Buckle up producers: The Creative Producer Indaba has opened for applications

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Creative Producer Indaba opens submissions for its next season
Photo: Supplied
Creative Producer Indaba opens submissions for its next season Photo: Supplied


Getting back into the groove of things after the pandemic took a lot away from artists and creatives has been difficult. Thankfully, a few opportunities are opening the industry back up for some new, talented individuals.

The second Creative Producer Indaba has finally opened up for submissions for its highly anticipated professional development programme. It is offered by the Realness Institute, in partnership with European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE), the International Film Festival Rotterdam’s IFFR Pro and the Marrakech International Film Festival’s Atlas Workshops. 

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The Realness Institute was founded in 2015 with an official residency called the Realness African Screenwriter’s Residency. The project went on to foster the space for 40 film projects across 20 African countries. Their catalogue has definitely put them at the benchmark of alternative, contemporary and modern African cinema, with films such as The Wound, which challenged the status quo of cultural customs in contrast to sexuality, and This is Not a Burial It’s a Resurrection, which was Mary Twala’s last film before her passing. 

With a clear mission to unearth the wealth of African stories, this year’s Creative Producer Indaba is sure to give many young producers the head start they need to tell honest and unapologetic stories about the diaspora, by helping 15 producers become ecosystem builders.  

Director of Development and Partnership of the Realness Institute Mehret Mandefro said: 

We need strong and creative producers with the connections that give access to international financing. These kinds of creatives will serve as engines that will give local media markers the chance to grow, elevate, adapt and thrive. We want to strengthen the number of capable producers the continent has. We want to continue to equip local producers with the kind of skills, communities and resources that would allow them to thrive as artists in this economy.

Comprised of various plenary sessions, this year, the programme aims to unpack case studies of projects that came before and were highly successful in the film industry.  

The programme will also give access to individual sessions with mentors and guest experts.

Anchored by two workshops to get attendees started, workshop one will be held online from November 9-12, followed by in-person sessions at Atlas Workshops from November 14-17 during the Marrakech International Film Festival.

Workshop two will be in-person sessions at the International Film Festival Rotterdam from January 26 to February 2 2023. These workshops will also give attendees the opportunity to focus on project development, planning, financing, legal, PR, marketing, advocacy and lobbying, organisational development, network management and leadership.   

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Inke van Loocke, manager from the CineMart & Rotterdam Lab, said:

This opportunity will bring producers’ skills to the next level, consolidate their creative approaches to projects and help them run a company in a sustainable way. One of the best parts of Indaba is the bridges that are built, nurturing not only individual careers but also the industry as a whole. We look forward to the creative exchange.

This time around, the participants will be mentored by Mehret Mandefro, a film and television writer, producer and anthropologist, who was also the co-founder of the Realness Institute, Diana Elbaum, the producer behind films Elle and Message from the Kiing, story expert Mmabatho Kau, and a plethora of other guest speakers who occupy leading roles in the film and television industry.  

This year, applicants will be mentored by some of the film and television industry's most talented professionals Phot: Supplied

The Creative Producer Indaba is for all African producers with and without projects, producers from outside the continent who want to co-produce with African filmmakers, and other film professionals, such as funding bodies, international sales, distributors, broadcasters and development executives. 

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Applicants must have at least one feature fiction, series, documentary film or a minimum of two short films working as the lead producer or co-producer. Unfortunately, work as an executive producer, associate or line producer will not qualify. Film professionals must have a minimum of two years' professional experience.   

The deadline for submissions is August 22 at 17:00 Central African Time. 

Details can be found on their website: https://www.realness.institute/creative-producer-indaba

 For any queries, applicants can email: submissions@realness.institute 

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