Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy Africa Announces Participants

Fourteen film professionals from 8 African Countries have been selected to participate in this online training programme, which is set to take place from 26 September to 2 October 2021. The inaugural edition of the Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy, a partnership between the Locarno Film Festival and the Realness Institute, is dedicated to professionals working in sales, distribution, exhibition, and programming, supported by the Durban Film Mart and IEFTA.

The selected participants include: 

Aderinsola Ajao – Journalist & Film Curator, Screen Out Loud (Nigeria)

Andrea Voges – Sales & Distribution Manager, Urucu Media (South Africa)

Bérénice Hahn – Sales Agent, Social Transformation & Empowerment Projects (STEPS) (Madagascar)

Djia Mambu – Film Critic, Film Distributor, Maziwa Makuu Films (Congo)

Ibee Ndaw – Festival Manager, Sudu Connexion (Senegal)

Jana Erasmus – Producer of Marketing & Distribution, Indigenous Film (South Africa)

Joy Nduto – TV/Film Content Producer, Distributor & Consultant, Attitude Media Ltd. (Kenya)

Khanyo Mjamba – Head of Acquisitions & Sales, Gaba Media (South Africa)

Linda Wairegi – Social Media Assistant, Africa Digital Media Studios (Kenya)

Lyse Nsengiyumva – Programmer at International Film Festival Rotterdam & Founder & Creator at Recognition (Rwanda)

Mitchell Harper – Industry Programme Curator, Durban FilmMart (South Africa)

Pumulo Ngoma – Producer, Programming & Marketing, Mata Africa (South Africa)

Wambui Gathee – Screenings Manager, Docubox (Kenya)

Wilford Machili – Head and Programmer, Maputo International Film Festival (Mozambique) & Film Producer, Big Picture

“We’re thrilled to kick-off the Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy and to introduce our program for young professionals in this region. In such a fast-changing and re-shaping business environment, it is crucial to create an international network for the future leading film industry players from Latin America, the Middle East, the USA, India, Europe and now also from Southern Africa,” says Markus Duffner, Head of Locarno Pro.

Elias Ribeiro, Executive Director of the Realness Institute, says: “This is the most meaningful program considering the state of distribution worldwide. It is a time of opportunity, to think creatively to get our business back on track, to re-invent how we reach audiences and business models to support it. Everything we knew is currently in question and the dynamic fertile ground in Africa lends itself to out of the box and non-traditional thinking, essential to survive and thrive today”.

The tailored programme features masterclasses and meetings with internationally established professionals. The aim is to enhance participants’ understanding of the challenges facing the film industry, at the same time allowing them to expand their personal network of contacts and develop their professional skill set. Guest Speakers include Constanza Arena (Executive Director of Cinema Chile), Dennis Ruh (Director of the European Film Market), Magdalene Reddy (Acting General Manager Durban Film Mart), Sydelle Willow Smith (Executive Director of Sunshine Cinema) and Thibaut Bracq (Head of Atlas Workshop).

Launched by the Locarno Film Festival in 2014, the Industry Academy has expanded considerably on the international scene, offering workshops in partnership with major festivals and film institutions: in Mexico with Morelia IFF, in Brazil with BrLab, in Chile with Australab, in Panama with International Film Festival Panama, in Greece with Thessaloniki IFF, in the U.S. with Film at Lincoln Center in New York in Lebanon with MC Distribution and BCP in Beirut and later in November this year also in South Asia with India’s Film Bazaar. The Locarno Industry Academy currently has nearly 300 alumni from all over the world.