By Ogova Ondego
Published March 17, 2014
Fourteen African Cultural Industries projects are among 37 new projects selected for funding by the European Union to the tune of €15,020,663.70.
Out of the 14 African beneficiaries, six are in West Africa, four in Southern Africa and four others in East Africa.
These projects will be implemented in more than 60 countries in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region by 158 organisations—117 ACP and 41 European—working in partnership.
While 15 are related to the distribution, broadcasting and promotion of cultural goods and services through festivals and online digital platforms, 11 are concerned with the training sector, 10 with producing cinematographic and audiovisual media works, one is about strengthening regulations in the cultural sector.
Implemented by the ACP Group of States and funded by the European Union, the aims of the ACPCultures+ programme are to fight against poverty through viable cultural industries in ACP countries.
Working with a €495,000 grant allocated to South Africa’s Big World Cinema, Kenyan Wanuri Kahiu of Awali Entertainment Limited shall over the next 12 months direct JAMBULA TREE, a full lenght fictional film. The film, according to a media release from ACP Secretariat, “depicts the love story between two young women in modern-day Kenya.”
All of the phases of the project–from production to distribution–ACP-EU stresses, “will call upon the talents and skills of Kenyan people. Therefore, the action aims at having an important economic, pedagogical and cultural impact.”
The other partner on this project that shall be implemented in Kenya is Mandra Films of France.
Another project that caught my eastern African eye is YETUT LIJ, a full length film to be made in Ethiopia over a 20-month period to the tune of €500,000 by Ethiopia-born, US-based director and producer, Haile Gerima.
YETUT LIJ “will retrace the story of a young girl reduced to feudal servitude when still a child,” ACP-EU says. “During the production, filming and distribution phases of the film, it is planned to organise training workshops for Ethiopian students and professionals.”
While the applicant of the grant was FilmForm Köln GmbH of Germany, the partners are Negodgwad of Ethiopia and Velvet Film Group S.A. of Haiti.
To be made in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and France over 24 months on a €495,000 grant shall be LAMB, a full feature film that “retraces the story of a young boy who becomes emotionally attached to a ewe after the death of his mother.”
Directed by Ethiopian Yared Zakele, the movie “will be entirely shot in Ethiopia, with local actors and a technical team to be sourced locally and in Ivory Coast. The action aims at strengthening the cinema industry and the skills of professionals working in this sector in Ethiopia.”
The application for the grant was made by Gloria Films Production of France while the partners are Slum Kid Films of Ethiopia and Wassakara Productions of Ivory Coast.
Other feature-length film projects to be funded are LADJI NYE, “a political thriller offering a modern and up-to-date vision of Malian society” to be directed by Malian Daouda Coulibaly (€498,000); OUR MADNESS that “tells the story of the supposed daughter of Amilcar Cabral, the father of independence in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde”, funded to the tune of €245,000 and directed by João Viana with the aims of “strengthening the cinematographic industry in Mozambique, co-production relationships between Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, and the distribution routes between four Portuguese-speaking African countries.”; RUN by Philippe Lacôte that looks at the recent history of the civil war in Ivory Coast (€500,000); QUI PARLE DE VAINCRE? to be made in Burkina Faso and Niger over 22 months on a €300,000 grant by Burkinabe director, Adama Sallé; THOM by Burkinabe director Tahirou Ouedraogo (€250,000);and PAN! L’ODYSSEE AFRICAINE by Trinidad researcher and director Dr Kim Johnson (€75,000).
MOZAMBIQUE: FROM WAR AND PEACE, a documentary television series has been awarded €216,000 just as Development and implementation of Mokolo: an online information, film/visual media viewing and networking platform for audiences and professionals involved with, or with an interest in, African and Africa/Diaspora-related film and visual media has been granted €500,000 for its work in Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya and South Africa.
International Images Film Festival for Women 2013/2015 has been awarded €499 646 for its work in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya and Somalia over 36 months.
L’Archipel des cinémas île Courts-Festival International du Court Métrage de Maurice of Mauritius has been granted €296,409 for its work in Mauritius, Comoros and Reunion Island.
For its work in Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Niger, Congo, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Mauritius, and Comoros for 36 months, Afrique en Doc TV has received €380,000 just as Capital Numérique has been granted €500,000 for its operations in Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Gabon , Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Mauritius, Central African Republic, Mali, Madagascar, Mauritania, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Togo.
Buni Media Limited of Kenya has received €500 000 for its project, Digital United ACP The Africa-Caribbean Cooperative For Profitable, Fair and Safe Film Distribution, that is implemented in Kenya, Senegal, France, Africa, Caribbean, and World in 18 months.
Maisha Film Lab – Regional Screenwriting Labs that is run in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda has got €50,000 just as Tanzania-based Internationalising Kilimanjaro Film Institute has received €486,786.