DURBAN FILMMART PROJECT SELECTED FOR HOT DOCS, Canadian International Docu Film Fest 2013
Devil’s Lair, one of the award-winning projects from last year’s Durban FilmMart has been selected for this year’s Hot Docs, the Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto in April/May this year.
Produced by Neil Brandt of Fireworx Media and directed by Riaan Hendricks of A Season of Film (who also did the cinematography and editing) this feature documentary uncovers the conflicting worlds that exist amongst the troubled communities of the Cape Flats in Cape Town South Africa. It is an intimate portrayal of one gang leader and his young family as they navigate a violent and contested physical and psychological landscape, one in which honour, love and betrayal are all too often sides of the same coin.
Devil’s Lair, which will have its World Premiere at Hot Docs on May 1, was a featured project at last year’s Durban FilmMart, where it selected by as one of the “Most Promising Documentary Projects”, and as a result Brandt and Hendricks also received a travel and accommodation grant from WorldView/IDFA enabling them to attend IDFA, and pitch the project at the IDFA Forum in November last year.
“One of the key objectives of the DFM, which is a joint programme of the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), is to act as a feeder platform in bringing African projects to other established international co-production markets. “ explains Toni Monty of the Durban Film Office. “We are delighted to hear that Devil’s Lair has been selected to premiere at Hot Docs. Results like this for any film helps to foster and encourage a confidence in developing projects, as often, at ideation stage stakeholders are cautious as to what tangible results can be obtained. This helps to demonstrate the potential and possibilities that do exist.”
Speaking from Johannesburg Brandt was excited about the selection and for the opportunity of holding their world premiere at Hot Docs. “It’s at once fantastic and terrifying.” he said. “Hot Docs is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference and market with about 200 documentaries from around the world, so the competition is tough, but we are really looking forward to the experience and to working hard at making sure our film gets the best start to its festival life possible.”
For Brandt and Hendricks the experience at IDFA was hugely beneficial in the further development of the film. “Everything in the creation of this film worked as a complex puzzle, all working simultaneously.” says Brandt. “We originally received a production grant from the IDFA Bertha Fund, who have been tracking the film. Then we were invited to the IDFA Summer School in June last year, just before the Durban FIlmMart where the project was well received resulting in us pitching the film at the IDFA Forum in November 2012. Here we were able to pitch a more developed film to broadcasters and investors and pick up sales agent Journeyman Pictures. Funding had also been received from the Hot Docs Blue Ice Fund, which has also been tracking the film since the Durban FilmMart. So there has been an incredible amount of support and interest in the film from international funders, which is encouraging, as difficult politically-charged films from Africa are often not easy to finance. Local funders include the Open Society Foundation, Sabido Productions and the NFVF. TVO Canada has just bought the first license and we are in discussions with numerous further broadcasters.”
The 4th Durban FilmMart will take place from 19 to 22 July 2013 during the 34th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (18-28 July) and will present an official selection of about 10 fiction projects and 10 documentary projects.