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Film festival attracts industry big wigs

Two Wings, Many Prayers, the story about two crazy guys from Joburg who designed and built their own light aircraft and flew it around the world, will be shown for the first time at this year’s Wild Talk Africa festival in Durban, through a partnership with the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), South Africa’s longest-running film festival, and the Durban Film Mart, the continent’s premier film industry event. Established in 2005, Wild Talk Africa is the largest international wildlife and natural history film festival and conference in Africa.

Two Wings, Many Prayers, is one of nine natural history films selected out of 445 entries received from across the globe to be screened during this year’s event. Other exciting films to look out for at the festival include; Radioactive Wolves, an extraordinary story of wolves who have made Chernobyl home, as well as The Unlikely Leopard, the latest offering from highly acclaimed South African filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert.

“Combined with the continent’s two major film festivals – the Durban International Film Festival and the Durban Film Mart, Durban Wild Talk Africa firms up a truly strong film industry package for visitors, both local and international,” Head of Durban Tourism Philip Sithole said of the city’s greater vision to build Durban’s “golden mile” as a hub for film market activity in the month of July.

Durban Wild Talk Africa, alongside Wildscreen in the UK and Jackson Hole in the States, has firmly established itself as one of the top three natural history film festivals in the world. Strongly focused on wildlife, conservation and cultural programming, the four-day festival and conference will include seminars led by key figures in the international broadcast industry. Big names from the Discovery Channel/Animal Planet, BBC Earth and National Geographic will be in attendance and delegates can expect to rub shoulders with the likes of well-known New York based executive producer Peter Hamilton and James Honeyborne, series producer of the newly released Africa series from BBC Earth.

Attracting filmmakers from across the world as well as experts in broadcasting, Durban Wild Talk Africa’s programme has been designed for everyone; from workshops in adventure filmmaking and shooting for 3D, to a music rights workshop and making content for the internet. As part of the public offering Durban Wild Talk Africa will offer open water shark diving, bungee jumping and a public debate on rhino poaching, titled; War Stories – Rhino Poaching. Featuring Julian Rademeyer, author of Killing for Profit, the debate is bound to spark some lively discussion.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year, which is sponsored by National Geographic and takes place at the uShaka Marine World, returns to Durban in July for two months. Featuring 100 of the world’s most amazing wildlife photographs taken by 77 top international photographers, the exhibition launch will form part of Durban Wild Talk Africa’s content rich programme. The selection of images was made from a massive 48 000 entries submitted from 98 countries worldwide and includes work from South African photographers Brent Stirton, Jean Tresfon, Heinrich van den Berg, Kim Wolhuter, Frits Hoogendijk, Thomas Peschak and Hannes Lochner.

A key industry event at the Durban Wild Talk Africa is the ROSCAR Awards, or as they have affectionately become known, the rhino Oscars. Receiving a ROSCAR, is considered the ultimate recognition for wildlife filmmakers in Africa; like the Panda awards of Wildscreen, recognition only goes to productions of the highest quality. The ROSCAR trophy was modelled on Ezemvelo Kwa-Zulu Natal’s Wildlife logo, it appropriately fits with this year’s theme, The Year of the Rhino.

Aspiring film makers should pay attention to the Open Pitching Sessions, where 12 selected projects will get to pitch to a panel of commissioning editors, including Helen Hawken of Discovery Channels, Jordan Hall of National Geographic and Chris Cole of the BBC.

Registration for the Durban Wild Talk Africa is currently open, visit www.wildtalkafrica.com for further information and to view the 2013 programme.

ENDS

Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications:
Beverley Houston
beverley@be-cause.co.za
021 462 1723

On behalf of Durban Wild Talk Africa:
Director: Donfrey Meyer

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