By Ogova Ondego
Published June 25, 2015
Four Kenyans are among 40 Africans who have been selected to participate in the 8th annual edition of Talents Durban skills-development programme that is held in the framework of 36th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), July 16-26, 2015 in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The Kenyans include veteran film set designer Ali Mwangola, budding filmmaker Mark Wambui, up-and-coming film journalist Kennedy Omoro and Roselidah Obala.
Besides the Kenyans, other East Africans selected include Adnan Ssenkumba, Daniel Ecwalu, Andrew Kaggwa and Samson Ssenkaaba of Uganda and Rwanda-based, Kenyan-born freelance journalist and filmmaker Joseph Njata. Tanzania and Burundi are not in the picture.
Other participants are Agbor Obed (Cameroon); Lawrence Agbetsise, Osei Owusu Banahene (Ghana); Oluwakemi Adesoye, Isabella Akinseye, Kassim Braimah,Daniella Esua, Temotope Ogun, Olawale Oluwadahunsi (Nigeria); Lucky Nhlanhla Cele , Karien Cherry, Joanne Corrigall, Polani Fourie, Benjamin Johnson, Godisamang Khunou, Trent Kok, Makundi Lambani, Sheetal Megan, Theoline Maphutha, Francisca Meyer, Samantha Nell, Simphiwe Ngcobo, John Nyoka, Davashni Rajoo, Charne Simpson, Tendai Charles Tshuma, Amy Van Den Houten (South Africa); Bentley Brown (Tunisia); Joel Kapungwe (Zambia); and Angeline Dimingo and Mehluli Hikwa (Zimbabwe).
Talents Durban is a five-day programme for practitioners in the African film sector. The talents also attend film shows and other activities taking place at the festival.
Presented on the theme, ‘Start Motion’, the aims of the 8th Talents Durban are help boost what DIFF refers to as the already rising flow of current filmmaking in Africa, and to encourage filmmakers on the continent to share their stories through their own cultured lens.
DIFF says Talents Durban participants get the opportunity to interact with delegates of the festival and Durban FilmMart (DFM), the co-production and finance forum, which takes place July 17-20, 2015.
Selected participants get to be part of numerous project-oriented, hands on skills-development programmes: Talent Press, Script Station and Doc Station.
While Script station is a script-development programme for short films which pairs four writers with script editors who assist in clarifying story and getting to an advanced draft of their script, Talent Press invites four critics to cover the films and events of DIFF for online and print publication. Doc Station, on the other hand, selects three documentary projects in development for coaching and mentoring towards participation in a public pitch at the DFM’s pitching forum, The African Pitch.
8th Talents Durban is presented in cooperation with the Berlinale Talents, an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival. It is one of the six Talents International programmes formed by Berlinale Talents around the world. Others are Talents Beirut in Lebanon, Talents Buenos Aires in Argentina, Talents Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Talents Tokyo in Japan and Talents Guadalajara in Mexico.