Funding is where many dreams go to die.
Well, not necessarily. However, the success of your artistic project does hinge on your ability to invest financially in it. Yet the creative industry in Africa tends to be criminally underfunded, causing many to let go of their expressive desires. African filmmakers are not exempt from this. Despite the abundance of untold stories waiting to be given life through film, filmmakers do no have the luxury to focus on their projects. It’s no coincidence that non African filmmakers who have access to funds are able to produce the best films based in Africa stories. To help address the issues of funding, DANDANO has decided to produce a quarterly list of film grants from institutions willing to support African filmmakers.
This list is not necessarily a “how to fund your african film guide”, but more of the grants that are most likely to offer financial help to african filmmakers. We focused on their past history in supporting original African stories when putting it together. The list will also be frequently updated. We also plan to curate such list for musicians as well as provide workshop sessions to give our stories a chance of surviving.
Hubert Bals Fund
Deadline: July 28
The International Film Festival Rotterdam Hubert Bals Fund, supports independent filmmakers from Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. The €800,000 is distributed among various filmmakers at different levels of completing their projects. Established in 1989, the fund has a long history of supporting african filmmakers. Creativity and originality are the most important factor they consider. Critically acclaimed films “Beauty and the Dogs” by Ben Hania Kaouther (Tunisia, 2015) and “I Am Not a Witch” by Rungano Nyoni (Zambia, 2017), which turned many heads at the Cannes Film Festival this years are some of the beneficiaries of the grant. As the deadline is fast approaching, we’d encourage african filmmakers to seriously consider submitting their scripts.
Deadline: August 15
For documentary filmmakers, Canadian film institute, Alter-Ciné Foundation is offering $100,000 to works from Africa, Asia or Latin America who want to direct films in local languages. To qualify, filmmakers need to submit an application as well as previous films via a Vimeo link. As such, this grant is more suited to documentary filmmakers who already have a film out and not novices. Although most of the past winners have been Latin American, African recipients of the grant include Sudanese filmmaker Marwa Zein for “Off Khartoum Sides” (2016) and “Our Forbidden Places/Nos lieux interdits” (2008) by Leïla Kilani which won Best Documentary Award at FESPACO, Apply here!
World Cinema Fund
Deadline: July 17
The German Federal Foundation for Culture and the Goethe Institute are providing production and distribution funding for films from Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Caucasus as well as Bangladesh, Nepal, Mongolia and Sri Lanka. The World Cinema Fund has a special program for films from sub-saharan Africa and will give special consideration to projects from that region. About € 160,000 is specifically set aside for this. Applicant will have to complete a normal WCF fund application. Past reciepinet of this grant include In the last days of the city by Tamer El Said (Egypt, 2016) and Felicité by Alain Gomis (Senegal, 2017). Apply here!
London Calling Plus
Deadline: 25 July
For short film, Film London is looking to commission £15,000 to black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) writers and directors in the city. The special fund is however restricted to residents of any of the 33 London boroughs who have a track record of producing content for film, tv and Youtube, as such complete novices many not be considered. Films should be no longer that 15 minutes and must reflect the diverse nature of he city of London. Apply here!
*DANDANO will continue to update this list will new grants for african filmmakers. Organizations interested in funding african film should also get in touch via email to be featured*
Written by Hakeem Adam