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Durban FilmMart Institute Spotlights the Animation Highlights at DFM 2024

The Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) spotlights the innovative world of animation at Durban FilmMart (DFM) 2024, taking place from 19 – 22 July 2024, under the banner “African Visions Unleashed: From Disruption to Accountability.” Marking its fourth year of focused inclusion in the Programme, the Animation@DFM strand will showcase 8 remarkable animation projects in the DFM Pitch and Finance Forum and present numerous engaging sessions in the Industry Programme, highlighting the growth and dynamism within the African animation industry.

“The 2024 edition of DFM underscores the immense talent and creative energy within the African animation community,” says Magdalene Reddy, Director of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “With Animation@DFM, we are not just celebrating the artistic achievements of African animators but also fostering essential dialogues around sustainability, cultural authenticity, and social impact. All panels across the industry programme related to animation provide an additional platform for collaboration, networking, and presenting powerful narratives that African animation brings to film enthusiasts globally.”

Animation@DFM Highlights

The Industry Programme offers specialised sessions designed to connect creators, institutions, and industry leaders. These sessions will provide a space for new ideas and encourage conversations across the animation landscape.

Animation for Social Change: Addressing Societal Issues through African Animated Content

The transformative potential of animation as a tool for social change will be at the forefront of this session. It will explore how animated content can address societal issues, raise awareness, and contribute to positive change across Africa. 

Speakers: Ng’endo Mukii,  Tsepo Moche

Building Sustainable Animation Ecosystems

Collaboration within the African animation industry is essential for fostering a sustainable ecosystem. This panel will highlight how partnerships across countries and regions can support the growth of the animation sector throughout the continent, addressing both challenges and opportunities.

Speakers: Laza Razanajatovo, Nosipho Maketo-van Den Bragt, Hamid Ibrahim

Cultural Authenticity in African Animation: Navigating the Balance Between Tradition and Innovation

African animators can draw inspiration from traditional stories, folklore, and art while infusing their work with modern innovation. This discussion will explore the challenges and successes in maintaining cultural authenticity while pushing the boundaries of animation. 

Speakers: Deidre Jantjies, Dianne Makings, Terrence Maluleke, Betty-Sulty Johnson

The wider industry programme will simultaneously navigate animation through a series of panels with partner organisations:

In collaboration with Fak’ugesi, Africa’s digital and innovation festival, the DFM Industry programme will highlight virtual productions. In the session, Unlocking the Future of Filmmaking: Integrating Virtual Production into Traditional Production Pipelines, 

key players from the digital creative sector and the film industry will explore how virtual production can be integrated into traditional production pipelines. This session will highlight the potential of virtual production technologies to revolutionise filmmaking processes, enhance creative collaboration, and elevate visual storytelling.  The partnership with Fak’ugesi will also continue the discussion on Intermediaries helping to bridge the gap between animation industry intermediaries and creatives.

In 2023, the KZN Film Commission developed a comprehensive strategy for the growth of KwaZulu-Natal’s animation film sector, which they will unveil at this year’s Durban FilmMart. Known for its vibrant landscape and dynamic film community, KwaZulu-Natal has been a cornerstone of the film industry in the province. The collaboration between the Commission and DFM emphasises the province’s commitment to fostering local talent and attracting international collaborations. With the introduction of a targeted strategy for animation, KZN is poised to develop this burgeoning sector. This strategy promises robust growth and international cooperation, continuing to position KZN as a key player in the local film industry and DFM as a significant platform for the development of animation. 

Pitch and Finance Forum – Animation Pitching

Eight dynamic animation projects will be showcased in the forum, where filmmakers will engage in one-on-one meetings with investors. This initiative aims to expand the reach of African animation, fostering growth and ensuring these creative works find their place on screens both big and small.

DFM 2024 welcomes all African animators and those seeking to learn more about this dynamic sector. DFM continues to support the next generation of animation pioneers, ensuring their stories resonate globally and contribute to a more inclusive, expansive, and thriving film industry.

Registration for participation in the market is currently open.   

For more information and to register, please visit our website:       

The Durban FilmMart Institute receives principal funding from the Durban Film Office and the eThekwini Municipality. For further inquiries, contact:   

About the Durban FilmMart Institute:

Durban FilmMart Institute is the business hub of the African film industry, where film professionals and content are globally competitive and celebrated. The institute’s mission is to provide appropriate and effective programmes and services to promote, support, and facilitate investment in the African film industry.