Nine African filmmakers to watch in 2023
19 May - Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso: A horror story set at a Kenyan lodge, a documentary about a dying language, and a tale about the trials and tribulations of travelling with an African passport — these are some of the films that have been awarded funds through Africa No Filter’s Last Mile Film Fund.
The Last Mile Film Fund provide nine African filmmakers — from South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Rwanda and Nigeria — with grants to support post-production activities needed to take their stories to the public, including editing, visual effects, sound mixing, dubbing, marketing and distribution.
The nine filmmakers will produce documentaries inspired by personal experiences of race, colonial legacies, the burning desire to succeed, as well as pride and prejudice. Short and feature films include a pan-African love story and triumph against systemic and societal challenges.
The common thread in the selected films is that they carry powerful and compelling storylines that portray Africa from original and new perspectives.
The Fund is part of Africa No Filter’s work of shifting stereotypical narratives of Africa by partnering with storytellers, filmmakers in this case, whose work changes how the world sees Africa, and how Africans see the continent.
Moky Makura, Executive Director at Africa No Filter said: “It is undeniable that film is a powerful tool that influences the way Africa has been perceived over the years. A lot of people form their opinions about places and people through what they see on the screen, whether it is on cellphones, computers or TV. The film and audiovisual industry is booming and is one of the most dynamic growth sectors in the world. It drives millions of participants or viewers through diverse channels such as festivals, platforms, events, theatres, VOD, etc. ANF wants to tap into this driving and compelling force of film to push out more African stories that will populate the entertainment sphere and by doing so have more impact on how Africans perceive their continent and themselves.”
Africa No Filter’s Art Program Officer, François Bouda, said : “It is very exciting to see the impact this fund will have on the film industry. Thanks to these grants, nine films from five countries will be completed and ready for the market. Millions of people across the continent will be impacted by the new perspectives they bring. Also, it should not be forgotten that filmmakers in their majority often face a lot of challenges throughout the production process, especially when it comes to financing post-production costs.”
The Last Mile Film Fund grantees are:
1. Amilcar Patel, South Africa:6SENSE tells the story of Mxshi Mo, a young man from Kwa-Zulu Natal, who, whilst dealing with the gradual decline into blindness, finds his hidden talent in Gqom music production - shining a light on a potential path out of his own personal darkness. It’s co-directed by Chris Kets.
2. Katy Lena Ndiaye, Senegal: Money, Freedom, A Story of CFA Franc uses economics and money to explore France’s colonial legacy in Africa. But by taking up the question of the CFA, the documentary tells the audience about history, independence struggles, political and pan-African battles. It’s produced by Oualid Baha, from Algeria.
3. Tara Erica Moore, South Africa: The Native Question explores race, identity and memory through the story of Tara’s upbringing as a mixed race South African Indian woman of Canadian of British descent.
4. Neha Manoj Shah, Kenya: Love Sweet Sound is a short film about a recently blind woman who learns to adjust with her handicap. It explores themes of living with a disability, friendship, self-support and most importantly, courage. With a female leading role, this story represents women empowerment, inclusivity and real representation of Kenyans living with disability.
5. Gregory Goitseone Molale, South Africa: Language of My Soul is the story Katriena Esau, who, at 88 years old, is the only N/uu speaker left in the world. What will happen to her beloved language when she passes away?
6. Terry Jerry A’Was, Nigeria: Mali’s Integrity is a deep dive into law enforcement in Nigeria and the country’s emerging technological space like crypto currency and the Internet of Things.
7. Isaya Evens, Kenya: Grogan’s Lodge is a horror film about two college students’ encounter with remnants of colonial life in Kenya. It’s produced by Densu Moseti.
8. Yuhi Amuli, Rwanda: Citizen Kwame is a conceptual film about travel visas and the well-known struggles of travelling while Black or African. It’s inspired by the filmmaker’s stressful , humiliating and frustrating experiences while applying for visas with an African passport.
9. Ifeanyi Emmanuel Ikubese, Nigeria: Mzigo is a pan African love story that seeks to raise awareness about sickle cell disease, a modern day family story that portrays the highs and lows of living with the disease, the effect has on loved ones and the challenges they go through.
About Africa No Filter: We are a donor-collaborative shifting stereotypical and harmful narratives within and about Africa through research, grant-making, community building and advocacy by supporting storytellers, investing in media platforms, and driving disruption campaigns. Our funders are Ford Foundation, Bloomberg, Mellon Foundation, Luminate, Open Society Foundations, Comic Relief, the Hilton Foundation, and Hewlett Foundation.
For more information about our narrative research, storytellers and advocacy campaigns, see www.africanofilter.org. Follow @Africanofilter on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.