One month ago, Urucu Media announced a call for submissions for REALNESS, a
Pan African screenwriter’s residency which aims to provide the continent’s most promising emerging writing talents the necessary time, space and support to develop their unique cinematic vision.
From June to August 2016, five writers will be invited to participate in a residency
programme that will allow them to develop a new draft of their original feature
screenplays, under the mentorship of international industry professionals. “We are
on the hunt for the top emerging talent and most promising projects,” says Urucu
Media’s Elias Ribeiro, “the ones that have true potential to become award-winning
feature films; this is our goal to ensure REALNESS will live beyond a first edition.”
In just four short weeks, there have been over 50 submissions, with 30% of them
coming from outside of South Africa. The scope of writers ranges from established
writer/directors to self-taught, emerging talent. The five selected writers will
experience seven weeks of script development and mentoring at the Nirox Artist
Residency. In addition to meals and accommodation being provided, each
participant will be given a stipend of R15 000.
The residents will have the opportunity to present their projects to an audience of
producers, industry members and a jury composed of industry experts at the
Durban FilmMart 2016. Ultimately, the director and producer of the most promising
project will be invited to pitch to co-producers, financiers and festival programmers
at La Fabrique des Cinema du Monde in Cannes in 2017.
“Our goal is not only to identify and select the best emerging talent in Africa, but
also to grant these filmmakers the access they need in order to take the next steps
to getting their film made,” says Ribeiro.
REALNESS and Urucu Media recently welcomed Faribridges Wertheim Becker
Attorneys on board as a partner to assist with the process of legally protecting the
ownership of each resident’s work. REALNESS is a safe space to create and each
writer owns the rights to their work. The only request is that REALNESS is credited
if the film gets made. There is no obligation for the writers to work with Urucu
Media, or any other production company; who they partner and work with is left
entirely to the discretion of each writer.
The submission window closes on 31 January (or until 120 completed entries have
been received - whichever comes first) and the final selection will be announced at
an event hosted by the pavilion Les Cinemas du Monde in Cannes, 2016. Although
REALNESS applications need to be submitted in English, screenplays may be
delivered in French or Portuguese, with supporting documents supplied in English.