A Focus on African Cinema

The 38th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) came to an end this past Sunday with the closing feature film being Asinamali, an adaptation of Dr Mbongeni Ngema’s Broadway production. As can be expected, the festival has a focus on African cinema, but in addition to promoting locally produced films, DIFF also tries to nurture and develop the African film market.

REALNESS is a pioneering residency initiative that offers five emerging African writer and directors the opportunity to cultivate their screenplays through a year round programme that helps them to bring their scripts to life. In addition to ongoing support the residents spend six weeks working from the beautiful home of the Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg. The programme culminates with participation at the Durban Film Mart, which forms part of the DIFF programme. Here the residents are able to present their projects and take one-on-one meetings with influencers in the industry. After the Film Mart they have another six weeks to finish their drafts, at which point they’re submitted to REALNESS and their partners for consideration.

This year’s residents who attended DIFF were 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 Qubeka from South Africa. Make sure to  keep an eye out for the 2018 call for submissions, which will happen later this year.

We wish the 2017 REALNESS residents good luck in completing their screenplays, and congratulate all of the DIFF 2017 winners including the cast of Vaya, which was awarded Best South African Feature Film’, and The Wound which was awarded ‘Best Director for a South African Film’

Visit www.urucumedia.com for more information about the REALNESS screenwriters residency.


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