Africa Film WebMeeting

Message from: Steve Smith (
About: South African Film market feedback

Wed, 04 Dec 96 11:36:00 PST

Originally from: (Steve Smith)
Originally dated: Wed, 04 Dec 96 11:36:00 PST

From: za-film-tv
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: [ZA-FILM-TV:198] (ZA-FILM-TV:197] Film market - Dermod Judge
Date: Wednesday, 04 December, 1996 10:56AM

Sender: (dermod judge productions)
Subject: Film market


I'm glad that Tobie Openshaw reminded me that feedback on the Southern
African Film & TV Market, held in Cape Town in November would be
useful for practitioners.

I daresay there will be an official feedback session from the
convenors (I actually suggested this to Glynn O'Leary) but my personal
observations may be of some use.

I went there with a specific feature concept to flog and I assisted a
colleague in the presentation of three other concepts at specially
organised meetings with buyers.

First of all, the opportunity to meet genuine buyers was very
valuable. I have found over the past year that face-to-face meetings
are the name of the game in this arena.

The problem I had was locating those buyers who did not have a stand
and, therefore, they were not easy to latch on to. I suspect that
there was a little bit of shielding of them by some people which is a
pity. Those whom I did meet were receptive to the concepts if they
fell into their specific needs for the immediate future (filmmakers
seem to be reluctant to look too far into the future and, considering
how much bandwidth each project demands, I'm not really surprised).

It was good to get a handle on what makes a project seem viable; some
interest from a broadcaster, no matter how small; timeliness as
regards human interest stories with universal appeal and a South
African flavour; manageable budgets, and obvious co-production

I'm still a little uncertain regarding the television/theatrical
debate. One overseas visitor said "F--k film, TV is soooo much easier
- to make and to finance"

Finished screenplays are obligatory for feature films but the TV
stations want to be involved in shaping the programme, so treatments
seem to be OK there. But I'm pretty sure that the more work the poor
writer does, the better the chances of something happening. So, what's

I do know that intensive follow-up is required and that, while there
is an interest in South Africa and the exchange rate is favourable, we
still have to work very hard to actually clinch deals.

All in all, the Market was good for me and I look forward to the next
one - in Cape Town.

dermod Judge
Dermod Judge Communications
28 Ottawa Ave, Camps Bay, Cape Town 8001, South Africa
Tel: 27.21.438 1653 Fax: 27.21.438 3268

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