Forefront Media Group is a development, production, finance and distribution entity in Johannesburg South Africa. It is headed by Eddie Mbalo and Ryan Haidarian. The duo set up Forefront Media Group in 2011 after leaving the National Film & Video Foundation of South Africa, where Mbalo was CEO for 10 years and Haidarian headed Development, Production and New Ventures for 7 years. While at the NFVF, projects invested in garnered 2 Academy Awards and 6 Academy Award nominations, back-to-back wins at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Golden Bear at The Berlin Film Festival. Some of those titles include TSOTSI, HOTEL RWANDA, YESTERDAY, SKIN, & U-CARMEN E-KHAYELITSHA.

Forefront Media Group recently wrapped production on ACCIDENT and FROM A HOUSE ON WILLOW STREET. Prior to that it financed and produced VEHICLE 19 starring Paul Walker of THE FAST & THE FURIOUS franchise. Upcoming productions include CLEARANCE.

The distribution outfit of Forefront Media Group has released such titles as STILL ALICE, RUST & BONE, DETACHMENT and VEHICLE 19 and is actively handling the sale of content libraries for rights holders throughout the African continent.

Having been intricately involved in the creation of the different investment vehicles and incentives in South Africa, the duo behind Forefront has been able to tap into those financing networks as well as international sales contacts to create a commercially viable company that services the entire value chain of content, from development through to distribution and exhibition.



history1Ripplingly withdrawing from his prey, Moby Dick now lay at a little distance, vertically thrusting his oblong white head up and down in the billows; and at the same time slowly revolving his whole spindled body; so that when his vast wrinkled forehead rose—some twenty or more feet out of the water—the now rising swells, with all their confluent waves, dazzlingly broke against it; vindictively tossing their shivered spray still higher into the air.* So, in a gale, the but half baffled Channel billows only recoil from the base of the Eddystone, triumphantly to overleap its summit with their scud.

This motion is peculiar to the sperm whale. It receives its designation (pitchpoling) from its being likened to that preliminary up-and-down poise of the whale-lance, in the exercise called pitchpoling, previously described. By this motion the whale must best and most comprehensively view whatever objects may be encircling him.

At that preluding moment, ere the boat was yet snapped, Ahab, the first to perceive the whale’s intent, by the crafty upraising of his head, a movement that loosed his hold for the time; at that moment his hand had made one final effort to push the boat out of the bite. But only slipping further into the whale’s mouth, and tilting over sideways as it slipped, the boat had shaken off his hold on the jaw; spilled him out of it, as he leaned to the push; and so he fell flat-faced upon the sea.



Ryan Haidarian is an innovative film producer and distributor who runs Forefront's day to day operations.
Leyla Tavernaro Haidarian, PhD is a media professional and communications specialist.