Uga Carlini’s Tips for Succeeding at Durban FilmMart

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Uga Carlini, the filmmaker behind Alison, a hybrid documentary about an inspiring woman with a remarkable and gruesome backstory, shares her tips for succeeding at Durban FilmMart.

“The Durban FilmMart will always be a big bastion in the Alison journey. It was there where I pitched my final Alison concept – after developing it for a few years and it was there were after pitching, the final few adjustments were made that eventually became the movie we have today. It was also extremely valuable to hear the feedback from different type of commissioning editors, broadcaster and financiers from other countries. Especially with a story like this, which we as South Africans know so well and are so loyal to. It was quite something to hear objective responses not tied to the story and who didn’t have any loyalties to this heroine. A great exercise to give that final confirmation to myself as to why I would just never be willing to compromise certain elements of my visual realisation and to find partners who felt the same. Some wonderful partnerships came out of my Durban FilmMart experience – partnerships that stretched beyond the Durban FilmMart and have become partnerships that can last a life time – as for me it’s all about sustainability. Thus if we don’t work together on this project the idea is to have many more and to find the perfect fit for partnerships that are solid, partnerships with heart that can also profitable for both parties at the same time. It’s show business after all. It was after Durban were I closed all my deals – and in a big way – because of what transpired at Durban.”

Director Uga Carlini (left) with folley guru Michael Broomberg (middle) and Alison (right) at Sound & Motion Studios

Director Uga Carlini (left) with folley guru Michael Broomberg (middle) and Alison (right) at Sound & Motion Studios

Uga’s advice for delegates pitching at DFM 2016:

“Show Durban FilmMart some love. You got chosen, someone else didn’t and ultimately you will be benefitting from this opportunity. You have also just come one step closer to potentially opening doors for the story that you have worked so hard to get this far. So make it count!  Seize the opportunity! And arrive prepared. Treat it like this is THAT chance. The moment you have been waiting for all your life. Never underestimate or overestimate anything. Work with and seek only the ‘yes’s.’ The ‘no’s’ just tie you down but remember it takes at least what feels like a hundred ‘no’s’ to get the one ‘yes’ and one ‘yes’ is all you need. Listen, consider and sleep on things. And know when to stand your ground, defend your vision and walk away. The best advice I ever received is: “Never in anger – always in strategy and heart.”


Uga Carlini of Towerkop Creations is a dynamic filmmaker whose latest production Alison, premiered at Encounters Documentary Festival. Her company specialises in femal driven heroine stories and some of her core crew on Alison were female – from the director, producers and screenwriter to the DOP, composer and many others. For more information, visit www.towerkopcreations.co.za

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