July 19, 2021

SA Documentary ‘Black People Don’t Get Depressed’ Spotlighted AT Cannes Film Market


Black People Don’t Get Depressed has been ‘spotlighted’ at the Cannes Film Market 2021 after being supported by Durban Film Market. 

The documentary by director Sara Chitambo was first supported by the Durban Film Market (DFM) in August 2020. Since then, Sara has been virtually traversing the globe to secure financing for her ground-breaking film, Black People Don’t Get Depressed. The documentary details a personal journey through trauma and mental health issues that investigates the struggles, rituals and triumphs of Africans in an attempt to demystify depression.

“My aim has been to understand the experiences of depression that are a burden so many Africans carry secretly and with shame.  Whether it’s myself here in Joburg, a poet of immigrant roots in Canada or healer in Nigeria – we’ve all carried a burden of trauma.  I want to probe how we process and heal that burden”.

Sara and her Producing partner, Cati Weinek, was offered critical support by The International Emerging Film Talent Association’ (IEFTA) in finding global partners. This led to the documentary being ‘spotlighted’ at the Cannes Film Market with three others as works-in-progress by emerging filmmakers from across the world.

“It’s a great privilege to have been invited on to the Cannes Film Market, showcasing a great social change documentary among our peers’, said Cati Weinek, producer at The Ergo Company, one of SA’s premiere film studios.”

The Cannes Film Market is a hybrid format this year due to the ongoing pandemic. The event will feature meetings, screenings, and workshops both in person as well as online. Both Sara and Cati are filling their diaries with potential funders, co-producers, distributors and programmers and other key industry professionals to help make this documentary a reality. Film-making is a collaborative venture and requires several sources of investment. 

‘Our biggest excitement was when the Presidential Stimulus Fund via the National Film and Video Foundation committed funds to our project. Then I knew it was surely going to happen one way or the way’.  Sara reflects.

The Cannes market took place from the 08-13July 2021 in Cannes, France.


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