The DW Akademie Film Development Fund was launched in early 2021 in order to Support Southern filmmakers who are passionate about storytelling and want to build their careers. After a successful funding round for Ethiopia, the fund opened applications for Tanzania and Uganda.
Both East African countries have active film communities which produce a number of films for local, regional and international markets. The Film Fund is designed to further strengthen the film industry in Tanzania and Uganda through a strategic combination of financial support and training of outstanding filmmakers. The call for applications was open for six weeks and in the end, more than 100 applications were submitted.
“We would like to thank all of our field staff who contributed to the success of our first calls for applications,” said Natascha Schwanke, Director of Media Development at DW Akademie. “It is a reflection of the high level of energy and creativity in the film communities of Tanzania and Uganda.”
The DW Akademie Film Industries team supports and implements projects aimed at strengthening the economic systems of film industries in Southern countries and contributing to freedom of expression
Applications will now be assessed for feasibility and those selected will be further assessed by an independent jury of cinema experts. Five filmmakers will be selected for each country and will each receive financial support of € 10,000 for the development of their projects up to the production stage, as well as a tailor-made training program. The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
A boost for local cinema
Fibby Kioria, film consultant with DW Akademie in Uganda, has witnessed the talent of the local film community for years as a former program director at the Maisha Film Lab. She believes that championing five projects is a good start and that the work to further develop the Ugandan film industry is just beginning.
“Having dozens of nominations in 2021 is indicative of the growth in filmmaker talent and the desire to tell our own stories, “Kioria said.” It is amazing and indicative of the growth of the Ugandan film ecosystem over the years. . ”
Martin Mhando was impressed with the response in Tanzania. He is CEO of Film Lab Zanzibar, partner of the DW Akademie, and festival director of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), one of the largest film festivals on the African continent. His contribution to Film Lab Zanzibar helped identify strategies that would attract talented candidates to the program.
“The numbers usher in a new and hopeful era for Tanzanian filmmakers who are leaving their timid days behind,” he said. “Watch out for East Africa! “