Talents Durban is the Durban International Film Festival’s annual 5-day training and development programme, that brings together Africa’s rising film professionals.

Talents Durban was founded in partnership with the Berlin International Film Festival and their Berlinale Talents project. The CCA-UKZN and Berlinale partnership came into effect in 2008, as part of six international initiatives formed by the Berlin International Film Festival. The project takes place on an annual basis in Africa and around the world including Talents Beirut in Lebanon, Talents Buenos Aires in Argentina, Talents Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Talents Tokyo in Japan, Talents Guadalajara in Mexico and Talent Press Rio in Brazil.

Each year Talent Durban invites emerging filmmakers from around the continent of Africa for an intensive five-day programme of workshops, seminars, master classes as well as hands-on development programmes on selected projects. These Talents must be screenwriters, directors or producers. Talents are also partnered with experts and mentors from their respective fields of specialization. These projects also seek to unearth participants who have completed or in the process of completing an industry related qualification. Talents are also encouraged to have an existing book of evidence with completed work and work in progress.

This project has gone uninterrupted with great success in the Africa continent for the past 10 years, with over 21 African countries represented and 380 alumna. Being generally open in terms of formats and cinematic approaches, the main focus of Talents Durban is the quality of the proposed content as well as an integrated and comprehensible concept, how content, screening platform, target audience and distribution strategy work hand in hand.


Talents Durban aims to coordinate a streamlined programme for emerging screenwriters, directors, film critics, producers and other film related individuals that focus on project development and to host mentorship and hands-on training for emerging film critics/journalists.

This important event aims to achieve the following specific objectives:

  • Focus on sustainability – To have Durban International Film Festival serve as a platform for Talents Durban projects to return as finished films incubated by the project. Which are then selected to screen in the main programme in order to foster growth in African cinema.
  • More project orientated – With a writer/director focus Talents Durban aims to offer a clear and hands-on curriculum for its participants. Script Station, Doc Station, Talent Press, Mentorship and Masterclasses.
  • More in-depth project consultation – As of 2017, Talents Durban will increase its efforts to provide individual mentorship and follow-up.
  • Better linked to the key industry programmes and networks of the festival – e.g. Durban FilmMart and other industry events, residency programmes and talent development initiatives on the continent.

The programme aims to have 3 film critics, 12 screenwriters and directors, with both fiction and documentary projects of different length and developed for various formats ranging from short to feature length fiction and documentary films as well as mid-length formats e.g. for web, mobile or TV platforms.



Durban Film Festival

South Africa’s longest-running film festival, the Durban International Film Festival runs across 12 days at the end of July, presenting 170 screenings of current films from around the world, with strong focus on South African and African cinema. Screenings take place throughout Durban, including township areas where cinemas are non-existent. The festival also runs extensive seminar and workshop programmes to stimulate industry capacity. This includes the 6th Talent Campus Durban, in cooperation with the Berlin Film Festival, and the Durban FilmMart, a film financing initiative in partnership with Durban Film Office. DIFF is organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN).


Berlinale Talents

Berlinale Talents is an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, a business division of the Kulturveranstaltungen des Bundes in Berlin GmbH, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, in cooperation with Creative Europe MEDIA, a programme of the European Union, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. It was initiated in 2003.



The NFVF is a statutory body mandated by a progressive act of Parliament to spearhead the equitable growth and development of the South African film and video industry. NFVF’s mission is to collaborate with all stakeholders in supporting the development and promotion of a thriving South African film industry. Vision – A viable film industry that represents the nation’s aspirations and celebrates our diversity. The new streamlined business objectives: Increase the number of SA films and PDIs producing them, increase audience access to SA films and increase numbers of people trained in the industry, particularly in areas of shortage of skills.To promote Social Cohesion and promote opportunities to express the nation’s stories through film.


The Goethe-Institut:

The Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg regulates the work in the Sub-Saharan countries including 11 institutes and 14 Goethe reading/cultural centers. In addition we work together with German embassies in countries where Goethe is not represented. Our Cultural Programmes Department focuses on a variety of different artistic approaches from the visual arts to drama, dance, literature, film, and others. Our goal is to support the local cultural scenes and strengthen pan-African dialogue through the arts.


Gauteng Film Commission:

The Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) develops, promotes and coordinates the film and television production industry in South Africa’s wealthiest province. An agency of the Gauteng Provincial Government, we are tasked with positioning the province as a world-class destination for film-making as well as attracting local and international investments in the film and television industry.


KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission

The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission was established to position KwaZulu-Natal as a globally competitive, diverse and sustainable industry and choice film destination.


The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs

The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs is mandated to oversee the socio-economic transformation in the province. It therefore leads the policy and strategic initiatives directed at promoting development and growth in various sectors of the economy. However, to achieve its objectives, the Department has to co-operate with various stakeholders and social partners that include the private sector and civil society. National and provincial legislative, policy and strategic frameworks guide the operations of the Department. Some of the national acts that are critical to the operations of this portfolio are the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, particularly Schedule 6 which stipulates the competences of the provincial government on matters of economic development and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) among other sector specific acts.


Durban Film Office

The Durban Film Office is the film-industry development arm of the City of Durban, mandated to position Durban as a world class film production destination and facilitator for the development of the local film industry. The overarching vision is to support the creation of a viable and economically sustainable film sector in the City, where Durban filmmakers are renowned for creating high quality content for local and international audiences and for Durban to be recognised as a preferred destination for feature film and commercial media production.


EThekwini Municipality

EThekwini Municipality is a metropolitan municipality found in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. The area is topographically hilly, with many gorges and ravines, and almost no true coastal plain. Durban has a turbulent history dating from ivory hunters in the 1820s and their conflict with the local Zulu monarchs. The province has the largest number of battlefields. The world-class Durban Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) has hosted a historic line-up of events including conferences of a global scale. eThekwini is the largest City in this province and the third largest city in the country. It is a sophisticated cosmopolitan city of over 3 468 088 people.


Centre for Creative Arts

Established in 1996 the Centre for Creative Arts is a multi-disciplinary arts organisation based within the School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The CCA’s principal activities are the co-ordination of Time of the Writer, Durban International Film Festival, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival and Poetry Africa. The objectives include; provisions of creative platforms and economic opportunities for established and emerging artists, innovative voices, marginalised communities and cultural industries. The facilitation of exchange opportunities and network development between Africa and international cultural practitioners, provision of seminars, training workshops, and career-development initiatives, serving industry imperatives, aspirant artists, community organisations, educational institutions and disadvantaged communities, strategic development of audiences and generation of positive media attention for the arts.


University of KwaZulu-Natal

The University of KwaZulu-Natal is a multi-campus, residential, teaching and research-led university located in KwaZulu-Natal. The University has a rich heritage of academic excellence and is one of the top institutions on the African continent. UKZN is passionate about teaching and learning. Their motto: Every Student Matters transcends the social, cultural and academic discourse across the disciplines. UKZN is one of three universities in South Africa and indeed in Africa rated amongst the top 500 universities of the world according to the Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU); this is due to their Innovative curricula, dynamic teaching and learning, state –of-the art laboratories and accredited professional degrees with research activities spanning the natural, biomedical, humanities and social sciences.