Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund Awards $115,000 to 10 African Doc Projects

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Docs are pleased to announce that 10 African film projects have been chosen to receive a total of $115,000 CAD in development and production grants from the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund in its ninth round of disbursements. Selected from 80 submissions from 26 different African countries, six projects will receive development grants, one will receive a production grant, and three will receive completion grants.

Five of the grant recipients will also receive support to attend Hot Docs 2020, 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 a festival/market in Africa.

The $2.35-million Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund was created in 2011 to help enable more African documentary filmmakers to tell their own stories, and contribute to the African documentary community’s next generation. To date, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund has awarded grants to 69 projects from 23 countries, as well as travel, accommodation and accreditation support to attend the Hot Docs Festival and Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Filmmakers Lab, Durban International Film Festival, Durban FilmMart, and Atlas Workshops.

Eligible projects were considered by the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund Selection Committee: Hicham Falah (Artistic Director, SENTOO), Anjali Nayer (Ink & Pepper Productions), Elizabeth Radshaw (Industry Programs Director, Hot Docs), Heidi Tao Yang (Industry Funds Manager, Hot Docs), and Neiloe Whitehead (independent).

Development Grants

Director/Producer: Shameela Seedat
Producer: Francois Verster
Production Company: Undercurrent Film & Television
Country: South Africa
Africa’s most talented, young law students, destined to become future leaders and human rights advocates, meet in Botswana to compete in a mock trial debating the most urgent issues facing refugees.

Director/Producer: Arnold Aganze
Production Company: Digital Media Production
Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
A contemporary and celebratory tale of fashion, disco balls and the everyday hustle, as told by two transgender women, La Duchesse and Consolée, flourishing in Congo.

Director: Nada Riyadh
Producer: Ayman El Amir
Production Company: Felucca Films
Country: Egypt
In a conservative village in the south of Egypt, a group of Coptic teenage girls refuse the traditional roles forced upon them, resisting through a mix of theare, performances, songs, dreams and confessions.

Director: Keitumetse Qhali
Producers: Mmameyi Mphahlele, Philipp Primus
Production Company: Simmers Films SA
Country: South Africa
An infamous veteran and a rising teenage star join forces in this coming-of-age story set in the adrenaline-pumping, underground world of the uniquely South African motorsport called spinning.

Director: Tyson Conteh
Producer: Mohamed Special Conteh (Tyson)
Production Company: Future View Film Group
Country: Sierra Leone
In this haunting, bold and genre-bending film, director Tyson Conteh embarks on a spiritual journey to investigate the unnerving circumstances surrounding the death of his girlfriend, Fatmata, who bled to death after an enforced female circumcision ritual.

Director: Ousmane Samassekou
Producers: Samoute Andrey Diarra, Estelle Robin You
Production Companies: DS Productions & Les films du Balibari
Country: Mali, France
On the desert border, in the middle of the Sahel, a house stands as the only point of fall and reconstruction for many migrants on their way to Europe, or on their difficult return. Is there a life for those who return home?

Production Grant

Director: Nantenaina Lova
Producer: Eva Lova-Bély, Candy Radifera
Production Company: Endemika Films
Country: Madagascar
In the heart of Madagascar lies a hamlet named Bomb Bay, where sprawling plains of rice fields represent the last bastion of the country’s agricultural way of life. Its inhabitants are becoming increasingly troubled by the sale of these rice fields to mysterious influential investors, and how they can preserve their beloved hamlet.

Completion Fund Grants

Director: Teboho Edkins
Producer: Don Edkins, Janja Kralj
Production Company: Day Zero Films
Country: South Africa
Moving between China and Lesotho, Days of Cannibalism is a contemporary documentary Western about capitalism.

Directors: Mark Lotfy, Noor Abed
Producer: Mark Lotfy
Production Company: Fig Leaf Studios
Country: Egypt
A casual date night transforms into a dizzying swirl of politics, anti-ISIS fighters, secret agents, paranoia and doubt.

Director/Producer: Adnane Baraka
Production Company: Alpha Ursae Minoris Productions
Country: Morocco
Three blind young Moroccans defy countless obstacles in order to survive and find true meaning in their lives. But Morocco no longer feeds their hopes and they now face the difficult decision of whether to leave their home.

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