A picture of Pearl Munonde

Durban FilmMart Institute Announces New Board of Directors 

Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Board of Directors.

The Board plays a vital role in guiding the strategic direction, fostering growth and ensuring the continued success of the Durban FilmMart Institute in advancing its mandate to facilitate local and international trade and investment in African film content. 

The Board of Directors, taking the baton from the founding board, includes Dr. Tegan Bristow, Fazel Dolley, Mpumi Mazibuko, Pearl Munonde and Neiloe Whitehead, led by co-chairs Neil Brandt and Maganthrie Pillay. 

“We extend a very warm welcome to the Board of Directors of 2023”, says Magdalene Reddy, Director of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “The newly appointed members bring a wealth of experience, expertise and passion for the film industry and we have the utmost confidence in their abilities and strategic vision. Their diverse backgrounds and perspectives will contribute to the Institute’s commitment to promoting cinematic excellence, supporting emerging talents and preserving film heritage and culture on the continent.”

The Durban FilmMart Institute, established in 2020, aims to be a leading hub for the African film industry, supporting professionals and promoting global recognition. DFMI offers programmes and services to facilitate investment, increase project visibility, access funding, promote co-productions, encourage collaboration, expand market access and create a supportive community of filmmakers on the continent.   

Board of Directors:

Dr. Tegan Bristow

Dr. Tegan Bristow holds the positions of Director of Education for the soon to be opened Diriyah Art Futures centre, in addition to being Fak’ugesi Principal Researcher and Senior Lecturer at the renowned Wits School of the Arts, specialising in African Art, Culture and Technology. Alongside these roles, Bristow previously held the role of Editor in Chief and Digital Editor for the Ellipses Journal for Creative Research. Notably, Bristow has directed the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival from 2016 to 2020, and currently collaborates closely with Fak’ugesi Festival, Tshimologong Innovation Precinct, and the Wits School of Arts to spearhead research on the Digital Creative Industries in Africa. In an exciting partnership with GIZ, Bristow is presently engaged (2021 – 2023) in mapping and cultivating the intermediary landscape of the digital cultural industry in Africa. In recognition of her remarkable contributions, Bristow was honoured with the National Science and Technology Forum Award for Sustainable Development in the Creative Industries in 2021, reflecting her pivotal role in co-founding and nurturing the Fak’ugesi Festival.


Fazel Dolley 

Fazel Dolley is a distinguished professional currently serving as the Senior Director of Finance and Operations in Africa for Paramount. With an illustrious career spanning two decades, he has held prominent finance roles across a diverse range of industries, including IT, insurance, communications,

broadcasting and music. Fazel takes great pride in his roots and in his leisure time, he displays unwavering support for his beloved Liverpool FC. One of Fazel’s notable attributes is his wicked sense of humour, which adds a delightful and distinctive touch to his interactions. Guided by the personal motto of “Work Hard and Play Hard,” Fazel exemplifies a strong work ethic and a balanced approach to life.


Mpumi Mazibuko

Mpumelelo “Mpumi” Mazibuko is an accomplished legal professional with a diverse educational background. Mpumi embarked on his legal career at DM Kisch Inc, where he completed his articles of clerkship in 2005, focusing on intellectual property and commercial litigation matters. He then joined the corporate law firm Webber Wentzel Bowens as an associate. In 2008, he joined Spoor & Fisher, specialising in general trademark matters, copyright law, unlawful competition and commercial litigation related to intellectual property. In recognition of his expertise, Mpumi was seconded to the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a legal manager for the Rights Protection Programme. During this period, he worked both in South Africa and Switzerland. Upon his return to Spoor & Fisher, Mpumi continued his legal practice as a Senior Associate, focusing on trademark and copyright litigation and the commercialisation of intellectual property. In 2012, Mpumi joined Coca-Cola Africa (Pty) Ltd as the Operations Legal Counsel. Presently, he serves as the General Counsel for the Africa Operating Unit, based in the Johannesburg, South Africa office.


Pearl Munonde

Pearl Munonde boasts a strong and comprehensive background in production, with a career beginning in 1997. Her remarkable achievements as a SAFTA-nominated Producer and Line Producer are evident through the multitude of hours she has dedicated to creating award-winning content for networks such as SABC, Mzansi Magic and ETV. Recognised for her industry knowledge, Munonde has served on the production and development advisory panel of the National Film and Video Foundation and as a jury member for the prestigious South African Film and Television Awards. Currently, she holds positions on the Board of Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) and is currently the Chairperson of the South African Screen Federation (SASFED). Passionate about nurturing emerging female filmmakers, Munonde has dedicated over a decade to training and mentoring, contributing to the growth of a talented pool of production professionals. As the founder of NwaChasiya Media, a production company established in 2016, she continues to make a significant impact in the industry.


Neiloe Whitehead

Neiloe Whitehead gained valuable experience in the production and development department of the National Film and Video Foundation. As a manager, she led the documentary programme, overseeing TV formats, and steering the development of both fiction and non-fiction content. Whitehead’s expertise extends to collaborating with diverse funds, film festivals and television broadcasters on a local and international scale. She participated in the Eurodoc International Programme in 2011 and sits on various local funding panels as a story expert. Recently, Whitehead successfully completed the 2022 Realness/Netflix lab for development executives. Her writing credits include notable projects like Signal High, Splintered Pieces and three seasons of uBettina Wethu, the South African adaptation of Ugly Betty. Whitehead is a co-owner of Black Seed Film Hub, a production company that is a 100% led by black women, and provides an innovative digital marketing training program. She continues to make significant contributions to the industry as an independent writer, story consultant and script editor.




Neil Brandt 

Neil Brandt is an award-winning filmmaker and producer, known for his versatility across genres and cultures. As a founding partner of Storyscope, a leading film production company in Johannesburg, Brandt is dedicated to amplifying authentic African voices and pushing boundaries in storytelling. With an educational background in Economics and International Law from the University of Cape Town, Brandt has produced in challenging territories across Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. His non-fiction works have received international recognition, airing on channels such as Amazon, Netflix, Al Jazeera, ARTE, VPRO, Sundance Channel, BBC, PBS, ZDF, NHK, CGTN, and more. Brandt was the lead producer on Netflix’s 2022 hit true-crime series, Senzo: Murder of a Soccer Star. Brandt has also contributed to the South African film industry as an executive producer of popular local drama series like Hustle (eTV), Keeping Score (SABC1) and Emoyeni (SABC1). His 2020 documentary, Influence (Arte), captivated audiences with its exploration of the dark side of political manipulation and the commodification of democracy. The film competed at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020 and has received critical acclaim at global film festivals. In addition to his creative pursuits, Brandt actively contributes to the film industry through his involvement on the boards of the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO) and the Documentary Filmmakers Association (DFA), demonstrating his commitment to fostering growth and excellence in filmmaking. He is a founding partner of Moon Valley Studios in Johannesburg and is on the International Emmy’s annual juror panel for global documentary.


Maganthrie Pillay

Maganthrie Pillay has left an indelible mark across various creative realms, including theatre, television, film and training initiatives. As the founder of Masala Film Works, she and her partner Dingi Ntuli have successfully produced and distributed projects in the USA, South Africa and the UK. Notably, Pillay made history as the first black woman to direct a feature film in South Africa with her acclaimed work 34 South (2005), which premiered at the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles. With an impressive portfolio of over 40 documentaries, Pillay is a dedicated advocate for African content and women’s stories, championing their representation even in challenging times. She has been involved with organisations such as WEAVE, Ink @ Boiling Point and the Independent Producers Organisation, among others. Currently serving as the Co-Chair of the Independent Black Filmmakers Collective, Pillay continues to advance the cause of underrepresented voices and remains a powerful force in the industry.


The collective knowledge and leadership of the new Board of Directors will undoubtedly strengthen the DFMI’s ability to innovate, adapt to industry trends and provide resources and opportunities for filmmakers and industry professionals alike. As the DFMI enters this exciting new chapter, it reaffirms its dedication to championing African film narratives and supporting its industry professionals. With the support and guidance of the esteemed Board, the institution is poised to continue its legacy of excellence.


The Durban FilmMart Institute receives principal funding from the Durban Film Office and the eThekwini Municipality. 

The DFM 2023 event is kindly supported by DW Akademie, Ford Foundation, NEFTI, National Film and Video Foundation, Netflix, Viu, Amazon, Film and Publication Board, KZNFilm , KZN Convention Bureau, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), Industrial Development Corporation, International Emerging Film Talent Association, Sheer Publishing,  French Institute in South Africa, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Namibia Film Commission, Wesgro, CC&A, Eastern Cape Development Corperation, Panavision / Panalux, Gauteng Film Commission, Africa No Filter, Sinema Agency, Abaka Amara Productions and Trans-Saharan Artistic Mobility Fund.

Programme partners include Durban International Film Festival, African Real Collective, Animation SA, Berlinale Talents, British Council, Cinemart, Digital Lab Africa, Documentary Filmmakers Association, DOK.fest München, Dok Leipzig, ,  FIDA DOC, Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival, Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund,  International Documentary Association, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Independent Black Filmmakers Collective, Independent Producers Organisation, Locations Africa, Miradas Doc, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Produire au Sud, Red Sea Fund,  Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, Sørfund, Scpine, SWIFT, TikTok, The Whickers, Trace Studios, TRT Sinema, and Writers Guild of South Africa

For Further questions: info@durbanfilmmart.com  





About the Durban FilmMart Institute:


Durban FilmMart Institute is the business hub of the African film industry in a world where professionals and products are globally competitive and celebrated. The mission of the Durban FilmMart Institute is to provide appropriate and effective programmes and services to promote, support and facilitate investment in the African film industry.


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