Hot Docs, Blue Ice back African filmmakers

By Content Nigeria reporter
May 17, 2024


The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Docs have announced the selection of seven African documentary projects to receive C$115,000 (US$84,000) in development and production grants.

Elizabeth Radshaw

Now in its 13th year, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund aims to empower more African documentary filmmakers to tell their stories and contribute to the next generation of African documentary talent.

Chosen from 108 applications from 26 countries, three of the selected projects will receive development support – two will be provided with production grants and two will get post-production grants.

The projects are a representation of voices and stories from the African continent geared towards leaving an indelible mark in the world of non-fiction filmmaking.

The projects receiving development grants are Akal from Kasbah Films (Morocco), Looking For The Mermaid from YC Films (Mozambique) and We Had the Moon from Dousma Dousma Productions (Mauritius) and Visual Asili (Kenya).

The two projects receiving production grants are Spaceman in Kongo from Maene Film (Democratic Republic of Congo), The White Doctor from Afrofilms International and Little Wing Films (Kenya).

The projects receiving post-production grants are Copper Queens from LBx Africa (Kenya) and Truck Mama from Visual Asili (Kenya) and MoonBow Productions (South Africa).

Elizabeth Radshaw, Hot Docs’ director of industry programmes, said: “These brilliant filmmakers have presented unique and relevant projects that showcase their unwavering vision, talent, passion and storytelling prowess. We are proud to champion their vision as they progress towards the completion of their projects.”

Neil Tabatznik, Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs co-founder, added: “The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund continues to play an essential role in the industry, nurturing and amplifying the voices of bold African doc filmmakers, while helping them launch their non-fiction projects and deliver these vital stories to a global audience.”

The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund Committee responsible for the eligible projects included Ayman El Amir (Felucca Films), Hot Docs Industry (Elizabeth Radshaw and María José Arauz), Khalid Shamis (TubaFilms) and Maia von Lekow (Circle & Square Productions).

The fund allocates development grants up to C$10,000 and production grants up to C$40,000 to between four and 10 projects annually. Each year, up to five of these funded projects are chosen to participate in a year-long mentorship programme.

This scheme includes exclusive filmmaker labs at Hot Docs and the Durban FilmMart/Durban International Film Festival, or other festivals and markets in Africa.

The fund also collaborates with The New York Times – Op-Docs to commission short films from African filmmakers, which are featured on the NYT’s online platform.

Since its establishment in 2011, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund has supported 100 projects from 26 countries, with C$1.433m handed out to date.

Applications for the next round of disbursements will begin on October 2. For more details, click here.