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Sunday, August 29, 2021


Fourteen film professionals from eight African countries have been selected to participate in this online training programme, which is set to take place from September 26 to October 2, 2021. The inaugural edition of the Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy, a partnership between the Locarno Film Festival and the Realness Institute, is dedicated to professionals working in sales, distribution, exhibition, and programming, supported by the Durban Film Mart and IEFTA.

The selected participants include:

From South Africa:

Andrea Voges - Sales & Distribution Manager, Urucu Media (South Africa)

Jana Erasmus - Producer of Marketing & Distribution, Indigenous Film (South Africa)

Khanyo Mjamba - Head of Acquisitions & Sales, Gaba Media (South Africa)

Mitchell Harper - Industry Programme Curator, Durban FilmMart (South Africa)

Pumulo Ngoma - Producer, Programming & Marketing, Mata Africa (South Africa)


Rest of Africa:

Aderinsola Ajao – Journalist & Film Curator, Screen Out Loud (Nigeria)

Bérénice Hahn - Sales Agent, Social Transformation & Empowerment Projects (STEPS) (Madagascar)

Djia Mambu - Film Critic, Film Distributor, Maziwa Makuu Films (Congo)

Ibee Ndaw - Festival Manager, Sudu Connexion (Senegal)

Joy Nduto - TV/Film Content Producer, Distributor & Consultant, Attitude Media Ltd. (Kenya)

Linda Wairegi - Social Media Assistant, Africa Digital Media Studios (Kenya)

Lyse Nsengiyumva – Programmer at International Film Festival Rotterdam & Founder & Creator at Recognition (Rwanda)

Wambui Gathee - Screenings Manager, Docubox (Kenya)

Wilford Machili – Head and Programmer, Maputo International Film Festival (Mozambique) & Film Producer, Big Picture


“We’re thrilled to kick-off the Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy and to introduce our program for young professionals in this region. In such a fast-changing and re-shaping business environment, it is crucial to create an international network for the future leading film industry players from Latin America, the Middle East, the USA, India, Europe and now also from Southern Africa,” says Markus Duffner, Head of Locarno Pro.

Elias Ribeiro, Executive Director of the Realness Institute, says: “This is the most meaningful program considering the state of distribution worldwide. It is a time of opportunity, to think creatively to get our business back on track, to re-invent how we reach audiences and business models to support it. Everything we knew is currently in question and the dynamic fertile ground in Africa lends itself to out of the box and non-traditional thinking, essential to survive and thrive today”.

The tailored programme features masterclasses and meetings with internationally-established professionals. The aim is to enhance participants’ understanding of the challenges facing the film industry, at the same time allowing them to expand their personal network of contacts and develop their professional skill set.

(Right: Durban-based guest speaker Magdalene Reddy, Acting General Manager Durban Film Mart)

Guest Speakers include Magdalene Reddy (Acting General Manager Durban Film Mart) as well as Constanza Arena (Executive Director of Cinema Chile), Dennis Ruh (Director of the European Film Market), Sydelle Willow Smith (Executive Director of Sunshine Cinema) and Thibaut Bracq (Head of Atlas Workshop).

Launched by the Locarno Film Festival in 2014, the Industry Academy has expanded considerably on the international scene, offering workshops in partnership with major festivals and film institutions: in Mexico with Morelia IFF, in Brazil with BrLab, in Chile with Australab, in Panama with International Film Festival Panama, in Greece with Thessaloniki IFF, in the US with Film at Lincoln Center in New York in Lebanon with MC Distribution and BCP in Beirut and later in November this year also in South Asia with India’s Film Bazaar. The Locarno Industry Academy currently has nearly 300 alumni from all over the world.

For more information visit