Five lucky filmmakers of African nationality and residence have been awarded $10,000 USD apiece on behalf of Focus Features, through their Africa First Program for short films. The money is to go toward financing for pre-production, production, and post production on narrative shorts made within Africa. The program also brings the filmmakers together with majors figured in the African film world, for support and mentorship. Films previously created out of this program have been showcased at the Sundance, Toronto and Berlin film festivals.
This year's winning filmmakers are Chika Anadu (Nigeria), Lev David (South Africa), Jacqueline Kalimunda (Rwanda), Ebele Okoye (Nigeria) and Julius Onah (Nigeria). Anadue's project, "The Marriage Factor," is billed as a contemporary comedy/drama about a young woman and her marriage-minded mother; David's film "Boy and Bear," a fable in which a lonely boy faces up to a monster; Kalimunda's "Sky Burning Down," a thriller about an illegal immigrant caught in a moral quandary; and Onah's short "Nepa Don Quench," a drama about a summer holiday that tests a family.
"These five filmmakers are pushing boundaries – geographical and narrative," said James Schamus, Focus Features CEO. "Once again, everyone at Focus is excited to meet them and get to know this next generation of talent from Africa."