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Professional Development Opportunity for African Film Producers at the 4th Creative Producers’ Indaba

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The Creative Producers’ Indaba (CPI), the highly successful film-producer professional development fellowship hosted by the Cape Town-based Realness Institute, in collaboration with EAVE, the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s IFFR Pro, and the Marrakech International Film Festival’s Atlas Workshops, has announced that submissions are now open for its fourth edition.

The CPI comprises three workshop modules over six months, combining in-person and online sessions. These workshops aim to equip participants with practical tools to enhance their film production management skills, develop essential leadership skills, and gain the capacity to operate sustainable businesses at a strategic level.

The fellowship is led by programme director Elias Ribeiro and group leaders Diana Elbaum, and Mehret Mandefro in addition to story expert Tracey Lee Rainers and marketing export Constanza Arena. The selected cohort will have the opportunity to engage with seasoned professionals—including active, successful producers, lawyers, finance experts, and sales experts who will share their diverse perspectives and professional experiences through case studies, roundtables, and work sessions.

Forty-five producers from 18 countries have been through the fellowship with many success stories since its inception in 2021. Producer Bartolomeu Luiz (Brazil) who attended last year’s CPI said that his participation yielded concrete results, including securing a co-production with a Canadian partner he met in Rotterdam, with further funding prospects awaiting announcements in Brazil. “The workshop has truly been a catalyst for profound personal and professional growth.”

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Fifteen film professionals from Africa and international producers interested in producing in Africa will be selected: five creative producers from Africa with audiovisual projects in development; five international producers without projects and five African film professionals from international sales, funding, festivals, markets, or an institutional background interested in working across continents.

“Recognizing the vital role of the film industry in social and macroeconomic development, we aim to develop these producers into key influencers who can shape favourable policies and financial infrastructures essential for the growth of Africa’s film industry,” says Mehret Mandefro, Director of Development and Partnership at the Realness Institute. “We also aim to foster collaboration between Europe, America, Asia, and Africa, facilitating the exchange of ideas and promoting international co-productions.”

“It fills me with so much joy to see Creative Producers’ Indaba go into its 4th edition and that EAVE was able to inspire the programme and contribute since its inception,” says Kristen Trapp, CEO at EAVE. “Seeing the latest success stories of the Indaba alumni at A-list festivals and in the creation of networks on the continent is a strong sign of the impact of the programme.”

 

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“We remain motivated and enthusiastic about being part of Indaba once more,” says Facundo Lema, Talent Manager IFFR PRO. “This programme not only enhances producers’ skills and solidifies their creative methods for projects and sustainable careers, but it also fosters deep connections, which benefit both individual paths and the industry as a whole.”

 

“We are part of one and the same community of cinema storytellers,” says Hédi Zardi, Head of the Atlas Workshops. “It is always important and exciting to build bridges within the continent to enable people to have dialogue, get to know each other, share expertise, and think of future creations together. We are delighted to develop this collaboration and empower talents.”

 

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Brazilian foundation Projecto Paradiso, Canada Media Fund, Swiss Audiovisual Training Organisation Focal, and the Austrian Film Fund each have one spot specifically reserved for a producer in their country wanting to co-produce an African project, further enhancing cross-cultural collaboration.

Creative Producers Indaba participants will attend the Atlas Ateliers during the Marrakech International Film Festival in November 2024 and sessions at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in January 2025 followed by online sessions to close the circle of their projects.

Mehret Mandefro and Diana Elbaum, will provide the cohort with invaluable mentorship and guidance through the process. Guest speakers who will generously share their expertise, insights, and guidance include  Constanza Arena  founder of the talent promotion and representation agency LA LUZ (Chile),  Sata Cissokho, who is charge of acquisitions at the Paris-based sales agent Memento International, Tracey Lee Rainers an international story practitioner and independent creative executive who spearheads story development company Story Oasis (SA) and Isioma Idigbe who heads media and entertainment practice group at PUNUKA Attorneys & Solicitors (Nigeria).

Applicants must meet specific requirements, such as having produced at least one feature fiction, series, or documentary film, or a minimum of two short films as a lead or co-producer. Film professionals should possess a minimum of four years of professional experience.

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The deadline for submissions is 15 July at 12:00 Central African Time. For more information and submission details, visit the Realness Institute website at https://www.realness.institute/creative-producer-indaba.

The Realness Institute gratefully acknowledges the support of the Austrian Film Fund, Canada Media Fund, CNC-ACP/European Union, DEENTAL,  Focal, Jeune Création Francophone, the Institut français as part of the Création Africa program, the Brazilian foundation Projeto Paradiso, Spcine and The Storyboard Collective, in partnership with European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE), International Film Festival Rotterdam Pro (IFFR Pro), and Marrakech International Film Festival (Atlas Workshops).

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