Nairobi News


Three Kenyan productions battle for funding in Durban

Three Kenyan films have been selected for this year’s Durban FilmMart Institute 2020 Finance Forum Projects Virtual Edition which takes place from September 4th to 13th.

The three were selected from a total of 230 documentary and feature fiction projects which were submitted for this year’s edition across the continent, and after a rigorous adjudication process with a panel of film experts, 31 projects were selected for the finance forum.

Two documentaries – How to Build a Library, produced and directed by Maia Lekow and Christopher King and What’s Eating My Mind, which was produced by Sam Soko and directed by Noella Luka – were selected in the same category while Searching For Lebo, produced Matrid Nyagah and directed by Simon Mukali was selected as in the fiction category.

The selected projects, 16 documentaries and 15 fiction features, will have the opportunity to present a pre-recorded pitch to a panel for investors, agents, distributors, content editors, broadcasters and programmers for possible further development.

Toni Monty, Head of the DFM, said the projects, which have, as a proviso, at least one African director or producer involved, came from 13 countries including Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia, Cape Verde, Mali, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad and Zimbabwe.

“Using the theme Brave New Cinema, we are bringing together leading and emerging African film professionals in an online space, to benchmark themselves, learn from peers, pitch their ideas and projects and network, and collectively demonstrate our courage to tell our own stories,” Monty said.

DFM 2020 will focus on African filmmakers who work to contribute cinema images that celebrate, and canonise the continents struggles and its beauty.


“These are African filmmakers whose stories challenge oppressive structures, engage with dominant value systems, and reflect our daily experiences. The creation of film is an act of courage because of the ever-increasing challenges in both funding and media freedom in many parts of the continent. This will be a gathering of filmmakers in a celebration of collective African resilience, collective victories and a call for the stories of the future,” Monty said.

The programme looks at current filmmaking development, distribution and marketing trends, with a Pan-African focus, and how the future of cinema will navigate new landscapes including the digital world.

In an effort to connect African film professionals across the post-colonial divides and create new synergies and networks, this edition will include French and Portuguese, two languages largely spoken around the continent.

Besides the Finance Forum, the DFM will host several webinars with panel discussions, conversations, forums and hangouts for filmmakers with film industry experts, where they will be able to benchmark themselves, expand their professional knowledge, pitch projects and ideas in meetings and extend their network on a global level.