Entries for the 17th edition of pay-TV broadcaster M-Net’s New Directions initiative are open until 7 June. To date 50 top quality short films from the African Continent have been produced as part of the initiative, which was founded upon the principles of skills development and training. The films have been broadcast on M-Net’s channels across the continent and screened at film festivals around the world.
This year New Directions is working hand-in-hand with another long-standing M-Net development project, the VUKA! Awards. The theme for submissions in 2010 is “Heart’.
Says New Directions Project Manager Bongiwe Selane: “We’re looking for stories about love, emotion or experiences that touch or inspire. These films can be about someone losing their heart, or gaining it; someone behaving heartlessly, being touched in their heart, or eating their heart out. They can be films about getting to the heart of a matter; speaking from the bottom of one’s heart, or giving heart and soul. In other words, films of real entertainment and magic,’ she says.
M-Net will commission 2x 26-minute short narrative dramas and 1x 48-minute documentary after considering all proposals received, with budgets of R300 000-R350 000 and R200 000 respectively. The closing date for entries is Monday 7 June 2010, with commissioned films due for delivery in February 2011.
This year, New Directions falls under the newly-formed M-Net Cares banner, an umbrella project which encompasses all of the company’s CSI (Corporate Social Investment) initiatives. M-Net CSI Manager Palesa Xorile is looking forward to helping develop African filmmaking talent under the M-Net Cares brand. “New Directions is M-Net’s premiere filmmaking showcase – and now we’re looking to take the project to a new level by focusing on skills development for emerging filmmakers,’ she says. “In 2010, New Directions seeks to develop skills in the African film and television industry and M-Net is serious about making a tangible investment in the industry in Africa.
Submissions for entry must be delivered in hard copy (no email submissions will be accepted) to M-Net’s offices in Randburg, South Africa, and must contain a synopsis, a detailed treatment and approach and a script for the narrative drama. Short-listed production companies will be invited to present their proposal in person.
For more information, visit www.mnetcorporate.co.za or contact Bongiwe Selane or Palesa Xorile on +27 (0)11 686 6000.