmaker and producer, known for his versatility across genres and cultures. As a founding partner of Storyscope, a leading film production company in Johannesburg, Brandt is dedicated to amplifying authentic African voices and pushing boundaries in storytelling. With an educational background in Economics and International Law from the University of Cape Town, Brandt has produced in challenging territories across Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. His non-fiction works have received international recognition, airing on channels such as Amazon, Netflix, Al Jazeera, ARTE, VPRO, Sundance Channel, BBC, PBS, ZDF, NHK, CGTN, and more. Brandt was the lead producer on Netflix’s 2022 hit true-crime series, Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star. Brandt has also contributed to the South African film industry as an executive producer of popular local drama series like Hustle (eTV), Keeping Score (SABC1) and Emoyeni (SABC1). His 2020 documentary, Influence (Arte), captivated audiences with its exploration of the dark side of political manipulation and the commodification of democracy. The film competed at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020 and has received critical acclaim at global film festivals. In addition to his creative pursuits, Brandt actively contributes to the film industry through his involvement on the boards of the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) and the Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA), demonstrating his commitment to fostering growth and excellence in filmmaking. He is a founding partner of Moon Valley Studios in Johannesburg, and is on the International Emmy’s annual juror panel for global documentary.
Maganthrie Pillay has left an indelible mark across various creative realms, including theatre, television, film and training initiatives. As the founder of Masala Film Works, she and her partner Dingi Ntuli have successfully produced and distributed projects in the USA, South Africa and the UK. Notably, Pillay made history as the first black woman to direct a feature film in South Africa with her acclaimed work 34 South (2005), which premiered at the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles. With an impressive portfolio of over 40 documentaries, Pillay is a dedicated advocate for African content and women’s stories, championing their representation even in challenging times. She has been involved with organisations such as WEAVE, Ink @ Boiling Point and the Independent Producers Organisation, among others. Currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective, Pillay continues to advance the cause of underrepresented voices and remains a powerful force in the industry.
Dr. Tegan Bristow
Dr. Tegan Bristow holds the positions of Director of Education for the soon to be opened Diriyah Art Futures centre, in addition to being Fak’ugesi Principal Researcher and Senior Lecturer at the renowned Wits School of the Arts, specialising in African Art, Culture and Technology. Alongside these roles, Bristow previously held the role of Editor in Chief and Digital Editor for the Ellipses Journal for Creative Research. Notably, Bristow has directed the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival from 2016 to 2020, and currently collaborates closely with Fak’ugesi Festival, Tshimologong Innovation Precinct, and the Wits School of Arts to spearhead research on the Digital Creative Industries in Africa. In an exciting partnership with GIZ, Bristow is presently engaged (2021 – 2023) in mapping and cultivating the intermediary landscape of the digital cultural industry in Africa. In recognition of her remarkable contributions, Bristow was honoured with the National Science and Technology Forum Award for Sustainable Development in the Creative Industries in 2021, reflecting her pivotal role in co-founding and nurturing the Fak’ugesi Festival.
Fazel Dolley is a distinguished professional currently serving as the Senior Director of Finance and Operations in Africa for Paramount. With an illustrious career spanning two decades, he has held prominent finance roles across a diverse range of industries, including IT, insurance, communications, broadcasting and music. Fazel takes great pride in his roots and in his leisure time, he displays unwavering support for his beloved Liverpool FC. One of Fazel’s notable attributes is his wicked sense of humour, which adds a delightful and distinctive touch to his interactions. Guided by the personal motto of “Work Hard and Play Hard,” Fazel exemplifies a strong work ethic and a balanced approach to life.
Mpumelelo “Mpumi” Mazibuko is an accomplished legal professional with a diverse educational background. Mpumi embarked on his legal career at DM Kisch Inc, where he completed his articles of clerkship in 2005, focusing on intellectual property and commercial litigation matters. He then joined the corporate law firm Webber Wentzel Bowens as an associate. In 2008, he joined Spoor & Fisher, specialising in general trademark matters, copyright law, unlawful competition and commercial litigation related to intellectual property. In recognition of his expertise, Mpumi was seconded to the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a legal manager for the Rights Protection Programme. During this period, he worked both in South Africa and Switzerland. Upon his return to Spoor & Fisher, Mpumi continued his legal practice as a Senior Associate, focusing on trademark and copyright litigation and the commercialisation of intellectual property. In 2012, Mpumi joined Coca-Cola Africa (Pty) Ltd as the Operations Legal Counsel. Presently, he serves as the General Counsel for the Africa Operating Unit, based in the Johannesburg, South Africa office.
Pearl Munonde boasts a strong and comprehensive background in production, with a career beginning in 1997. Her remarkable achievements as a SAFTA-nominated Producer and Line Producer are evident through the multitude of hours she has dedicated to creating award-winning content for networks such as SABC, Mzansi Magic and ETV. Recognised for her industry knowledge, Munonde has served on the production and development advisory panel of the National Film and Video Foundation and as a jury member for the prestigious South African Film and Television Awards. Currently, she holds positions on the Board of Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) and is currently the Chairperson of the South African Screen Federation (SASFED). Passionate about nurturing emerging female filmmakers, Munonde has dedicated over a decade to training and mentoring, contributing to the growth of a talented pool of production professionals. As the founder of NwaChasiya Media, a production company established in 2016, she continues to make a significant impact in the industry.
Neiloe Whitehead gained valuable experience in the production and development department of the National Film and Video Foundation. As a manager, she led the documentary programme, overseeing TV formats, and steering the development of both fiction and non-fiction content. Whitehead’s expertise extends to collaborating with diverse funds, film festivals and television broadcasters on a local and international scale. She participated in the Eurodoc International Programme in 2011 and sits on various local funding panels as a story expert. Recently, Whitehead successfully completed the 2022 Realness/Netflix lab for development executives. Her writing credits include notable projects like Signal High, Splintered Pieces and three seasons of uBettina Wethu, the South African adaptation of Ugly Betty. Whitehead is a co-owner of Black Seed Film Hub, a production company that is a 100% led by black women, and provides an innovative digital marketing training program. She continues to make significant contributions to the industry as an independent writer, story consultant and script editor.
launched EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first global black entertainment and lifestyle network, in 2013. Her primary goal for the channel was to alter the narrative around Africa into something more positive. What followed was a string of glossy, aspirational series like The Governor, Fifty, Desperate Housewives Africa and Sons of the Caliphate, and most recently, the Netflix series Blood Sisters. Abudu is described by Forbes as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman” and rated as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Global Television”. Abudu is a Nigerian media mogul and philanthropist who has built an empire spanning almost a decade. In 2019 she was named among the Inaugural List of 100 Most Influential African Women in 2019 by Advance Media.
Steven Adams (USA) is a Founding Partner at Alta Global Media
where he represents international media companies and talent. Adam is the producer on the Netflix Original adaptation of Roger Guenveur Smith’s solo performance piece Rodney King, directed by Academy Award winner Spike Lee. Having served for 4 years as a VFX Executive Producer with Paris-based VFX house BUF, his credits there include such Academy Award winners as James Cameron’s AVATAR, Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI, THOR for Marvel Studios, as well as GREEN LANTERN, GREEN HORNET, Stephen Sommers’ ODD THOMAS, and Tim Burton’s DARK SHADOWS. Steven was also VFX Executive Producer for French VFX house Digital District whose credits include the Academy Award winning features THE ARTIST & THE INTOUCHABLES. Adam is a member of the Producers Guild of America, the Television Academy, Content London and the Los Angeles Art Association Advisory Board and serves as Board Ambassador for the Blackhouse Foundation, an official partner of the Sundance Institute.
of international and independent film website ScreenAnarchy.com (formerly TwitchFilm.com). An experienced festival programmer and co-ordinator of the Macao Project Market co-production market, Brown is also the Head of International Acquisitions for XYZ Films. In his time at XYZ, Brown has shown a strong focus on emerging talent and territories and has served as a producer or executive producer on a wide range of Cannes, Toronto and Sundance selected titles such as The Raid, Spring, Bushwick and many more.
film director, writer, producer and visual artist who currently serves as the General Director of the Berlin based documentary support institution Dox Box. She sits on the selection committee of the Locarno International Film Festival and has served on several African film board organisations. She has directed more than 15 films and her visual art exhibitions have travelled to renowned museums and several Biennales around the world. As a member of The Academy (Oscars) for the last five years, El-Tahri has directed more than 15 films. Her writings include Les Sept Vies de Yasser Arafat (Grasset) and Israel and the Arabs, The 50 Years war (Penguin).
and has honed her skills across the spheres of television, producing, developing and creative writing. She is the Head of Drama at Canal + International with a focus on the African Continent including Invisibles, Sakho & Mangane, Agent, Oasis, L’Amour à 200m, Cacao, Manjak, Mami Wata, De plus en plus Loin, Eki. Gérardin holds a MBA from Boston College Carroll School of Management, and an MBA from French Graduate Business School Sup de Co Reims (NEOMA Group).
strongly in the power of storytelling. She works with like-minded friends, collaborators and partners to create engaging and powerful films. As part of her responsibilities, she led Pan African campaigns for brands like Coca-Cola, East African Breweries, and Unilever. She has written and directed several award winning fiction and documentary films. In 2013, she founded Docubox, Sub Saharan Africa’s first homegrown fund and hub for independent filmmakers. Kibinge is also a founding member of the Creative Economy Working Group (CEWG) formed to shape cultural policy in Kenya and in 2021, was named Most Influential Woman in Film at the Women in Film Awards (Kenya). Kibinge is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences and a sitting member of the Documentary Branch Committee for three years running.
Africa’s most prolific film producers and a champion of African cinema. Driven by a desire to bring African and African diaspora cinema to the world, he founded Ten10 Films, an award winning production and distribution company based in London.
Matatu’s films have premiered at major film festivals including Berlin, Toronto, Rotterdam, Busan and London. His producer credits include the multi-award-winning Max & Mona; the South African box office hit Material; and the action-drama epic, Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema, which was South Africa’s official entry for the Academy Awards Foreign Language category in 2008. Matatu is currently Netflix’s Director of Film for the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
over a decade of industry experience having worked with big names in the industry and has been described as one of the most talented and hardest working agents in the business. She began her career at the William Morris Agency where she worked as a liaison between the talent and music departments and secured several prolific roles for the agency’s clients, most notably, roles in The Academy Award-winning Crash and HBO’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. She was instrumental in creating a successful crossover division and continues to flourish in her unique industry position. Sims is currently the MP Talent Agent at the leading entertainment and sports agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA) where she represents many of the world’s leading musicians and actors, including Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Wesley Snipes, Pearl Thusi, Alyssa Goss and Gabrielle Union among others.
Roger Ross Williams
producer and writer and the first African American director to win an Academy Award. He has directed a number of acclaimed films including Life, Animated, which won the Sundance Film Festival Directing Award, was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Emmys in 2018, including the award for Best Documentary. Williams began his career producing political satire for Comedy Central and Michael Moore’s Emmy Award-winning series TV Nation.