SUE WANJIRU, SHEILA MULINYA AND MONICA OBAGA HEADING TO TALENTS DURBAN
The 35th Durban International Film Festival (17 – 27 July) is proud to present the 7th edition of Talents Durban (formerly named Talent Campus Durban) – a skills sharing, development and networking platform for emerging filmmakers from Africa. Talents Durban is presented in collaboration with the Berlinale Talents programme of the Berlinale Film Festival with support from the KZN Film Commission, German Embassy, Goethe Institute and Gauteng Film Commission. Talents Durban, along with the Durban FilmMart (which is a co-production between DIFF and the Durban Film Office) forms part of the Durban International Film Festival Industry Programme.
40 filmmakers from 10 countries across the continent including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Madagascar, Tunisia and Namibia will be in attendance. The programme consists of master classes, in depth discussions with critically acclaimed film professionals from across the globe, hands-on training programme as well as networking opportunities for selected participants.
Talents Durban will also feature a hands-on training programme including Doc Station, Script Station and Talent Press. In conjunction with Berlinale talents, the also offer training opportunity for actors.
Doc Station selects three documentary projects in development for coaching and mentoring towards participation in a public pitch at the DFM’s pitching forum.
Script Station is a script development programme for short films which pairs four participants with script editors who assist in clarifying story and getting to an advanced draft of their script.
Talent Press is presented in cooperation with Fipresci, an association of national organizations of professional film critics and film journalists from around the world which lobbies for the promotion and development of film culture and for the safeguarding of professional interests.
Application to the Berlinale talents Durban happens once every year and it’s done online. A prospective candidate applies by filing out a form and submitting a sample of their work.
The selected Kenyan participants attending talents Durban are:
Sue Wanjiru is an international stage and film actress. Born and bred in Nairobi, Kenya, she started acting and dancing in church plays as early as 10 years old. Her professional acting career began in 2010 after she quit her accounting job to pursue her love for acting. She is mostly known for her lead role in the movie Something Necessary which depicts the civil unrest that swept Kenya following the 2007 elections. She has also featured in Mama duka, Rigor Mortis( a web series that is coming soon) and has also done voice work for some local and International production houses. Sue is also the founder of Lokhem Kids Entertainment which aims to discover and nurture acting talent in kids aged 6-12 years old.
“I am ecstatic to be among the 40 film makers across the continent who qualified for this year’s talent class. It is a great forum and I am grateful for the Durban- Berlinale team for helping young film makers like me across the continent which is a push in the right direction. The future for our African film makers looks very bright with such brilliant initiatives. I hope to use what I learn in the campus to make a difference in someone else’s acting career as well as mine and I thank God for the continued favor. “ Sue told actors.co.ke
Sheila Mulinya is a KIMC alumni, holder of a Diploma in Film Production and currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication and Public Relations at Moi University. She started out at Ukweli Video Productions as a Senior Producer, a stint that saw her Produce, Direct and Script over 40 Documentaries on Social, Health and other topical issues. Some of her Documentaries like Disability is not Inability and Christine, Lawyer in the Slums are reference tools at the Universities of Yale, Berkeley and Australia. She has over 12 years experience in the industry and among the few Producers who comfortably balance between producing Drama and Documentary as she has also worked on local Drama shows like Nairobi Law, Tahidi High, Inspekta Mwala and Maskani in the different capacities of Scriptwriter and Producer.
Sheila’s entrance to talent Durban was through the submission of her experimental Film Brother-brother which you can watch here.
“I will be participating Doc Station programme that will allow me to receive guidance and mentorship on how to pitch for funding for a Film at an International level. I am excited about this chance as I have applied twice before without success. I thank Ginger Wilson since it was at her One Fine Day Films Workshop that I got to know about Talents Durban. As well as Judy Kibinge because through her project Docubox where I got valuable lessons, I was able to prepare a great proposal that got me through to the highly competitive Doc Station. I expect to come back a better documentary film maker as this opportunity will help me sharpen my skills at pitching for Film funds at an international level.” She told actors.co.ke
Monica worked in the Kenyan music industry before relocating to the United States where she has since managed the 2010 Philadelphia Film Festival, been part of the Hot Docs 2013 Blue Ice Fund’s Reading Committee, and soon to be part of the Durban Talents programme. She been a production designer, set photographer, piano accompanist and has even written a theme song for a web series!
“The Durban International Film Festival welcomes these filmmakers to the Industry Programme and are proud to present them as the future of African Cinema,” says DIFF festival manager Peter Machen.
Talents Durban takes place on 18-22 July within the DIFF Industry Hub at Elangeni Hotel on the Durban beach front.
Get more information about the Durban International Film Festival here
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