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8 - 12 November 2021
Virtual Event

Steven Markovitz
Producer at Big World Cinema


Steven Markovitz is one of Africa’s most pioneering producers, with 25 years’ experience on feature films, documentaries, tv drama, distribution and festivals. Steven co- founded the production company Big World Cinema in 1994, Encounters South African International Documentary Festival in 1999 and the VR outfit, Electric South, in 2015. He has an extensive production and distribution network in over 25 African countries.

Steven has produced award-winning fiction that has sold globally including Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki (Cannes - Un Certain Regard, TIFF) and hajooj kuka’s aKasha (Venice Critics’ Week, TIFF). In 2017 he produced Jenna Bass’ body- swap comedy High Fantasy (Toronto, Berlinale).He executive-produced the award-winning I Kenyan feature film, Stories of Our Lives (Toronto 2014, Berlinale Panorama 2015), directed by Jim Chuchu, which won Berlinale’s Teddy Special Jury Award. He produced the South African feature film Love The One You Love (Durban, Busan, Goteborg) and co-produced the thriller Viva Riva!, directed by Djo Tunda wa Munga, (Toronto 2010, Berlinale 2011) which won the MTV Movie Award for Best African Movie, 2011 and a record 6 African Movie Academy Awards. Viva Riva! has been released in USA, UK, Australia/NZ, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany and 20 African countries.

He produced the award-winning South African-Canadian co-production Proteus, directed by John Greyson and Jack Lewis (Toronto 2003, Berlin Panorama 2004). The film sold to 10 countries, including the USA, Canada, UK, Germany and Italy. Steven executive produced Boy Called Twist directed by Tim Greene, which sold to the USA, Belgium, Holland, Greece, South Africa and the Middle East.

Steven has produced, executive- and co-produced many short films, including Inja/Dog (Oscar nomination 2003), and Husk, (premiered In Competition, Cannes Film Festival 1999). Steven executive-produced the fiction omnibus African Metropolis, which has screened at over 50 festivals including TIFF, Locarno and IFFR. Steven also executive-produced Beyond Freedom (Berlinale Competition 2006).

He has produced and co-produced over 100 documentaries, many of which have screened at festivals such as Sundance, Berlinale,Toronto, IDFA, Hotdocs, Tribeca and have sold to television worldwide.

Steven is a founding board member of the Independent Producers Organization (IPO) and DocA. In 2018, he became a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Agenda Sessions

  • Fireside chat: Celebrating and exploring the drama landscape