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Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Realness is an initiative founded and curated by Urucu Media, under the mentorship of Berlinale Talents and in partnership with the Nirox Foundation, Durban FilmMart, The Durban International Film Festival, Durban Talents, The French Institute of South Africa and Institute Français, Torino Film Lab, EAVE Producer's Workshop, Midpoint Feature Launch, Locarno Filmmaker's Academy, Produire Au Sud, Fairbridges Wertheim Becker, the Goethe Institute and Le Centre National du Cinéma et de L'image Animée (CNC).

At an event hosted by La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut Français, one of the first supporters of the programme, the selection of this year’s Realness Screenwriter’s Residency was announced at the Cannes Film Festival by Realness co-founder Cait Pansegrouw.

Realness, which was established in 2016, aims to provide scriptwriting talent on the continent with the space, time and support needed to create and develop their vision. This year, over a hundred applications were received from 21 African countries. The international panel of industry experts with a stake in African Cinema, evaluated the submissions over three months, arriving at the five chosen residents in early May.

"The Realness initiative continues to unearth some of the rarest talent from the continent,” said Thandeka Zwana from the National Film and Video Foundation, one of the volunteer readers on the selection panel. “The most impressive part of reading the submissions was getting insights into the applicants' previous work and seeing real African cinema in terms of the aesthetic and storytelling. Some evoked memories of the old African greats and some spoke to a wave of new voices."

The selected residents for 2017 are Lemohang Mosese from Lesotho, Mario Fradique Bastos from Angola, Rama Thiaw from Senegal, Samantha Nell from South Africa and writer-director team Gloria Huwiler from Zambia and Jahmil XT Quebeka from South Africa. 

Realness 2017 begins on June 3 when the participants begin their residency at the Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind. They will be mentored by script consultant Nadja Dumouchel for their first week and will then enjoy 4 weeks of solid writing. In July they will attend the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) where they will present their projects to the industry under the mentorship of Selina Ukwuoma at the Durban FilmMart.

“We are grateful to DFM and DIFF for supporting the initiative and making this possible,” says founder and Creative Director Elias Ribeiro. “The screenwriters’ producers will also be invited to attend the finance forum at DFM this year.”

For more information on Realness, African Screenwriters residency visit