“As I Want,” “Treasures” receive Hot Docs grants

Canadian festival Hot Docs has awarded development and production grants to eight African film projects, including Samaher Alqadi's As I Want, via the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Development Fund.
January 13, 2016

Canadian festival Hot Docs has awarded development and production grants to eight African film projects via the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund in its fifth round of disbursements.

The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and financier Blue Ice Group have granted a total of CAD$125,000 (US$87,518) to the eight winning projects, five of which are set to receive development grants, while the remaining three are to obtain production grants.

The documentaries were selected from a pool of 94 submissions from across 25 African countries.

The grant recipients will also receive support to attend the 2016 edition of the Hot Docs Festival – running from April 28 to May 8 in Toronto – where they will participate in a creative filmmakers’ lab, attend screenings, conference sessions, the Hot Docs Forum and various networking events, as well as a year-round peer-to-peer mentorship program.

In addition, grantees will be provided with support to attend and participate in the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) and Durban FilmMart, both of which run from July 16 to 26.

The $1 million Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund, which recently received an additional $1.25 million from the Blue Ice Group, was founded in 2011. The fund has since awarded grants to 40 projects from 15 countries, as well as travel, accommodation and accreditation support to attend the Toronto-based festival and its Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Filmmakers Lab, as well as DIFF and the Durban FilmMart.

Descriptions for the eight Blue Ice projects, provided by Hot Docs, follow below:

Development Grants 

As I Want
Director: Samaher Alqadi
Producer: Karim El Hakim
Production Company: Prophecy Films
Country: Egypt

As I Want is a first-person narrative by an Arab woman who experiences an awakening, forcing her to confront the repressed life she is expected to lead and the freedom she desires.

Days of Cannibalism
Director: Teboho Edkins
Producer: Don Edkins
Production Company: Day Zero Films
Country: South Africa

A story about China and Africa, Days of Cannibalism moves from a hotel in Guangzhou to a bar in Lesotho, taking us deep into the lives of those living in the shadow of new economic realities.

Treasures from Heaven
Director: Adnane Baraka
Producer: Sarah Lamrini
Production Company: Arkhabil Films
Country: Morocco

A Moroccan nomad, a businessman and a scientist search for valuable meteorite debris dispersed in the desert of Western Sahara, desperate to change their own lives.

The Other Half of the African Sky
Director: Tapiwa Chipfupa
Producers: Tapiwa Chipfupa, Ben Mahaka
Production Company: Mahaka Media, TC Pictures
Country: Zimbabwe

Estranged from her family by a dispute over her marriage, Tapiwa Chipfupa attempts to reconcile the situation through encounters with other Zimbabwean women in this brutally honest and vivid portrait of contemporary Zimbabwe and its vast contradictions.

The Second Revolution
Director: Khalo Matabane
Producer: Neil Brandt
Co-Producers: Carolyn Carew, Dan Jawitz
Production Company: Fireworxmedia, Born Free Media Pty Ltd
Country: South Africa

A young militant political activist, disillusioned by injustice and inequality, rejects Nelson Mandela’s narrative of forgiveness and reconciliation to challenge both white and black South African elites to eradicate the widening gap between the poor and the rich.

Production Grants

The Letter
Director: Chris King, Maia von Lekow
Producer: Chris King, Maia von Lekow
Production Company: Circle and Square Productions
Country: Kenya

After his grandmother is accused of being a witch, a young rapper sacrifices his reputation to embark on an investigation to unmask the taboos around witchcraft.

Directors: Withheld
Producers: Withheld
Production Company: Withheld
Country: Withheld

Radicals tells the harrowing story of mothers whose children have been transformed into radicalized “foreign fighters” by the lure of ISIS.

Dream Away
Directors: Marouan Omara, Johanna Domke
Producers: Mark Lotfy, Roman Roitman
Production Company: Fig Leaf Studios, Monokel
Country: Egypt, Germany

Dream Away follows a generation of young Egyptians on their search for a new identity to the surreal tourist hub Sharm El Sheikh.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.