After 7 years serving more than 150 fellows to date from around the world, this years Global Media Makers broadened its scope to include more countries in Africa including Burkina Faso, Nigeria and South Africa. GMM is a cultural exchange program designed to foster relationships between American and international film professionals by facilitating screenwriting, directing, creative development and documentary filmmaking. The initiative is supported through the partnership between Film Independent and US Department of States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
This years Global Media Makers LA residency saw the South African flag being flown high with local film producer Dominique Jossie and writer/director/producer Yolanda Mogatusi presenting their narrative fiction project titled Thula Thula. Film producer Khosie Dali founder of Miss K Productions and writer/director/producer Imran Hamdulay presented another narrative fiction titled Pieces. An episodic series titled Risk is the project producer/IPO Exco member Quinton Fredericks along with writer Jason Staggie presented at this years Global Media Makers.
This is what IPO Exco member Quinton Fredericks and IPO member Jason Staggie had to say about their residency: “It truly is a privilege to have been selected along with Jason Staggie and our other SA colleagues, to participate in the Global Media Makers LA Residency Program for 2023. This is the first time that SA has been invited to be part of this unique offering funded by the US State Department and we extend our gratitude to both Film Independent and Global Media Makers. We are part of a group of 20 writers, directors and producers participating in an intensive six week programme in three tracks, i.e the Documentary Track, the Directing Track and, for the first time, the Creative Development Track, which is where Jason and my project is located.
The feedback from highly respected industry mentors has been invaluable in assisting us in refining and improving both story and character narratives and arcs. This in addition to workshops on the business approach to the film and television industry which has been both illuminating and sobering as the 2023 Residency takes place against the backdrop of the Writers Strike in America, which may very well extend into the latter part of the year. Some of our mentors are writers who are on strike and we hope that this impasse will be resolved in the interests of all parties.
One of the most compelling features of the Residency is the fundamentally different approach to how projects are pitched in America as opposed to SA. This, coupled with the fact that filmmakers here have little or no government support in terms of funding, means that the requirements of a business approach are essential to landing projects with studios, streamers, financiers and distributors.
Suffice to say that creatives here are driven to constantly stay abreast of industry developments on multiple levels to advance both their careers and business prospects. We are learning so much in this respect along with the creative input into our project. I can honestly say that the Residency is a unique offering both in terms of the range and details of the program.
I therefore want to thank the organizers of the Residency, Maria, Nicole, Sheila, Jeremy, Will, Cormac, Nora, Arielle, Noelle and all our mentors for their dedication and commitment to supporting filmmakers from across the world and creating this opportunity for us. It is so valued and appreciated, and also thank-you to our fellow Global Media Makers both from SA, Pakistan, Nepal, Egypt, Libya, United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Namibia, Yemen and India for being part of this journey and for all your amazing feedback and support. Knowing that we are part of the Global Media Makers Family is both humbling and empowering.
Yours Truly, Quinton and Jason