February 8, 2022

Opportunity for 6 African filmmakers to develop their scripts in South Africa, Nigeria and Switzerland


Six African filmmakers will have a once-in-a-lifetime 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’s exciting news is that 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 6 weeks at the tranquil and nurturing 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 an 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,” says Chioma Ude, Founder and Executive Director of AFRIFF. 

Finally, 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, invitation to TorinoFilmLab Meetings Event and Locarno Filmmakers Academy. 

“We are thankful to our old partners and excited to welcome our new. 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,” says Mehret Mandefro, Director of Development and Partnerships for the Realness Institute. 

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 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: https://www.realness.institute/realness-residency

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

Deadline for submissions is 7 March 2022.

Follow Realness on Twitter @rlnsinstitute, Instagram realnessinstitute or Realness Institute on Facebook for up to date information.