Over 40 South African delegates are expected to attend the inaugural Cannes Festival Marche Du Film 2018, celebrated as the film industry's biggest annual get-together with a forum of over 12 000 professionals, including 3 200 producers, 1 200 sellers, 1 750 buyers, 1 500 screenings and 800 festival programmers.
Companies in attendance from Cape Town and the Western Cape include: Big World Cinema, Comart Films, Cape Town Film Studios, Enigma Pictures, Gambit Films, Irish Macleod Inc, Kalahari Film & Media, On Set Film Productions, Spier Films and Urucu Media.
The Marche du Film is key to the festival as it facilitates networking and provides accredited professionals with the services and tools they need in order to exchange information, hold negotiations and uncover new creative partners.
"Three South African companies have projects in the selective Producer's Network which facilitates connections between producers to help them boost their projects. More than 600 producers from around the world are selected for a series of meetings and unique events, specifically designed to encourage international co-productions," explains Monica Rorvik, Head of Film and Media Production at Wesgro.
Selected to feature in the prestigious Cannes Official Selection, Un Certain Regard section, is locally co-produced Die Stropers (The Harvesters). Co-produced by Spier Films - the drama takes its scene in the farming territory of the Free State region in South Africa. The protagonist, Janno, is different, secretive and emotionally frail. One day his fiercely religious mother brings home Pieter, a hardened street orphan she wants to save, and asks Janno to accept the stranger as his brother. The drama unveils as the two boys start a fight for power, heritage and parental love.
Further to this, Capetonian director, Weaam Williams' deeply moving historical documentary, District Six Rising from the Dust, has been selected by the National Film and Video Foundation to showcase at the market screenings section of the Cannes Film Festival where it will hopefully be sold to broadcasters. Premiered in 2017 at the Cape Town International Film Mart and Festival, the documentary takes on a personal narrative which examines the very topical subject of restitution and the legacy of intergenerational pain and dispossession of wealth. The documentary highlights the scale, enormity and trauma of forced removals which was implemented under the oppressive Apartheid Regime Group Areas Act in 1966.
Wishing attendees from the Cape a successful trip, Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, commented: "We are immensely proud of our local talent and film companies featuring in the Cannes Film Festival line-up. Your presence bears testimony to the fact that Cape Town and the Western Cape is a world-class film production destination. Wesgro wishes you a fruitful trip - may you continue to bring projects to completion and sell existing films with industry partners found in this powerful project market."
Wesgro is scheduled to attend the Annecy Market 2018 this upcoming June - alternating the one trip to France a year between these two festivals.