Realness supports local film industry

Realness Pan African Screenwriters’ Residency participants Wim Steytler, Amira Tajdin, Sheetal Magan, Hiwot Admasu and Luck Razanajaona.

FOLLOWING an exciting first year of searching for, identifying and nurturing groundbreaking African stories, Realness Pan African Screenwriters’ Residency reflects proudly on their inaugural year of championing African film and putting focus on story development. Presented by pioneering film company Urucu Media, Realness was established last year with the aim of providing the best talent on the continent with the space, time and support necessary to create and develop their vision.

After attending Durban FilmMart (DFM) as Durban Talents in 2016, the Realness residents worked at Nirox in the Cradle of Humankind for 6 weeks under the mentorship of Nadja Dumochel and Selina Ukwuoma. Following this they had a further 6 weeks to polish their work from home and submit the drafts to the awards committees.

Realness founder Elias Riberio said Five screenwriter/directors were selected to participate in 2016 and each were in different stages of development with their feature fiction projects which, combined with their diversity of backgrounds, made the residency an invigorating and stimulating experience.

“We will do everything within our reach to see these projects transition from the concept, to the page and finally to the screen,” said Riberio.

South African writer/ director Wim Steytler’s project Uitlander, which was in first draft on selection , went on to be invited to three international platforms including the NFVF/CNC co-production workshop in Paris, EAVE Producer’s Workshop and more recently La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde in Cannes.

“I have new hope for the South African film industry where auteur driven films can be celebrated locally and reach an international audience. Realness is tangibly facilitating a new wave in African cinema,” Steytler said.

Finally, South African filmmaker Sheetal Magan participated in Realness with her feature film concept The Day and Night of Brahma, which also came into the residency as a treatment. “Gaining exposure to the script consultants took me to a deeper and more considered exploration of my film,” Magan said.

The 2017 edition of Realness takes place in June and July 2017 at the Nirox Foundation, culminating in participation in the Durban FilmMart at the Durban International Film Festival. Announcement of this year’s participants will take place at the Cannes Film Festival.

For more information on Realness, African Screenwriters residency contact [email protected]

Rudy Nkgadima

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