It's safe to say that Africa is probably the one continent with the most fertile ground right now for film and filmmakers, with many countries in the continent with still relatively young (and in some cases) non-existent film industries.
When it comes to the international competitive film marketplace, African cinema is lacking in representation (South African cinema and Nollywood especially aside - an industry that's managed to sustain itself without acknowledgement from the outside); and it's a fact that film companies like Focus Features, Canal France International (and several other similar cross-continental co-production programs and initiatives) are probably fully aware of, with initiatives like Focus' Africa First shorts program, and now Canal France and its newly launched Haraka! program, which was announced at the Durban International Film Festival last month - with its tagline reading: "Supporting new talents in short African films."
A summary of the Haraka! program from the press release follows below:
- CFI is now launching Haraka! a contest for fictional short film projects, with the aim of mobilizing the energies of a new generation of African directors who are determined to film at all costs.
- By providing the means to young directors under 35 years old within sub-Saharan Africa, who have already acquired the basics of the job, to enhance their experience, CFI hopes to spot new talents and contribute to the injection of more dynamism to the sector.
- In total, 12 projects will be selected in 2012 and CFI will allocate an even sum of 10,000 euros. In order to facilitate a wide circulation of the selected works, the short films will be broadcast on African television channels.
- Film projects should be between 5 and 15 minutes long, with screenplays centered on the theme: Living in Africa today.
- The selection jury will be made up of professionals.
- Candidates must send their application file before the 15th of October 2012.
It's kind of a broad theme (living in Africa today). But that's what it is.
The application and terms of registration for the competition can be downloaded at http://en.cfi.fr/
NOTE: Available to all companies in sub-Saharan countries, except South Africa.
Canal will distribute the films across its platforms in both Africa and Europe.
And by the way, 10,000 Euros is about $12,000.