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Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund 2012

Development Grant Recipients

BLINDNESS
Producer: Jean Meeran
Director: Sarah Ping Nie Jones
Production Company: Team Tarbaby
Country: South Africa

In apartheid-era South Africa, every aspect of life was determined by skin colour, from toilets to trains and dignity to destiny. BLINDNESS explores what is left of race when the ability to see skin colour is taken out of the equation.

About the Director
After a childhood in Africa and Asia, Sarah studied politics and film at Cambridge, UCT and Harvard universities. Sarah works as an independent filmmaker in association with Team Tarbaby, producing films with a specific focus on identity and freedom. Umbilical Cords, Sarah’s first feature documentary, screened at Durban International Film Festival, Encounters Documentary Film Festival, Film Africa 2012 (London), the Cambridge African Film Festival and the Zanzibar International Film Festival. Sarah is currently developing a range of films with Team Tarbaby including Blindness, a documentary feature exploring how blind individuals experienced race under apartheid, and Ystervark, a fiction feature telling the love story between a Chinese shop worker and her Zulu partner.

MOTHER OF THE UNBORN
Producer: Maartje Alders
Director: Nadine Salib
Production Company: Hassala Productions
Country: Egypt

MOTHER OF THE UNBORN is a tale of a neglected world located in the remote land of Upper Egypt, told through the eyes of barren women yearning to conceive, and what happens when their dream becomes a job.

About the Director
Nadine graduated from a filmmaking school in Egypt in 2006. She started her career as an assistant director in commercials, before becoming an independent filmmaker in 2009, when she worked as a first assistant and script supervisor on many short and long films which were screened in national and international film festivals. In 2011 she joined many filmmaking workshops where she had the chance to direct her first short documentary Fagr (Dawn), which was shown in many festivals and won the second prize in the Arab women filmmakers competition in the Baghdad International Film Festival, and the first prize in the 12th Goethe Independent Film Festival in Cairo. She is currently working on her first feature length documentary, which had the chance to be part of the first Mena program arranged by the Documentary and Campus in cooperation with the Goethe institute and also won funding grants from SIB and the ADFP from AFAC.

THE PHOTOGRAPH
Producer: Victor Viyuoh & Miramu Amadou
Director: Victor Viyuoh
Production Company: Fintu Films
Country: Cameroon

THE PHOTOGRAPH explores why 25 rural Cameroonian Muslim girls posed for their first group picture at the 1981 Eid al Adha, who was left out, and what has happened to these women who came of age as HIV became a widespread global issue.

About the Director
Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Independent Filmmakers to watch, Victor Viyuoh wrote and directed the short film Mboutoukou which was filmed entirely in Cameroon, Africa. In one year on the circuit, Mboutoukou played at over 100 festivals, including Venice, Italy; New Directors/New Films, and Rotterdam. Beginning with its nomination for the 2002 Student Academy Awards, Mboutoukou won over 20 awards, including Best Short at SXSW, Best Short at Urbanworld, and the Rights of the Child Award at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. Victor is an alumnus of USC’s School of Cinema-Television and IFP/LA’s Directors and Screenwriters labs. His debut feature, Ninah’s Dowry, was a recipient of the Global Film Initiative’s 2010 Production Grant. It premiered at the 2012 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival in October where it walked away with the Best Foreign Actress Award as well as the Best Film Award.


Production Grants Recipients

BUKOM FIGHTER
Producer: Makafui Zimrani, Odette Geldenhuys
Director: Makafui Zimrani
Production Company: Village Boy Productions & Frank Films
Country: Ghana & South Africa

BUKOM FIGHTER tells the inspirational story of how a 9-year-old boy from a shanty town in Ghana tries to create hope for himself and his family using the power of his fists.

About the Director
Makafui Zimrani is an emerging filmmaker who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film Directing from the National Film and Television Institute, Ghana. While still in school, his short film The Trap received rave reviews at the first Environmental Film Festival of Accra. At the 17th NAFTI Film and Television Festival Ghana, he won the Best Directed Film Award for his short film, Diary of the Living Dead. He worked with Television Africa from 2007 to 2010, where he produced and directed over a hundred episodes of various live and pre-recorded TV programs. Makafui is an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus and IDFA Academy Summer School. He participated in the 5th Talent Campus Durban where he also pitched his first feature documentary Bukom Fighter at the Doc Circle Pitch of the Durban Film Mart. Makafui’s goal is to use film to contribute to the socio-economic development of Africa.

FEGUIBOX
Producer: Rubén Monsuy Ndong Andeme, Gabriel Amdur
Director: Rubén Monsuy Ndong Andeme
Production Company: ACIGE, Talatala
Country: Equatorial Guinea

FEGUIBOX tells the story of Salvador, a member of Equatorial Guinea’s national boxing team, as he struggles to make it to the 2012 London Olympics.

About the Director
Rubén Monsuy Ndong Andeme was born in Bioko’s Island, Equatorial Guinea, in 1985. From 2007 he has participated in cinema workshops organized by the Spanish Cultural Center (Centro Cultural Español de Malabo), including a seminar on Cinematographic Narrative, a course on Cinematographic Production and workshops on Scriptwriting and Documentary Cinema among others. In 2008 he pioneered the country’s first cinema association, ACIGE. He is currently the organization’s chairman and in this capacity he organizes screenings and audiovisual productions for fellow Equatorial Guineans.

THE BOY, THE BLADE & THE MAN
Director and Producer: Mayenzeke Baza
Production Company: Mandela Bay Pictures
Country: South Africa

This is a modern African tale, taking us to the heart of change in South Africa. A thrilling access driven investigation into the secretive world of ritual circumcision, a teenage rite of passage known in Xhosa as UKWALUKA. From rural homesteads to urban townships the tradition is as dangerous as it is secret. Last year more than 50 boys died from botched operations, hundreds more were permanently disfigured or left infertile. Yet young men still flock to the initiation schools in their thousands, just as our director Mayenzeke Baza did, to become a man.

About the Director
Mayenzeke Baza is a filmmaker qualified as an electrical engineering technician. He won a scholarship at INPUT 2008 to study film and directed his first film for Channel4 TV in the UK. He actively produces documentary projects with a range of international partners.


Completion Grant Recipients

ROLLABALL
Producer: Steven Markovitz
Director: Eddie Edwards
Production Company: Big World Cinema
Country: South Africa, Ghana

ROLLABALL is a feature-length documentary about Ghana’s skate soccer team, all polio survivors, who play a skateboard-inspired version of soccer adapted to suit their disability.

About the Director
Eddie shot his first film, King For a Knight, in 1991 in Cape Town on a borrowed camcorder. This led him into the world of documentary filmmaking, where he won numerous awards for his films The Black and The Fight. Eddie then entered the world of broadcast television. In the SABC program, Zola 7 in Africa, Eddie directed South African music megastar Zola on a journey around Southern Africa highlighting social issues. His other television work includes series of It’s For Life, Rize Mzansi and Khumbul’ekhaya. In 2011, his short documentary, Once Upon a Day: Brenda Fassie, premiered at Encounters Documentary Festival. Recently, Eddie has been at the helm of AIRTEL Telecommunications’ corporate social responsibility project - being series director of the project in Zambia, Niger, and Ghana. He is also series director of Healthline, Vodafone’s new health initiative in Ghana.

THE DEVIL’S LAIR
Producer: Neil Brandt
Director: Riaan Hendricks
Production Company: Fireworx Media, A Season of Film
Country: South Africa

THE DEVIL’S LAIR follows a former murder convict and current Cape Flats gang leader as he comes to terms with a lifetime of choices. He confronts his violent past in a troubled community and must decide what is best for his young family, while leading his men through a deadly drug turf war.

About the Director
His first documentary film A Fisherman’s Tale was described as a “sterling directorial debut”, won a Jury Special Mention for Documentary at the Apollo International Film Festival, and was compared to “the art of Picasso and Diego Riviera, who had used their art to animate the condition of the working people and their dignity,” by Professor Ben Turok, Independent Newspapers. The director’s most recent documentary The Last Voyage won a Silver Dhow at the 2011 Zanzibar International Film Festival. Encounters International Film Festival described the film as having “an arrestingly uninhibited quality, where traditional barriers of documentary filmmaking are dismantled.” Having produced, directed and edited more than 20 films, Riaan’s work is celebrated for constantly pushing the boundaries of the documentary genre. Drawn to observational cinema, his themes oscillates between being personal and very political, and the constant struggle of engaging audiences with the “subjective reality” of his characters is expressed in the rich tapestry of his work.



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