Tag Archives: Jessica Hagan

Realness Institute names Series Lab writers

African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute has revealed the four participants who have been selected for the AuthenticA Series Lab course slated to start at the end of this month.

Angela Wamai, Jessica Hagan, Chantel Clark and Tony Sebastian Ukpo

The Series Lab is presented by Realness Institute in partnership with Geneva-based philanthropic outfit The Storyboard Collective and French drama event Series Mania.

It is aimed at supporting and mentoring each participant into delivering a pilot script, a pitch deck and a professional pitch that they will present at Series Mania Forum 2023.

The young African screenwriters are film editor Angela Wamai (Kenya), director and screenwriter Chantel Clark (South Africa), Ghanaian-British writer Jessica Hagan and France-based Nigerian filmmaker and photographer Tony Sebastian Ukpo.

They will undergo the six-month Series Lab to develop their stories, under the mentorship of story expert Selina Ukwuoma and creative producer Mehret Mandefro.

They will begin the programme with an eight-day residency in South Africa this month followed by a few months of online mentorship, meetings and support, leading up to a 10-week residency in Switzerland next year.

Realness executive director Elias Ribeiro said: “The four selected participants all have a range of ideas and approaches to their episodic series, which will make for a creatively dynamic lab. The programme also offers opportunities to engage with a host of industry experts.”

David Rimer, founder of StoryBoard Collective, said: “StoryBoard seeks to promote independent African episodic content. We seek to support powerful, authentic and unapologetic voices. We understand that these narratives must start with good stories; these four scriptwriters have most definitely achieved that.

“Now, it is up to AuthenticA to support them throughout the residency and, ultimately, at Series Mania to do our utmost to get these brilliant stories on national, regional, and international screens.”

“We have been amazed by the quality and the diversity of the applications, which prove again the creativity of the talents coming from all over Africa. We selected four compelling projects, with a strong market potential that for sure will raise interest among our professional attendees. This partnership with AuthenticA Series Lab reinforces Series Mania’s position as the best place to discover new voices from all over the world,” added Laurence Herszberg, general director of Series Mania.

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ANF names Storytellers Fund recipients

Africa No Filter (ANF), a non-profit organisation supporting the development of stories challenging stereotypes about Africa, has revealed 11 emerging and mid-career artists to receive support from the Kekere Storytellers Fund.

The Kekere Storytellers Fund pays micro-grants to content creators, wordsmiths, performance artists, visual artists and journalists to create and publish unique and compelling content that shifts prevailing stereotypical narratives about their communities or subject.

These creatives have won micro-grants worth between US$500 and US$2,000 to work on projects that embody their experiences of Africa and being African, representing originality, freedom, creativity and innovation.

They include CEO and founder of the World Refugee Film Academy Cedric Bichano-Isingiro from Uganda; creator of YouTube series This is Uganda Nadia Matovu; founder of the Animated Animation Festival in Cairo Youhana Nassif; computer animator and 3D artist Ambassadeur from Rwanda; and Cameroonian scriptwriter, film producer and CEO of Mbisah Studios Eveline Mbisah.

Also among them are South African actress Cheraé Halley; South African author of a vegan food blog Anda Mtshelma; Zimbabwean artist Erhuardt Muchemwa; Nigerian editor and journalist Chisom Job; co-founder of Drum Circle Sudan Salma Mahmoud; and Kasiva Mutua, founder of Motramusic, the first all-female percussion collective in Kenya.

Jessica Hagan, arts and culture programme lead at ANF, said: “Our mission for Kekere is clear and remains the same: to empower African on-the-ground storytellers through funding and other support. Once again, we were looking for innovative, passionate storytellers with fantastic projects that showcased Africans and the continent in an interesting and refreshing way.”

“Our first cohort of Kekere grantees introduced us to the wonderful world of young, often unsupported African storytellers,” added Natasha Kimani, media and research lead at ANF.

“This has inspired us to focus even more on trying to amplify storytellers and content creators who rarely have access to opportunities. We hope that this investment will be the beginning of more diverse and nuanced stories and partnerships across the continent.”

The Kekere Storytellers Fund was launched in November 2020 as part of ANF’s way of disrupting traditional funding by ensuring that no voice remains unheard and also ensuring that funding, which is limited and rarely accessed by up-and-coming storytellers, reaches everyone with a compelling story to tell.

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