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The Realness African Screenwriters’ Residency offers an opportunity 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.

The 2022 edition of the Realness African Screenwriters’ Residency, now in its 7th year, takes place from 3 August to 13 November, and is open to any African on the continent or living in the diaspora. 

This year Realness Institute has partnered with the Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy in Switzerland so that these filmmakers can attend the Locarno Film  Festival, and the Academy’s creative incubation programme “BaseCamp”. 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 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 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 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.

Stefano Knuchel, head of Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy and Project Manager for BaseCamp, says: “After five years of an inspiring and fruitful collaboration between Realness and the Locarno Film Festival, we’re happy to deepen our exchanges. 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 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.”

Chioma Ude, founder and executive director of AFRIFF, says: “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.”

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.

Online submissions are now 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 at Deadline for submissions is 7 March 2022.

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