Great Expectations

Narjes Torchani of the 2013 Talent Press Durban meets some the Durban Talent Campus participants.

Two Talent Campus Durban participants: producer Cait Pansegraw and composer Zethu Mashika.

By the second day of the Talent Campus Durban, the 37 participants, coming from all over Africa, has come to know each other better and are becoming a homogenous group. With their different profiles, they are taking their first steps in the world of film production. By attending the workshop and master classes programme designed for them, and through interaction with the speakers, their minds are expanding and their projects developing. Most of them participate in a program like Talent Campus for the first time in their careers, all with their individual goals and expectations.

Both Tapiwa Chipfupa from Zimbabwe and Ahmed Jlassi from Tunisia were looking forward to exchange ideas, network and learn in the company of a diverse group of filmmakers, and have already met interesting people. "I don’t believe that you ever stop learning", says Tapiwa, who believes that one can’t grow in isolation. Despite finding Talent Campus Durban an amazing experience, Ahmed had expected more one-to-one meetings. Both are being inspired by and learning about the challenges of filmmakers in other African countries.

Making a film is a teamwork exercise. That's why Talent Campus Durban participants come from different fields of the cinema industry. Among them is music-composer Zethu Mashika from Johannesburg, whose expectations on the Talent Campus are clear: "To learn a lot about the industry and network with local and international directors. So far it has been very fruitful." Introducing herself as a "creative-producer", Cait Pansegraw from Cape Town is looking for networking opportunities with international filmmakers and film festivals organizers. She also wants to market her projects and track new ones through meeting young directors, DOPs, actors and composers. The concept of "creative-producer" is her response to the misconception that producers are not creative. Cait, who consider herself to be visually creative, likes to engage in both the writing and directing process, in addition to managing finances. During the Talent Campus Durban dinner she was fortunate to meet mentor Andrea Arnold, who showed an interest in her short film, which is currently in pre-production. Cait also whishes to attend the Berlinale in the future.

Ideas is what producer and researcher Antoinette Engel from Cape Town brings to Talent Campus Durban. Antoinette, who considers production and research to be the basis for every industry, appreciates the opportunity to meet industry professionals for feedback and advice. According to her, "it is amazing how easy it is to connect with people and share experiences at DIFF". As Antoinette says: "To make a film, you have to understand the context you come from and want to work in!" It is clear that the Talent Campus Durban is offering this understanding to the participants who seem to find the experience very fulfilling.