Tag Archives: Elias Ribeiro

Realness Institute film residency opens

African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute has created an opportunity for six filmmakers to develop their story ideas and work-in-progress scripts in South Africa, Nigeria and Switzerland.

Mehret Mandefro

The three-month residency will be held from August 3 to November 13 and is open to any African on the continent or living in the diaspora. Online submissions are open from now until March 7. To apply, click here.

Participants will be accompanied by Elias Ribeiro, executive director of the Realness Institute, to attend the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland as well as a creative incubation programme, dubbed BaseCamp, while one of the selected six will attend the festival’s industry development programme, called The Academy.

They will also spend six weeks at the tranquil retreat Farmhouse 58 in South Africa, where they will be mentored by story consultants Selina Ukwuoma and Mmabatho Kau, as well as Cait Pansegrouw, creative producer at South African prodco Urucu Media.

In addition, they will be accompanied by Mehret Mandefro, Realness Institute’s director of development and partnerships, to the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Lagos from November 7 to 13. There they will have the chance to attend the festival to take meetings and present their project to an audience of potential stakeholders.

Stefano Knuchel, head of Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy and project manager for BaseCamp, said: “After five years of an inspiring and fruitful collaboration between Realness and the Locarno Film Festival, by every year selecting 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.

Stefano Knuchel

“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.”

“Africa has been at the forefront of storytelling from the very beginning. We are passionate about telling our authentic stories. It is important to script our stories well for the global audience, hence the partnership with the Realness Institute,” added Chioma Ude, founder and executive director of AFRIFF.

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.

“We are thankful to our old partners and excited to welcome our new ones. Nigeria is an exciting market we have long been interested in entering, so it’s wonderful that our writers will get a chance to showcase their projects at AFRIFF,” said Mehret Mandefro, director of development and partnerships for the Realness Institute.

The residency programme is presented in partnership with Urucu Media, Nirox Foundation, Farmhouse 58, AFRIFF, the French Institute of South Africa, Institute Français’ La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde, TorinoFilmLab, Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy, Cocoon, CNC, EAVE, IFFR Pro, IEFTA, Berlinale Talents and Area51.

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Netflix, Realness Institute set up writers lab

Global streaming service Netflix has partnered with African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute on an episodic content development lab for writers of series.

Dorothy Ghettuba

Submissions will be taken between November 30 and January 31, 2021 and are open to writers in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria who have film and TV experience, fiction or factual, in any language.

Six writers will be selected from the submissions to work on projects that will be developed and commissioned by Netflix while they will be paid a stipend of US$2,000 per month to develop their concepts in series format from June to September 2021. For updates, click here.

Dorothy Ghettuba, head of African original programming at Netflix, said: “We strongly believe that Africa has a wealth of untold stories. As we grow our slate of originals in Africa, partnerships with organisations like Realness will help us achieve our goal of investing in writers who will bring diverse genres of authentic, local stories that will ensure our audience members see their lives reflected on screen.”

Mehret Mandefro, director of development and partnerships at Realness Institute, added: “This programme is a response to the dramatically changing broadcasting ecosystem which has a very important role to play in building a thriving media ecosystem in local markets and providing episodic creators with distribution opportunities.”

Elias Ribeiro, co-founder and creative director at Realness Institute, said: “We had fun shaping the programme with the Netflix team. We all share a love for storytelling and Netflix’s writer-centric approach is very much in line with our ethos.”

Realness was founded in 2015 to support the development of African content. It has delivered a yearly Screenwriters’ Residency and in 2020 hosted the first Creative Producer Indaba, a year-long trainee programme for development execs, in association with EAVE, International Film Festival Rotterdam’s IFFR Pro and the Sundance Institute.

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