Search for Africa's next big filmmaker underway as Showmax puts out call for pitches

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Film set. (Photo: Getty Images)
Film set. (Photo: Getty Images)

Showmax and the Joburg Film Festival have joined forces to look for Africa's next great storyteller. 

The streamer and the local film festival are looking for "pitches to fill a slate of 10 live-action films".

According to an exclusive report by the American news site Deadline, the proposals must "have a first draft screenplay and be set in contemporary Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, or South Africa, with a first-time director attached who is a resident or citizen in those countries".

"All official Ghanaian, Kenyan, Nigerian, and South African languages are welcome, and the final films should be more than 40 minutes, in line with the SAFTAs Best Made-for-TV Movie Award category."

Pitches are required to be in English and recorded in a five-minute video.

The pitch must also include short biographies of the writer, director, and producer. The entry must also include a summary of the story including the ending, the characters, the genre, style, and visual references. 

"Showmax’s audience prefers local content, with seven of the ten most-streamed titles in South Africa, eight of the top 10 titles in Kenya and Nigeria, and nine of the top 10 in Ghana last year being African," said Yolisa Phahle, CEO of Showmax and Connected Video at MultiChoice, told Deadline in the US exclusively.

Submissions will open on 1 February on Showmax’s website and close on 1 April. 

The selected projects will be announced in the second half of 2023 and screened on Showmax in 2024.

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