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Monday, February 28, 2022


(Left: Selina Ukwuoma, Story Consultant and residency mentor)

Deadline for submissions: March 7, 2022

Once in a lifetime opportunity for African Filmmakers to develop 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.

In its 7th year, the residency takes place from August 3 to November 13, 2022, and is open to any African on the continent or living in the Diaspora.

(Right: Chioma Ude, Founder and Executive Director of AFRIFF)

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 participate in the Academy, the festival’s industry development programme.

Following this, the cohort will spend six 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. Mehret Mandefro, Director of Development and Partnerships at the Realness Institute, will attend the cohort to the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF).

From November 7 to 13, 2022, they will attend AFRIFF in Lagos, Nigeria. Here they will have the chance to participate in the festival to take meetings and present their project to an audience of potential stakeholders. The Realness team will develop and deliver a two-day programme dedicated to development during AFRIFF’s Industry event.

(Left: Elias Ribeiro, Executive Director of the Realness Institute, will accompany the group to the Locarno Film Festival)

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 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," says Chioma Ude, Founder and Executive Director of AFRIFF.

(Right: Creative Producer at Urucu Media, Cait Pansegrouw, one of the mentors during the programme)

Online submissions are now open for this intensive programme offered by the Realness Institute, the South African based NPO that aims to develop African stories created by Africans for a global film market.

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, an 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

The complete application criteria, which is open to anyone who has a valid African passport and how to apply, can be found on the Realness Institute’s website:

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.

The deadline for submissions is March 7, 2022.

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