Film & Cinematography News South Africa

Realness African Screenwriters' Residency calls for applications

Six African filmmakers will have an opportunity to develop their fiction film story ideas and work-in-progress scripts in a three-month residency that includes attending film industry programmes in three countries in the 2022 edition of the Realness African Screenwriters' Residency.

Now in its 7th year, the residency takes place from 3 August to 13 November, and is open to any African on the continent or living in the Diaspora.

This year, the Realness Institute has partnered with the Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy (Switzerland) so that these filmmakers can attend the Locarno Film Festival, and the Academy’s creative incubation programme “BaseCamp”. In addition, one of the selected six will also attend the Academy, the festival’s industry development programme.

Following this, the cohort will spend six weeks at Nirox and Farmhouse 58 in The Cradle of Humankind, in South Africa, where they will be mentored by story consultants Selina Ukwuoma and Mmabatho Kau and creative producer at Urucu Media, Cait Pansegrouw. Elias Ribeiro, executive director of the Realness Institute, will accompany the group to the Locarno Film Festival and Mehret Mandefro, director of development and partnerships at the Realness Institute, will accompany the cohort to the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF).

From 7 to 13 November they will attend AFRIFF, in Lagos, Nigeria. Here they will have the chance to attend the festival to take meetings and present their projects to an audience of potential stakeholders. The Realness team will develop and present a two-day programme dedicated to development, during AFRIFF’s Industry event.

Head of Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy and Project Manager for BaseCamp, Stefano Knuchel says, “After five years of an inspiring and fruitful collaboration between Realness and the Locarno Film Festival, by selecting every year one Realness talent for our prestigious Filmmakers Academy, we’re happy to deepen our exchanges by welcoming all the Realness participants in our new creative initiative called BaseCamp.

The BaseCamp is a unique space in the context of film festivals, where 200 young talents from very different creative fields and from all over the world gather in a huge ex-military headquarters during the Locarno Film Festival to enjoy privileged access to the content of the Festival and also to create a utopian space, where they give shape to different forms of creations. An innovative concept that allows the experimentation of new languages and new hybrid forms of creation."

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

Online submissions are now open for this intensive programme that is offered by the Realness Institute, the South African-based NPO that aims to develop African stories created by Africans for a global film market.

The deadline for submissions is 7 March 2022.

The programme is open to anyone who has a valid African passport. Full application criteria and how to apply can be found on the Realness Institute’s website:

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