Zion is one of the 20 filmmakers and producers that have been funded by the trade and industry department (dti) to attend the prestigious festival, which started on Thursday and will run until September 20, the department said in a statement on Saturday.
Throughout the duration of the festival, the group will get a rare opportunity to network with other television producers and filmmakers from around the world.
More importantly, they will also be attending a series of industry conferences and workshops focusing on a wide variety of topics, ranging from the creative process, financing and co-production, to marketing, sales and distribution.
“There is so much to learn here in the field of film and television production. It is important to grasp as much as possible from the festival and share with other producers back home. Not everyone is fortunate to get a privilege of attending a mammoth international film festival like this,” Zion said in the statement.
“As much as we have projects that we specifically came here to market, we are representing the country and the least we can do to ensure that even those that are not here benefit to share the knowledge and information we are collecting here with them. Our coming here must also inspire others.”
His main objective in Toronto was to test the appetite of the international market for his television series, Malaika. It is a telenovela based on a young woman torn apart by what she likes and is profoundly talented on, and what her parents want her to do. The series is inspired by Miriam Makeba’s song of the same name.
“Before leaving South Africa I had already sent out emails to various companies and individuals that I would like to meet with to discuss Malaika with the aim of getting funding and international distribution for the series. I believe in the story and I am optimistic that it is at a standard that will appeal to the international market,” Zion said.
He was confident that the international film buyers and distributors he would be meeting would be impressed by Malaika’s commercial viability, due to its potential to appeal to the global audience.
– African News Agency (ANA)