The Focus Features Africa First Short Film Program was conceived to be a unique initiative, with funds earmarked specifically for emerging filmmakers of African nationality and residence. Once again in 2011, Africa First will be offering participating filmmakers the chance to be awarded $10,000 in financing for pre-production, production and/or post-production on their narrative short film made in continental Africa which taps into the resources of the film industry there.
In addition to on-site work in Africa, the winning filmmakers of Africa First also participate in a weekend of workshops in New York City with board members. The workshops entail one-on-one discussions with such Focus executives as CEO James Schamus and president of production John Lyons, covering such topics as international distribution and the economics of studio financing; members of the program’s international advisory board of experts in African cinema; producer and Program Director Kisha Cameron-Dingle and Focus Director of Production Matthew Plouffe.
All filmmakers selected for Africa First retain the copyrights and the distribution rights to their completed shorts, with the exception of North American rights; Focus retains those, as well as the right of first negotiation to productions derived from the shorts, such as a feature-length expansion.
• Focus Features Africa First will give awards to up to five (5) filmmakers.
• Recipients will be notified in October 2011 of their status.
• Each award will be in the amount of USD $10,000.00.
• Awards are given to assist emerging African filmmakers with the production and post-production of their film.
Please read the Official Rules carefully before applying. The Africa First Short Film Program is not a grant. Recipients will retain full ownership of the copyright to their projects as well as all distribution rights throughout the world except for North America; however, for and in consideration of the Award, Award Recipients shall grant to Sponsor (i) the exclusive right in perpetuity to distribute and otherwise exploit the Project in North America in any and all media whether now known or hereafter discovered; (ii) the non-exclusive worldwide right in perpetuity to the exploit the Project on the Internet, including, without limitation, the right to upload the Project to the Website, and to permit visitors to view and download the Project; and (iii) the right of first negotiation for derivative production rights in and to the Project such as sequels, prequels, remakes, and other adaptations.
- Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, of African nationality, and must have resided in Africa for a minimum of two (2) years at any time before applying.
- Applicants must be independent producers. This means that the individual applicants:
- own the copyright of their production;
- have artistic, budgetary, and editorial control of their project;
- are not regularly employed by a public or commercial broadcast entity.
- Applicant/co-applicant must have previous film or television production experience in a principal role (producer, co-producer, director, or co-director) as demonstrated by a sample DVD or videotape of completed work submitted with application.
All projects entered into the Focus Features Africa First Short Film Program must meet the requirements below:
- Produced in continental Africa;
- 5-25 minutes in length with narratives taking place exclusively in Africa. Feature and/or documentary submissions will not be accepted;
- In preproduction, production, or postproduction;
- Project must be filmed in continental Africa and contribute to the development of the local film industry by using local key production staff and using local facilities;
- All Program documents must be written in the English language; however, if the original language of the screenplay was not in the English language, an English-language translation of the screenplay is acceptable;
- Project must be either (i) in the English language or (ii) if not, be delivered with English-language subtitles in 16mm, Super 16mm, 35mm, HDTV, DigiBeta, or Beta format.
Applications must be fully completed and postmarked by August 22nd, 2011 and received by the September 6th, 2011 deadline in order for your application to be accepted. Individuals can only submit one film per cycle. Submissions that are made with an incomplete application or applications that are submitted without the supporting materials will be disqualified. Submissions that are obscene, pornographic, libelous, or otherwise objectionable will also be disqualified. Recipients will be notified by October 3rd, 2011 of their status and must be available to travel to New York City for the Summit Weekend of November 3rd to 7th, 2011.
The final selection of up to five (5) award recipients will be made by Completion Films and the Focus production team, with the final decision being made by Focus. Projects will be judged by taking into consideration such factors as originality, creativity, quality, and artistic contribution to African filmmaking.
To Download the Application Package and read more about the Africa First Short Film Program, visit the website – http://www.focusfeatures.com/africafirst/apply.php