Canadian festival Hot Docs has awarded development, production and completion grants to 10 African film projects via the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund in its ninth round of disbursements.
The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and financier Blue Ice Group have granted a total of CAD$115,000 (US$86,500) to the 10 winning projects, six of which are set to receive development grants, while one will receive a production grant and the remaining three are to obtain completion grants.
The documentaries were selected from a pool of 80 submissions from across 26 African countries.
Five of the grantees will also receive support to attend Hot Docs ’20 – running April 30 to May 10 in Toronto – where they will take part in a creative filmmakers lab, attend screenings, conference sessions, the Hot Docs Forum and various networking events. In addition, they will participate in a year-round peer-to-peer mentorship program as well as receive support to attend a festival or market in Africa.
“Supporting our largest cohort ever, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Fund celebrates filmmakers from seven different countries,” said Elizabeth Radshaw, industry programs director at Hot Docs, in a statement. “We are honored to support these incredible talents and share their diverse visual language and powerful story perspectives.”
The $2.35 million Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund was founded in 2011 to help enable more African doc filmmakers to tell their own stories. The fund has since awarded grants to 69 projects from 23 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 the Durban International Film Festival, the Durban FilmMart, and Atlas Workshops.
Dates for the next round of disbursements will be announced this spring.
For further information on eligibility requirements and deadlines, click here. All films receiving funding are listed below, with descriptions courtesy the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund.
(Pictured: Teboho Edkins’ Days of Cannibalism)
Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund Development Grants:
Director/Producer: Shameela Seedat
Producer: Francois Verster
Production Company: Undercurrent Film & Television
Country: South Africa
Africa’s most talented, young law students, destined to become future leaders and human rights advocates, meet in Botswana to compete in a mock trial debating the most urgent issues facing refugees.
Kongo Is Burning
Director/Producer: Arnold Aganze
Production Company: Digital Media Production
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
Kongo Is Burning is a contemporary and celebratory tale of fashion, disco balls and the everyday hustle, as told by two transgender women flourishing, La Duchesse and Consolée, in Congo.
Land Of Women
Director: Nada Riyadh
Producer: Ayman El Amir
Production Company: Felucca Films
In a conservative village in the south of Egypt, a group of Coptic teenage girls refuse the traditional roles forced upon them, resisting through a mix of theatre, performances, songs, dreams and confessions.
Director: Keitumetse Qhali
Producers: Mmameyi Mphahlele, Philipp Primus
Production Company: Simmers Films SA
Country: South Africa
An infamous veteran and a rising teenage star join forces in this coming-of-age story set in the adrenaline-pumping, underground world of the uniquely South African motorsport called spinning.
Speaking Through Dreams
Director: Tyson Conteh
Producer: Mohamed Special Conteh (Tyson)
Production Company: Future View Film Group
Country: Sierra Leone
Speaking Through Dreams is a haunting, bold and genre-bending film. Director Tyson Conteh embarks on a spiritual journey to investigate the unnerving circumstances surrounding the death of his girlfriend, Fatmata, who bled to death after an enforced female circumcision ritual.
The Witnesses from The Shadows
Director: Ousmane Samassekou
Producers: Samoute Andrey Diarra, Estelle Robin You
Production Companies: DS Productions & Les films du Balibari
Country: Mali, France
On the desert border, in the middle of the Sahel, a house stands as the only point of fall and reconstruction for many migrants on their way to Europe, or on their difficult return. Is there a life for those who return home?
Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund Production Grant:
Director: Nantenaina Lova
Producer: Eva Lova-Bély, Candy Radifera
Production Company: Endemika Films
In the heart of Madagascar lies a hamlet named Bomb Bay, where sprawling plains of rice fields represent the last bastion of the country’s agricultural way of life. Its inhabitants are becoming increasingly troubled by the sale of these rice fields to mysterious influential investors, and how they can preserve their beloved hamlet.
Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Completion Fund Grants:
Days of Cannibalism (pictured)
Director: Teboho Edkins
Producer: Don Edkins, Janja Kralj
Production Company: Day Zero Films
Country: South Africa
Moving between China and Lesotho, Days of Cannibalism is a contemporary documentary Western about capitalism.
Like Real Lovers
Directors: Mark Lotfy, Noor Abed
Producer: Mark Lotfy
Production Company: Fig Leaf Studios
A casual date night transforms into a dizzying swirl of politics, anti-ISIS fighters, secret agents, paranoia and doubt.
Director/Producer: Adnane Baraka
Production Company: Alpha Ursae Minoris Productions
Three blind young Moroccans defy countless obstacles in order to survive and find true meaning in their lives. But Morocco no longer feeds their hopes and they now face the difficult decision of whether to leave their home.