The urgent need for global Black stories that center African perspectives could not be more timely as the world reckons with the Black Lives Matter movement. In order for these African diasporic stories to take their rightful place on the global stage there is a critical missing element – more skillful producers with access to international financing to birth these projects into reality to counterbalance the wealth of untold stories and creatives stemming from the continent. In response Realness Institute is launching its second programmatic offering, Creative Producer Indaba.
This year-long professional producorial development programme was created in partnership with EAVE, International Film Festival Rotterdam’s IFFR Pro and Sundance Institute. Through plenary sessions, masterclasses, case studies and one-on-one meetings with assigned mentors, the selected participants will address topics such as project development and planning, project financing, PR and marketing, company strategic planning, leadership and advocacy. “The media landscape of Africa is swiftly changing and the importance of local producers that have the training to catalyze the growth of their local markets is paramount,” says Indaba African Group Leader and Realness Institute Co-Founder Mehret Mandefro. “Indaba will make sure African talent is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities their markets present and insure that the media sector can become an engine for economic growth and development across Africa.”
The first workshop will take place online from August 28 to September 11, 2020. “Indaba is a game-changer for producers on the continent who are interested in building their skills in international co-productions and financing and playing a role as eco-system builders in their market,” says Head of IFFR Pro Marit van den Elshout. IFFR Pro, hosts CineMart, the premiere co-production market in the world. “We are excited to work with the Realness Institute in partnership with EAVE and International Film Festival Rotterdam’s IFFR Pro to support emerging African producers. Our participation is a great opportunity to listen and work together with our partners to consider new business practices that have the potential to impact financing and co-production structures between Africa, Europe and North America,” noted Matthew Takata, Senior Manager of the Sundance Institute International Feature Film Program.
Unlike other professional film training programs,the selection criteria takes into account an individual’s potential to have an impact on their local market. The partners purposefully sought producers who are crafting careers that aim to contribute to the revolution of independent cinema that is brewing in Africa. A key goal of Indaba is to support African producers who will help build financial instruments for co-production where they do not currently exist and forge new models of financing that help usher in a new wave of African cinema. The Initiative’s scope also includes producers from Europe and the US interested in co-producing in Africa to help facilitate connections that deepen the access African producers have to international capital and existing funders.
The inaugural cohort of 17 participants is divided into two groups, those with projects and those who are focusing on career development. The 2020 participants with projects are producers:
- Carol Kioko – Tero Buro, Feature Film by Silas Miami (Kenya)
- Maia Lekow – How To Build a Library, Feature Documentary by Chris King (Kenya)
- Lesedi Moche – Are You Wearing You?, Feature Documentary by Nikissi Serumaga (Uganda)
- Lara Sousa – Karigana, Feature Film by Inadelso Costa (Mozambique)
- Souleyman Kebe – Coura + Ouleye, Feature Film by Iman Djonne (Senegal)
- Wafa Tajdin – The Last Post Office in Lagos, Feature Film by Akinola Davies Jnr. (Nigeria)
The 2020 participants with career development focus are:
- Chioma Onyenwe – Artistic Director, Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), (Nigeria)
- Dina Emam – Founder; Producer, Lotus Picture Co. (Egypt)
- Flavia Motsisi – Commissioning Editor for Local Entertainment Channels, Mnet (South Africa)
- Frank Hoeve – Producer; Co-Owner, BALDR Film (The Netherlands)
- Israel Mehari – Producer; Assistant Director, Kana TV (Ethiopia)
- Melissa Adeyemo – Founder; Producer, Ominira Studies (Nigeria/US)
- Oluwaseun Babalola – Founder; Producer; Director, DO Global Productions (Nigeria/Sierra Leone/US)
- Thomas Hakim – Founder; Producer, Petit Chaos (France)
- Thomas Kaske – Founder; Producer, Kaske Films (Germany)
- Toni Kamau – Founder; Producer, We are not the machine Ltd (Kenya)
- Yolanda Ncokotwana – Production and Development Manager, National Film and Video Foundation (South Africa)
In addition to training, Creative Producer Indaba aims to be a forum for rethinking business models for content creation in Africa and connecting producers with a community. “EAVE focuses on people over projects ; mind over matter. The participants’ current projects and career or business issues are used as real life case studies throughout the workshop cycle. As a result, projects and businesses are developed, yet our long-term success criteria are that participants become/remain successful professionals with distinct voices, that actively engage in sustaining, strengthening, and innovating audiovisual storytelling as well as the industry as a whole – regionally, nationally and internationally.” says CEO of EAVE Kristina Trapp. EAVE has been building networks of producers for over 30 years.
As part of the program, the producers will also spend time exploring peership and laying the foundations for a continent-wide producers network. Establishing a strong community of producers on the continent is an outcome of the program that will be a critical part of its sustainability and success.
Realness Institute would also like to thank its partners and volunteers, past and present, for their continued commitment developing cinematic talent in Africa.
Realness Institute presents Creative Producer Indaba in partnership with EAVE, IFFRPro, Sundance Institute; with the support of DOC A, National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, French Institute of South Africa and IEFTA.