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Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Fund Awards $125,000 Awarded to Nine African Doc Projects

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Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Group are pleased to announce that nine African film projects were chosen to receive a total of $125,000 CAD in development and production grants from the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund in its seventh round of disbursements. Selected from 73 submissions from 25 different African countries, five projects received development grants, three received completion grants, and one received a production grant.

Five of the grant recipients will also receive support to attend Hot Docs 2018, where they will take part in a creative filmmakers’ lab, attend Hot Docs screenings, conference sessions, the Hot Docs Forum and various networking events, and participate in a year-round peer-to-peer mentorship program. They will also receive support to attend and participate in the Durban International Film Festival and Durban Film Market.


Development Grants

BETTER SUNDAYS
Director: Lydia Matata
Producer: Achiro Patricia Oluoch
Production Company: The Film and Laundry Company
Country: Kenya

Robert, a Ugandan who does not believe in God, tries to transform his impoverished community through science-based learning while dealing with the stigma and discrimination that comes with being a non-believer in a religious community.

THE GOOD BLACK
Director: Milisuthando Bongela      Producer: Batana Vundla, Marion Isaacs      
Production Company: Zalilizwe Picture Projects; Cool Take Pictures       Country: South Africa     

Milisuthando, a 32-year-old black South African explores the question, “What happened to racism after apartheid?,” capturing the new intimacies that were shared between Black and white kids in the 1990s, and how those intimacies have affected the legacy of Apartheid.

HOW TO STEAL A COUNTRY
Director: Mark Kaplan, Rehad Desai
Producer: Zivia Desai Keiper, Rehad Desai
Production Company: Uhuru Productions Pty Ltd, SPV Curveball Productions Pty Ltd
Country: South Africa

The biggest story in post-apartheid South Africa lays bare the political and social skeletons that now haunt the prospects of Mandela’s African National Congress winning the 2019 election.

MY FRIEND GADHGAHI
Director: Rafik Omrani
Producer: Rafik Omrani
Production Company: Majez Production
Country: Tunisia

The most infamous terrorist in Tunisia from 2013-14, Kamel Gadhgadhi, happened to be a close friend of director Rafik Omrani in college. With this film, Omrani reflects on terrorism, and how his old friend who used to be an “ordinary person” turned towards terrorism.

SEARCHING FOR KIKHIA
Director: Jihan Kikhia
Producer: Jihan Kikhia
Production Company: Desert Power LLC
Country: Libya

A daughter explores her father’s disappearance, a former Libyan Foreign Minister and peaceful opposition leader to Qaddafi, and pieces together her Syrian-American mother’s 19-year perilous journey through a political labyrinth to find him.


Production Grants

AT DAWN
Director: Adeyemi Michael
Producer: Adeyemi Michael
Production Company: Withheld
Country: Withheld


Completion Grants

I AM A SCRIPT GIRL
Director: Mina Nabil
Producer: Mina Nabil, Mark Lotfy
Production Company: Fig Leaf Studios
Country: Egypt

In a male-dominated industry, she was the ultimate career woman. I Am a Script Girl is a close-up and personal examination of the life, challenges and career of the unstoppable Sylvette Baudrot. Today she’s an 89-year-old lady still full of spunk, who worked for 69 years in the film industry.

THE LETTER
Director: Maia von Lekow, Christopher King
Producer: Maia von Lekow, Christopher King
Production Company: Circle and Square Productions
Country: Kenya

Kaladze’s city life is interrupted when he hears rumors from home that his grandmother is a witch. Across the entire coast of Kenya, a frenzied mixture of consumerism and Christianity has created a violent chasm between elders and youth. When Kaladze returns to his village to investigate, he discovers a dangerous family dispute that must be resolved before it’s too late.

SOFTIE
Director: Samwel Soko Osebe
Producer: Samwel Soko Osebe, Toni Kamau
Production Company: Lightbox
Country: Kenya

As Kenya’s most notorious activist enters mainstream politics to challenge political injustice, he faces questions of the cost of his sacrifices, past and present, from his family and himself.



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