REALNESS: 6 African screenwriters in residency @ the Nirox Foundation

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The French Institute of South Africa is proud to support the 2nd edition of REALNESS, a pioneering residency initiative presented by Urucu South African production company.

REALNESS was conceived by Urucu as a way of addressing a need for promising African film projects to be resourced and supported in the development phase in order to be competitive in the global film market. After a successful 1st edition in 2016, the selection of this year's Realness Screenwriter's Residency was announced at the Cannes Film Festival by Realness co-founder Cait Pansegrouw.

Realness 2017 began on 3 June when the participants started their residency at the Nirox Foundation in the Cradle of Humankind. They have been mentored by script consultant Nadja Dumouchel for their first week and will then enjoy 4 weeks of solid writing. From 13 to 23 July they will attend the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) where they will present their projects to the industry under the mentorship of Selina Ukwuoma at the Durban FilmMart.

This year, over a hundred applications were received from twenty-one African countries. The international panel of industry experts with a stake in African Cinema, evaluated the submissions over three months, arriving at the six following winners: 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 Quebeka from South Africa.


More about Realness:

REALNESS is a pioneering residency initiative that affords five emerging African writer/directors the opportunity to cultivate their screenplays in a supportive and nurturing space. Its aim is to not only nurture and train six filmmakers per year but to foster a New Wave of Authentic African Cinema. It is a year round support system to the alumni, helping them to bring their scripts from the page to the screen. Realness is an initiative founded and curated by Urucu Media, under the mentorship of Berlinale Talents and in partnership with the Nirox Foundation, Durban FilmMart, The Durban International Film Festival, Durban Talents, The French Institute of South Africa and Institut Français, Torino Film Lab, EAVE Producer's Workshop, Midpoint Feature Launch, Locarno Filmmaker's Academy, Produire Au Sud, Fairbridges Wertheim Becker, the Goethe Institute and Le Centre National du Cinéma et de L'image Animée (CNC).


More about the 2017 winners:

Mario Fradique [ANGOLA]
Feature film project: THE KINGDOM OF CASUARINAS

Mario Fradique is an emerging voice in Angolan Cinema. His short films travelled to several festivals, winning awards along the way, while his first feature documentary, Independence, won Angola's National Culture Prize in 2015. He joins Realness with his debut fiction feature, The Kingdom of Casuarinas, based on the novel by Jose Luis Mendonça.

Gloria Huwiler & Jahmil Quebka [ZAMBIA & SOUTH AFRICA]
Feature film project: VICTORIA FALLS

Gloria Huwiler is an actress and writer seeking to give a cinematic voice to her unique experience as a first generation mixed-race Zambian through Victoria Falls. Gloria has teamed up with acclaimed South African writer/director Jahmil Quebka, best known for his second feature film, Of Good Report.

Lemohang Moses [LESOTHO]

Lemohang Moses hails from Lesotho, a country which has not produced many films. He is a self-taught, award-winning filmmaker and artist, with short film work that has travelled to over 100 festivals, winning top honours in Moscow and Milan last year. His debut feature is This Is Not A Burial It's A Resurrection is the selected project.

Rama Thiaw [SENEGAL]
Feature film project: LIFE IN A SPIRAL

Rama Thiaw is a strong voice from Senegal that we have heard from before. Her two feature length documentaries have garnered much success and awards, most notably the FIRPRESCI Prize at the Berlinale in 2016 for The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. She joins the residency with Life In A Spiral, her fiction debut.

Samantha Nell [SOUTH AFRICA]
Feature film project: MILES FROM NOWHERE

South African Samantha Nell had her short film The Beast premiered in Cannes last year brings her debut feature, Miles From Nowhere. Set in Johannesburg, the film is an absurdist dark comedy that takes place in an old age home following four of its residents. The project is also supported by the NFVF for development.