Creative Producer Indaba scheme selects first wave

A new initiative to develop and empower African producers has selected its first intake of talent. Seventeen producers have been selected for the inaugural Creative Producer Indaba scheme, which has been developed by Realness Institute in partnership with Sundance Institute, International Film Festival Rotterdam and European training outfit EAVE.

The year-long training programme will include masterclasses and one-on-one meetings with assigned mentors to address topics such as project development, financing, marketing and advocacy. The first workshop will run online for two weeks from August 28.

The scheme has also selected a small number of producers from outside the continent, who aim to co-produce in Africa and forge connections with the international market. The participants are divided into two groups: those with projects and individuals who are focussed on career development. Those with projects include:

  • Carol Kioko – Tero Buro, dir. Silas Miami (Kenya)
  • Maia Lekow – How To Build a Library, dir. Chris King (Kenya)
  • Lesedi Moche – Are You Wearing You?, dir. Nikissi Serumaga (Uganda)
  • Lara Sousa – Karigana, dir. Inadelso Costa (Mozambique)
  • Souleyman Kebe – Coura + Ouleye, dir. Iman Djonne (Senegal)
  • Wafa Tajdin – The Last Post Office in Lagos, dir. Akinola Davies Jnr. (Nigeria)

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 and 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 (Kenya)
  • Yolanda Ncokotwana – production and development manager, National Film and Video Foundation (South Africa)

The second workshop is set to take place during the 50th edition of IFFR in Rotterdam in January 2021 and will focus on packaging, financing and distribution. The programme will culminate with the presentation of a package that consists of a screenplay and strategic plans at an African co-production market in the second half of 2021.

“The media landscape of Africa is swiftly changing and the importance of local producers that have the training to catalyse the growth of their local markets is paramount,” said Realness Institute co-founder Mehret Mandefro.

“Indaba will make sure African talent is well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunities their markets present and ensure that the media sector can become an engine for economic growth and development across Africa.”

The new initiative builds on Realness’s screenwriting residency, which has launched 20 film projects in 13 African over the past four years and saw Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s 2017 project This Is Not A Burial, It’s A Resurrection win a jury prize at Sundance in January.