Realness Residency announces award winners and a new partner 


Realness Residency is a Pan-African screenwriting initiative seeking diversity in contemporary African perspectives while encouraging risk-taking, originality and authenticity. This ethos has been demonstrated once more by the success of alumnus Luck Razanajaona (Madagascar) at CineMart in Rotterdam where his Realness project Disco Afrika won the Wouter Barendrecht Award of €5,000 given to a director under 35-years-old last night.

“We have once again achieved our target of over 120 submissions and are excited to start the evaluation process. We look forward to welcoming our 2018 residents to their home-away-from-home at Nirox in June,” said Realness co-founder Elias Ribeiro. “Since its launch, the residency has nurtured ten African writers from eight countries on the continent, growing into an impactful centre that fosters emerging talent and that is recognised throughout the film community,” co-founder Cait Pansegrouw went on to say.

Ribeiro and Pansegrouw’s production company Urucu Media produced Inxeba (The Wound), the most awarded South African film ever made, which was shortlisted to the top nine in the 2018 Best Foreign Film category of the Academy Awards. The Wound has found distribution in over 30 countries around the world and has been acquisitioned by the likes of HBO, Netflix and Mnet. They also co-produced the Mozambican Oscars entry, The Train of Salt and Sugar.

“It’s very good to start your project in this kind of residency programme. It has a great reputation so it gives you more credibility and introduces you to potential producers and funders,” said the 2017 Resident, Rama Thiaw from Senegal.

Through Realness’s partnership with other labs and development platforms, its residents are considered for various scholarship awards to platforms that will further their creative progress. The 2017 results are as follows:

  • Locarno Filmmaker’s Academy: Miles from Nowhere, Samantha Nell (South Africa)
  • TorinoFilmLab: The Kingdom of Casaurinas, Fradique Mario Bastos (Angola)
  • EAVE Producer’s Workshop: Miles from Nowhere, Samantha Nell (South Africa), attended by producer Bongiwe Selane

The award to attend La Fabrique Cinema de L’Instituit Francais in Cannes will be announced in March. Swiss production company Cocoon, lead by producer Simone Soleil, awarded each participant with a 1000 euro stipend to assist with their real-world costs while in residence.

Realness is also proud to announce a new partnership with Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The festival will award a resident with a flight, festival pass and personalised itinerary allowing them maximum professional development during their time at TIFF.

Realness was founded in 2015 by Urucu Media, presented under the mentorship of Berlinale Talents, in partnership with Nirox Foundation, Durban FilmMart, The French Institute of South Africa and La Fabrique Cinema de L’Instituit Francais, TorinoFilmLab, Locarno Filmmaker’s Academy, Cocoon, Toronto International Film Festival, The CNC, EAVE and Fairbridges Attorneys.


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