Forefront Media GmbH is a development, production, finance and distribution entity based in Vienna, Austria with a sister entity based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is headed by Ryan Haidarian who founded the South African office in 2011 after leaving the National Film & Video Foundation of South Africa (NFVF), where his co-founder, Eddie 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 GmbH’s distribution arm focuses on German speaking territories and it’s production arm has produced numerous documentaries and social media campaigns for UN agencies.

It’s South African arm has produced numerous feature films including: ACCIDENT, FROM A HOUSE ON WILLOW STREET and VEHICLE 19 starring Paul Walker of THE FAST & THE FURIOUS franchise.

The distribution outfit of Forefront Media Group South Africa has released such titles as STILL ALICE, RUST & BONE, TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG, JUNGLE BUNCH 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 team 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.



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.