Tag Archives: Realness Institute

Realness Institute names academy cohort

African filmmaking organisation the Realness Institute, in partnership with the Locarno Film Festival, has selected nine African women to participate in the second edition of the Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy.

Markus Duffner

Abulele Njisane, Lerato Bokako, Taryn Joffe, Anga Mqingwana , Khanyisile Zond, Nozipho Swelindawo, Victoria Ogar, Lucinda Van de Rheede and Seggen Mikael will all take part in the academy, which takes place from September 3 to 10.

The participants will have the opportunity to engage in networking meetings with international professionals, masterclasses, workshops and panel discussions. They will also curate a shot film programme that will be screened at the event.

In a joint statement, Markus Duffner, head of Locarno Pro, and Marion Klotz, Industry Academy project manager, said: “We’re thrilled to see the Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy getting ready for its first on-site edition during FAME Week. The Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy will continue to boost young and emerging professionals into the local and international film industry network.”

The Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy is also in collaboration with FAME Week Africa and the StoryBoard Collective. It is dedicated to developing young film professionals working in sales, traditional and online distribution, theatrical exhibition, and programming for festivals, film clubs and archives.

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Netflix, Realness select for writers’ lab

Global streaming platform Netflix and African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute have revealed the 12 participants who have been selected for the 2022 Episodic Lab (EPL) and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) programmes.

The six candidates and their projects chosen for EPL are Hussein Kurji with Bushcamp (Kenya), Khanyo Mjamba with Byline (South Africa), Mlilo Mpondo with Bayeti-Visitors (South Africa), Neo Sibiya with Ukushona Kwelanga/The Setting of the Sun (South Africa), Sandra Madu with From Lagos With Love (Nigeria) and Voline Ogutu with Dilemma (Kenya).

The candidates for DET are Babalwa Baartman (South Africa), Khosie Dali (South Africa), Mona Ombogo (Kenya), Neiloe Whitehead (South Africa), Omotunde Akiode (Nigeria) and Pedro Duarte Soulé (Cabo Verde).

Each participant will receive a monthly stipend of US$2,000 during the incubation period to cover living expenses as they focus on their concept and professional development.

They will spend three months in a virtual lab where they will work on developing their original story ideas, in any genre, while being mentored by Realness Institute creative producers Elias Ribeiro and Mehret Mandefro, as well as story consultants Selina Ukwuoma and Thandeka Zwana.

They will also have the opportunity to pitch their incubated stories to Netflix executives.

According to the filmmaking organisation, the selected participants will gain a deeper understanding of the story development process, working alongside creative producers and story experts.

DET participants will work in teams to support the development and crafting of the Episodic Lab participants’ respective projects and help translate their concepts into pitch decks.

Realness Institute is a non-profit organisation that aims to empower Africans to tell their stories from an unapologetically African point of view.

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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 unveil writers’ lab

Global streaming service Netflix and African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute have selected 12 Africans with scripted projects who will take part in the three-month Netflix Episodic Lab (EPL) and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) programmes.

The move is aimed at producing more original local content from creative writers in Africa.

The six candidates chosen for the EPL are Ayoade Adeyanju with the series Agent 419 (Nigeria), Kehinde Joseph with Osupa (Nigeria), Andile Ngcizela with Drummies (South Africa), Dominique Jossie with Fafi (South Africa), Kudakwashe Maradzika with Bad Influencer (Zimbabwe/South Africa) and Mary Waireri with Sheitain (Kenya/UK).

At the end of the EPL, each writer will have an opportunity to pitch their incubated concept to Netflix to have their series further developed for production.

The six selected DET candidates include Ololade Okedare (Nigeria), Anneke Villet, Antionette Engel and Thandeka Zwane (both South Africa), Damaris Irungu Ochieng’ (Kenya) and Lara Sousa (Mozambique).

Announcing the aim of the traineeship on Instagram, the Institute said: “They will accompany the incubation of the six potential Netflix African original series. The purpose of this traineeship is to build a critical missing capacity in the local media ecosystems with the hope of expanding this expertise across the continent to help bolster the quality of work produced. This skill creates opportunities for professionals to work with national film bodies, film commissions, funders, story consultants and critics.”

The EPL will take place remotely until September 5, when selected participants will receive about US$2,000 monthly stipend so that they can focus entirely on their development.

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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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Ladima expands film academy

Pan-African non-profit organisation The Ladima Foundation has announced the expansion of its professional training and development arm, The Ladima Film Academy, in partnership with The DW Akademie.

The Ladima Foundation will expand and formalise its education and training offering for 2021 and beyond in order to commit to the professional development of women in film, TV and content across the African continent.

Building on the success of the two short courses in animation and documentary film that took place in Lagos in January, seven introductory online and on-site courses have been rolled out in various disciplines while also developing their intermediate courses.

The courses across the disciplines have been developed by experts with a particular focus on the African environment and also starting from a feminist perspective. They include documentary filmmaking, animation, editing, cinematography, producing, directing and scriptwriting.

The courses, which will be free to women, are expected to roll out in January 2021, followed by on-site courses in Lagos, Nigeria. The online courses will be open to all aspiring and emerging women professional filmmakers in Africa who are members of the Ladima Foundation’s online community and database of women professionals across the continent. Onsite courses will be primarily focused on Nigerian women but also open to others, depending on Covid-19 protocols.

The application process will open in November 2020 via the Ladima Foundation. For details, click here. To sign up to be part of the A-List community and also benefit from the knowledge resources, search functionality and networking opportunities, click here.

The Ladima Foundation has partnered with a number of respected organisations and professionals to develop and teach these courses.

These include British-Ghanaian animator Comfort Arthur who ran a short course on basic animation for the Ladima Foundation in January 2020 and will be developing the intermediate course as well as rolling out the online version of the introduction to animation in January 2021.

Selina Ukwuoma, Cait Pansegrouw and Mehret Mandefro from the Realness Institute will deliver the scriptwriting online course and e-learning production course.

Barry Braverman, a cinematographer who has extensive training experience across Africa, has developed the introductory and intermediate cinematography courses for Ladima.

Finally, Switch Media’s South African duo Kate Boswell and James Tayler are the experts behind the documentary, editing and directing curriculum development courses.

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