On 20 May, the Cannes South African Film Factory was launched. Zidaka, a South African Production company, in partnership with the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), the KwaZulu Natal Film Commission, Dominique Welinski and the Cannes Quinzaine, is opening doors in France for four South African directors.
Cannes South African Film Factory will provide an opportunity for four South African directors and four international directors to collectively produce four short films that would have a greater likelihood of screening at the official Cannes programme next year. “This is the fourth programme we’re running since our launch. We’ve produced successful projects that have received rave reviews internationally, as well as being screened at the Cannes official programme,” says Dominique Welinski.
Local directors have five weeks to apply for this opportunity. “Our selection process comprises a short list of ten directors, which will be followed by in-depth interviews at the Durban international Film Festival (DIFF). This is where we will select the four qualifying directors, says Jeremy Nathan of Zidaka. Carol Coetzee, KZN Film Commission CEO adds that “the programme is indeed a great platform to showcase not only what South African directors can do, but also what the country has to offer, particularly Durban as all the four films will be shot in KwaZulu Natal.”
The programme is open to directors between the ages of 23 and 35 years of age. Directors who wish to participate have five weeks to apply and it is essential for them to have previously directed one short film, a feature film or a documentary. Additionally directors wanting to participate need to have a strong feature concept attached to their motivation, and a producer for their project. Shortlisted directors will need to be available to attend workshops during the Durban International Film Festival in July, as well as to film in October and November 2015. The films will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016.
The selection of the final four directors will take place at the beginning of the Durban International Film Festival. More information on how to apply and criteria can be downloaded on the Film Factory website.