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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 between 25 to 50 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, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound designers or actors. 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 9 years, with over 21 African countries represented over the 9 editions of Talents Durban. 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 5 film critics/journalist and 35 screenwriters, directors, producers 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.


This year’s theme “Perspectives; Seeing Things Differently”,is an observation that film alone may not change the world but can show the world when it changes. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the programme, this edition looks to bring filmmakers from across the continent drawing inspiration from Africa’s diverse interpretations of storytelling, breaking away from the stereotypical and homogenous narrative of Africa.

Talents Durban aims to challenge the perspective of filmmakers and audiences alike. Our unique experiences and different views of life are the very sources of our stories. These may influence and rectify the reality where these stories are often not told by those who have lived these experiences and what this does to either further separate or connect emerging audiences.

This edition aims to highlight a new dimensional Africa with a fresh point of view that this continent is home to a melting pot of cultures, colours and stories. The 10th Edition looks to not only highlight the stories of Africa, but create a culture of Africans telling their own stories, and most importantly from their experience and perspective of cutting edge and modern cinematic technology.

The program will give access to the DIFF screenings, masterclasses and networking sessions and other activities with experts and industry role players from around the world, Talents will gain a new perspective and understanding of not only their discipline but of others in an effort to increase collaboration.


Talents Durban has been privileged to be supported by the below sponsors and supporters over the years. We thank you for your generous support for past and coming years.


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