Sharjah Fringe Calls For International Applications

The producers of the inaugural edition of the UAE’s 2020 Sharjah Fringe have put out a global call for producers of children’s and family theatre to apply to be part of the first Fringe Festival in the region.

The Fringe, due to take place from 16 January – 1 Februrary 2020, is seeking work that will “inspire, entertain, thrill and amaze” a young audience and their families.

“We’re looking for theatre, dance, music, magic, puppets, circus acts and everything in between,” Nobesuthu Rayi, Executive Producer of the Fringe said. “The programme has space for about 60 shows that will be staged across Sharjah in our three Fringe hubs. Performances can be in Arabic, English, or be non-verbal, and will be scheduled in venues that seat anywhere from 100 to 1000 audience members.”

The Fringe is modelled on similar successful events held across the world, where artists are given spaces to perform in exchange for a nominal registration and venue hire fee, and earn the bulk of their box office takings. As an added incentive, though, producers are making travel and accommodation grants available to productions who want to minimize the risk of taking part. “It’s an untested formula in this part of the world and we want artists and audiences to have as positive experience as possible,” Rayi said, adding that the grants of between US $500 and $2700 could be applied for.

The Fringe is being co-produced by South Africa’s National Arts Festival and UAE-based Dolphin Creative, on behalf of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). “Shurooq have recognized the dual value of Fringe Festivals – firstly to transform an arts landscape by offering opportunities for artists and audiences to find each other, and secondly to give residents and tourists new ways to explore a city and its culture,” Fringe CEO Tony Lankester said. “We’ve seen the massive economic and transformative impact some of the biggest Fringes have – in Edinburgh, Adelaide and Edmonton for example. It will take a while for the Sharjah Fringe to reach the scale of those events, but the energy and philosophy of independent, accessible and relaxed theatre is the same.”

Artists have until the end of September to submit their proposals for inclusion in the programme. A briefing document and application form can be found at


Shurooq is an independent government entity under the Emiri decree no. 2, that facilitates partnerships and connects investors with relevant opportunities. Shurooq aims to create authentic destinations that are committed to enhancing the quality of life for citizens and residents, as well as foster an environment where businesses thrive and ideas flourish. Shurooq strives to encourage investment in Sharjah by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from both the region and the world.


South Africa’s National Arts Festival, staged annually in Grahamstown since 1974, has grown to become Africa’s largest arts events. Staging over 2500 performances over 11 days, the Festival comprises both a curated Main programme and an open access Fringe, and presents work across all genres – but predominantly theatre, dance, classical music, film, jazz, comedy and family theatre. In 2018 it reported total attendance of just over 200 000 across all its events and programmes.

Recent studies by the Rhodes University Department of Economics indicate that the Festival is one of the region’s biggest drivers of the local economy – contributing R94m (approx. US$6.6mm) to the GDP of the City and R374m (US$26.4m) to the GDP of the Eastern Cape Province.


Dolphin Creative is a unique creative agency and production company specializing in street arts with offices in Dubai, Jeddah, Singapore, Shanghai, Istanbul and Mumbai. Formed in 2010 the company has produced over 10 000 street arts events in 18 cities across 12 countries, with a talent pool of over 1000 specialist artists and management.


ACCRA Animation Festival Announces Animation du Monde 2020 Winners As Competition Draws To A Close At Lagos Comic Convention

The first edition of the Accra Animation Film Festival (AAFFia) recently wrapped after shining a spotlight on African animation as well as hosting the third leg of the Pan-African Animation du Monde preliminary rounds.

With each passing round of the competition, creators and animators have delivered higher and higher quality work, and yet only three will progress to the Continental Finals taking place at DISCOP Johannesburg later this year.

The winners from AAFFia, in no particular order are:

  • Meet the Igwes by Chekwube Okonkwo (Nigeria)
  • JujuCups by Selorm Dogoe (Ghana)
  • Message Beats by Natasha Nayo and Lizz Johnson (Ghana)

Kenya and Nigeria are next in the Animation Du Monde program. The fourth round of the Pan-African Animation du Monde will be taking place at Nairobi Comic Con (NAICCON) after entries closed on August 11th.

The Sub-Saharan circuit of Animation du Monde 2020 preliminary rounds will come to a close in Nigeria at Lagos Comic Convention (LCC) from 19 – 21 September 2019. Entries for LCC are currently open and close 5 September 2019.

Once the Lagos Comic Convention prelim is concluded, the next stop for the prestigious pitching competition is the Continental Finals at DISCOP Johannesburg in November 2019, where the 15 finalists (3 from each of the 5 regional prelims) will compete for the honour of being 1 of the 2 winners selected to represent the continent and compete against their global counterparts at Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest. & Market/MIFA (Annecy/MIFA) in 2020.

On the back of the recent news that Africa will be honoured at Annecy/MIFA 2020 as part of the Africa 2020 Creative Season, this represents arguably the biggest opportunity for African creators to showcase their talent and content on a global stage.

Nigeria is home to the largest comic book market in Africa. The creative industries have been able to leverage the largest population on the continent and the second largest film industry in the world by volume, Nollywood, to build this success. Although animation is fairly new to the region, an event like LCC has shown that there is a hunger for content from the continent. As a sister industry to animation, comics have been able to lay a solid foundation for creatives to work from.

The maiden preliminary round of Animation du Monde hosted at Lagos Comic Convention in 2018, brought some of the best animation talent to the fore. Dami Solesi, one of the Continental Winners of the competition, came through the LCC 2018 prelim to pitch her idea at Annecy/MIFA 2019.

Dami had the following to say about her experience; “Going through the Annecy/MIFA pitches has opened my eyes to a new world of content production and how I can bring my ideas to life. From the onset at the LCC, my project was constantly being refined at each stage. At DISCOP Johannesburg, meeting with each of the experts and the infallible contribution that each expert made towards the project. They even provided opportunities beyond the competition and I’m still in communication with many of them as regards updates on my project. I believe every single creative who has an idea should definitely apply for this because going through the process, whether you win or not your project would be refined.”

Events such as AAFFia and Lagos Comic Convention highlight the importance of audience access to animation, without which the industry will not be able to grow and evolve. Animation du Monde plays an important role in increasing animations’ profile amongst audiences by providing education, networking, and opportunities for creatives to market their ideas. This relationship between audience and creatives is the foundation of the animation industry.

As the Annecy Int. Animated Film Fest’ & Market/MIFA looks towards its 60th year in 2020, where they will be celebrating Africa as a region of honour, it is important to create the platform for creatives to showcase their work. And, next year, show the world what Africa is capable of!

The competition regulations can be viewed HERE. If you have a project that you would like to enter, please click HERE. Who knows, you might represent Africa at the Animation du Monde 2020 Grand Finale in Annecy!

Subscribe to the African Animation Network newsletter and keep an eye on our Facebook page and website for news on when the preliminary rounds will be in your region!

African Animation Network

The African Animation Network is a pro-profit, talent-driven social enterprise and open network that endeavours to build a sustainable African animation industry. The African Animation Network’s primary objective is to empower African animation creators and producers by providing support and advancing social cohesion within the African animation sector.​ (Read more HERE)

Annecy Int. Animated Film Festival & Market/MIFA

Festival International du Film d’Animation d’Annecy was created in 1960 and takes place at the beginning of June in the town of Annecy, France. Initially occurring every two years, the festival became an annual event in 1998. It is one of the four international animated film festivals sponsored by the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation/ASIFA and is arguably the most prestigious animation festival globally. (Read more HERE)

Accra Animation Film Festival is a platform that supports, promotes and offers animators in Africa the opportunity to showcase their artistic work. AAFFia aims at growing the animation ecosystem in Africa and connecting local animators to other professionals in other continents.

Our goal is to challenge local animation quality to ensure competitive work that showcases the stories and talents of the continent. Ultimately, we want to create a bridge between animators here and the rest of the world, stimulating raw creativity to enrich the global animation community. (Read more HERE)

Launched in 2012, the Lagos Comic Convention has become West Africa’s #1 destination for comic book geeks, book readers, avid music listeners, movie lovers, art lovers and fans of every area of the creative industry to gather and meet experts of crafts they love. It has also become the #1 platform used for people in the creative industry to connect with their audiences and sell their products. (Read more HERE)


Almost Time For the Fourth Annual Proe’toria Outdoor Festival

“I believe that food and culture are the things that bring communities together and give us the opportunity to escape from the stresses of everyday life. There is definitely no better place for a get-together with friends and family to enjoy good food and great entertainment than the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens, so come and enjoy the day with us,” says Joe Foster about the fourth annual PROE’TORIA. He is one of a selected few artists that is set to perform at this great event.

On 31 August 2019 EPH Events will be celebrating spring with the biggest food and entertainment festival that the country has ever seen! “This year promises to be the best PROE’TORIA yet. As always, the festival will boast more than a hundred food and drink exhibitors, great music as well as loads of entertainment for the kids,” shares EPH Group’s Leon Pheiffer.

Not only can festivalgoers look forward to enjoying the best food, nibbles, crafts, gin, craft beer and wine in one place, but they can also expect to be entertained by some of the best artists, including waaronder Dewald Wasserfall, Roan Ash, Demi Lee Moore, Corlea, Touch of Class, Georgetown, Jemma, Deevah and Karlien van Jaarsveld, as well as various food experts – who will be sharing cooking advice – on stage.

To spice things up, the event will also boast four different stages on the day:

  • Main Stage;
  • Wine Garden (Wyntuin), featuring Emil Paul, Pierre Nel and students from 2nd Life School of Music;
  • Beer Garden (Biertuin), featuring WG Nel and Silver Creek Mountain Band; and
  • Cooking Garden (Kooktuin), featuring contestants from Kokkedoor Season 3.

Wineries and exhibitors from all over the country will be part of this event, including Dors Water, The Java House, The Pizza Wagon, Foodboyz, Hazeldean Brewing Co., Lekker Spookasem, to name but a few. Visitors will also be allowed to taste products before making their final purchase.

“Hazeldean Brewing Co. is about local craft beer, as it is also depicted on our logo. That is why we are very happy to be part of a unique Pretoria event like PROE’TORIA! Come and support local products and help us build an exceptional food, beverage and arts community in Pretoria,” the craft beer manufacturer explains about why they decided to be an exhibitor at this year’s show.

Gates will open at 09:00 and the program for the day will end at 19:00. Online tickets are now available at a reduced rate from Admission for students with valid student cards is R80, pensioners will pay R100 per person and adults (under the age of twelve) that book now will only pay R150 per person. On the day tickets will be sold at the gate at R180 per adult.

If you want a more exclusive experience, are older than eighteen and want to enjoy some extra benefits, VIP tickets are also available for sale online at R550 per person!

For your safety and convenience, plastic will be king at this event with the help of Cashless King, and no cash will be accepted.

PROE’TORIA is definitely the best way to combine an outing with friends and family with the best food, drinks and entertainment in the country. So what are you waiting for, book now to avoid disappointment. You won’t regret it!

For the regular news and updates, joing the events page:


MTV Base And BET Africa Partner With Shekhinah For Rosefest 2019

Power local female artists celebrate Women’s Day with Shekhinah at Rosefest on 9 August at Nasrec Expo Centre

MTV Base (DStv 322) and BET Africa (DStv 129) have partnered with globally acclaimed artist, Shekhinah on her first ever produced music festival RoseFest which features an all-female performance in celebration of Women’s Month at Nasrec Expo Centre in the South of Johannesburg on Friday, 9 August 2019.

The carnival themed style show will see the award – winning sensation leading the festival with a line–up that takes on a literal interpretation of women empowerment with supporting acts including recently announced BET New International Act Award winning Sho Madjozi, SAMA winner Busiswa, songstress Simmy, vocalist and performer Moonchild Sanelly and Melo B Jones amongst many others. MTV Africa’s VJ’s Kim Jayde and Farieda Metsileng will be hosting the inaugural Rose Fest together with BET Africa’s brand personality, Nomalanga Shozi.

“This is an important partnership in supporting our local talent. Shekhinah’s RoseFest exemplifies BET Africa’s values of celebrating African women, talent, culture and music during a significant month in our country’s history.” says Monde Twala, Vice President at Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa) for Youth, Music and BET Africa.

Commented Shekhinah: “Finally the time has come for me to have my first headline show for everyone who has supported me since my career started and to have partnered with Viacom’s notable brands that celebrate African women, music and talent like BET Africa and MTV Base is truly an honour.”

Tickets for the inaugural festival are available for sale on Webtickets / Pick n Pay at R240.


Ladima Foundation: Woman’s Film Festival Residency Program

Earlier this year The Ladima Foundation announced the formation of a network of women-focused and managed film and cultural festivals from across Africa. The first major training and development intervention for this network will be taking place later this month in Kigali, Rwanda with an intensive residency program for the staff of these partner festivals.

The network currently includes the Udada International Film Festival in Nairobi Kenya, the Urusaro International Women’s Festival from Rwanda, The Celebrating Womanhood Festival and Conference in Uganda, and Festival International des Films de Femmes de Cotonou (Cotonou International Women’s Film Festival Benin.

An initial training and mentoring session took place in March in Kampala Uganda at the Celebrating Womanhood Festival, part of the Native Voices International event. Edima Otuokon, co-founder of the Ladima Foundation hosted a workshop for female filmmakers invited to the festival on the power of film to empower and uplift women across Africa.

The Ladima Foundation is now excited to announce the first of its formal residency program for all four festival partners that will include the Festival Directors / CEO’s of these film festivals. This training will be taking place from August 13th – 17th in Kigali, Rwanda.

As an important aspect of festival management, programming must create and plan scheduled activities for visitors and participants that optimise visitor experience, increase participation of targeted demographic, whilst still maintaining the cultural integrity, vision and theme of the festival.

Some common issues with female focused festivals across Africa are their inability to:

  • develop engaging festival programming;
  • get the required number of film submissions to hold a festival;
  • publicise and market their event efficiently and effectively;
  • develop strategic partnerships and relationships; and,
  • fund most of their activities.

Furthermore, the timing of the female focused festivals often coincides with other more established festivals in Africa, Europe and North America and they have to contend with festivals like Berlinale, Toronto International Film Festival and Cannes that call for African film submissions too.

The residency program aims to increase the artistic, technical and management skills of women’s film festival management teams in Africa. The in-depth and interactive program will provide networking opportunities for women’s film festival CEOs / Directors across Africa to enhance the sharing of best practice and collaboration.

Topics to be covered will include the curation and strategic positioning of festivals, funding, film festival partnerships and linkages, marketing and publicity, proposal writing etc.

The program will be facilitated by a range of experts from within the Ladima Foundation as well as additional support from Maxa Zoller, the Artistic Director of the International Women’s Film Festival of Dortmund / Cologne, one of Europe’s longest running and most successful women’s film festivals.

The other facilitators include The Ladima Foundation’s Lara Utian (South Africa), who has many years of experience in film festival production, marketing, and publicity management, Edima Otuokon, (Nigeria), a policy and business development expert as well as a film industry expert, and Lydia Idakula Sobogun, (Nigeria), a filmmaker, arts activist and consultant.

This residency program is the first of a number of similar training programs that will be held on an on-going basis in order to further support women filmmakers and festivals across the African continent.

For more information: