Six African Film Talent announced for 6th Realness African Screenwriters’ Residency

Six African film talent have been selected for this year’s Realness African Screenwriters’ Residency, which takes them on an 8-week programme in South Africa and Switzerland for mentorship and support, to nurture and grow their feature film projects in development.

The Residency is an incubator for African screenwriters that provides personalised support to empower writers to find the core of their stories and flesh them out into screenplays, and to pitch their projects to industry partners for financing and production.

The selected participants for this 6th edition, which takes place from 3 August to 24 September 2022 are:

  • Ahmad Mahmoud with Specters of Alhoot (Sudan)
  • C.J Obasi with Nri (Nigeria)
  • Jabu Nadia Newman with For Our Mother (South Africa)
  • Lara Sousa with Nzuzu (Mozambique)
  • Sandulela Asanda with Umthwalo (South Africa)
  • Youssef Michraf with Sweet Disposition (Morocco)
Top L to Lower R: Lara Sousa, Ahmad Mahmoud, Jabu Nadia Newman, Youssef Michraf, Sandulela Asanda, C.J. Obasi

For 2022, Realness has partnered with Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland. This partnership means the filmmakers will attend the creative incubation programme “Basecamp” (3 to 13 August 2022). In addition, Kantarama Gahigiri, a Screenwriters’ Residency alumnus from the 2018 cohort, will attend the Locarno Filmmakers Academy, as last year Realness Residency did not happen due to the pandemic.

The scriptwriters then take up residence at Nirox and Farmhouse 58, for six weeks, in The Cradle of Humankind, South Africa – a calm and nurturing environment to focus on their work. Here, Story Consultants, Ayanda Halimana and Mmabatho Kau, and Creative Producer, Cait Pansegrouw, will mentor them.

“Our programme provides the physical space (and time with no pressure) for African filmmakers to really dig deep into their craft to develop their story ideas. By working together yet focused on their own stories the filmmakers are able to nurture and support each other, giving authentic African voices to these ideas,” explains Cait Pansegrouw, Co-Founder and Director of Artistic Operations at the Realness Institute.

“As a screenwriter this is an incredible opportunity to have uninterrupted time to work on a story. This cohort is a new mix of film talent representing North-, East-, South- and West Africa, which we believe will present some fascinating insights, as ideas and narratives are discussed and exchanged.”

“We are really excited to host the participants for the first time at Locarno,” enthuses Head of Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy and Project Manager for BaseCamp, Stefano Knuchel. “The voices and ideas from a diverse background of filmmakers, and specifically from Africa, provide opportunities for robust and meaningful exchange, for all involved.”

Following the Residency, the promising projects will be awarded participation in the prestigious La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde in Cannes, receive an EAVE Producers’ Workshop partial Scholarship, invitation to TorinoFilmLab Meetings Event and Locarno Filmmakers Academy.

Realness African Screenwriters’ Residency is presented in partnership with Area51, Cocoon Productions, the CNC, EAVE, the French Institute of South Africa and Institute Français’ LaFabrique des Cinémas du Monde, Farmhouse 58, IEFTA, IFFR Pro, Locarno Filmmaker’s Academy, Nirox Foundation, TorinoFilmLab and Urucu Media.

Follow Realness on Twitter @rlnsinstitute, Instagram realnessinstitute or Realness Institute on Facebook for up-to-date information.

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: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za Instagram: instagram.com/andrewgerm_za IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/

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