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Marketing and branding strategies key to film industry success
​Marketing and Branding Your Film panel discussion.
EMERGING filmmakers must study their target market thoroughly to assist them to shape marketing and branding strategies that will put their films on the map.

This was echoed by industry experts at National Film and Video Foundation: Marketing and Branding Your Film panel discussion which is part of the 9th edition of the Durban Film Mart (DFM) taking place from 20 to 23 July at Elangeni Hotel.

DFM, a brainchild of the Municipality in partnership with Durban International Film Festival, has made great strides in facilitating opportunities for local filmmakers to network with global film role players.  A diverse industry programme is scheduled for this year’s DFM where over 400 industry professionals will participate in more than 30 panel discussions, workshops and master classes.

During the National Film and Video Foundation: Marketing and Branding Your Film panel discussion, Chief Creative Officer of Joe Public Xolisa Dyeshana said film makers must know their target market to establish a strategy that will successfully promote the product. “You need to do research on target audience because you need to know what appeals to them, why are you producing the film and why should the audience watch your film.  Also, knowing your aims and objectives of the film will assist you a filmmaker in creating a strategy and achieving your goals,” he said.

Concurring with Dyeshana, the Film Festival Doctor Rebekha Louisa Smith said some filmmakers often make a mistake of using the same film content across the different marketing platforms. “You need to understand the person that will be consuming the social and marketing platform because it is not a one size fits all.  This means that content needs to be tailor-made for different platforms consumed by different consumers,” she said.

This year’s DFM industry programme presents an in-depth programme that will be focusing on the role of women in the industry. In a different session, the Celebrating Transformation in the Industry panel discussion led by South African Women in Film and Television took place at the DFM.  Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) were also part of the panel discussions.

Bridget Pickering said women in film must support and mentor each other. “I believe in creating a female agenda and it is non-negotiable to have women in my production.  Women have to have an identity in the industry and have a clear vision of what you want to do so that you can achieve your goal,” she said.
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