Applications Now Open For The Realness Pan African Scriptwriting Residency 2017

Following the success of the inaugural scriptwriting residency, Realness is thrilled to announce the call for submissions for the 2017 edition.

Realness is a pioneering residency that provides filmmakers with the opportunity to hone and develop their creative scriptwriting skills. It serves to address the need for promising African film projects to be supported in their development phase to be able to realistically compete in global film markets.

This year five filmmakers – Amirah Tajdin (Kenya), Hiwot Admasu (Ethiopia) Luck Razanajaona (Madagascar), Sheetal Magan (South Africa) and Wim Steytler (South Africa) spent six weeks at the Nirox Artists’ Residency in the Cradle of Humankind under the mentorship of script consultants Selina Ukwuoma and Nadja Dumouchel, including attending the Durban FilmMart and Talent Campus at the Durban International Film Festival.

“The success of this residency is not only evident in the encouraging feedback from the participants, who welcomed the opportunity to be in a quiet headspace to tap into their creative sources, but it is also evident in the numerous awards they have received and the progress made following the residency,” explains Elias Ribeiro, Creative Director of Realness. “Luck, for example, had a project selected for the Durban FilmMart prior to the residency, where we met and worked with participants as a precursor to programme. Here he walked off with awards from CineMart (International Film Festival Rotterdam) and the International Organisation of La Francophonie to further develop his script. Hiwot has since won an award to participate at another residency programme in Switzerland the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, and two of the projects have signed co-production agreements since completing the residency.”

As a result of the Realness programme, Ribeiro has,been invited to present the initiative at five major international festivals since starting it earlier this year, namely Berlinale, Cannes, Locarno, Venice and Torino. “The continued interest is very encouraging and serves as a platform for the residents to maintain the momentum towards getting their films made. We have structured Realness in a very holistic and strategic way, engaging with heavy-weight partners and advisors in developing the framework for the programme. It is rewarding to see the genuine interest in developing synergy between African cinema and the rest of the world.”

Amirah Tajdin said “Realness made me realize that…time and space really does make all the difference during script writing.” Wim Steytler said that Realness gave him the courage to “throw my script and 8 months of work into the bin. I gained important insights into how to take my story from decent to good. After Realness my goal is to take the project from good to great.”

Realness is proud to announce that the partnerships established in 2016 will continue into the second edition, which means that the 2017 residents will also have the opportunity to further develop their projects through the awards offered by the Durban FilmMart, Locarno Filmmakers Academy, Torino Film Lab, Midpoint, EAVE and La Fabrique des Cinema du Monde.

The submission window opens on 28 November 2016 and closes on 31 January 2017:

Applicants must submit ONE PDF dossier containing:

  • a motivation for wanting to participate in REALNESS (1 page)
  • a synopsis of the proposed feature project (1 page)
  • a narrative treatment of the proposed feature project (6 pages)
  • a draft of the screenplay (if available)
  • a writer’s note of intention (1 page)
  • a short biography (1 paragraph)
  • two links to samples of previously produced work, uploaded to vimeo. If selected, residents will be required to donate one copy of their previous work to the Nirox film library.

The call is open to screenwriters from across the African continent and selection will be based on artistic merit. REALNESS will hold no legal claim over the work once the residency is completed.

All submitted material must be in English. A committee appointed by the Realness team and their partners will read the project entries and conduct interviews with a shortlist of candidates in April. The REALNESS selection will be announced at an event hosted by the pavilion Les Cinemas du Monde in Cannes, 2017.

Dossiers must be submitted to [email protected]. For further information and to download the application form go to

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: Instagram: IMDb: