StoryBoard is pleased to announce the open call for submissions for the first edition of the AuthenticA Series Lab, an exciting and empowering programme for African episodic screenwriters.
The programme is presented in partnership with Realness Institute, a South Africa based non-profit organisation, which aims to empower Africans to tell their stories from an unapologetically African point of view.
AuthenticA is open to all African nationals. The six-month programme, which will consist of a combination of online and in-person sessions, is set to take place from 28 September 2022 to 7 April 2023:
- Residency in South Africa - 28 September to 5 October 2022
- Work from home with weekly online meetings - 10 October to 7 December 2022
- Break - 7 December 2022 to 8 January 2023
- Work from home with weekly online meetings - 9 January to 31 January 2023
- Residency in Switzerland - 1 February to 7 April 2023. This includes a trip to Series Mania (France)- 17 March to 24 March 2023
AuthenticA will offer to four African screenwriters the unique opportunity to develop their original stories, of all genres, in episodic form. On their story development journey, they will be accompanied by Story Expert, Selina Ukwuoma, and Creative Producer, Dr. Mehret Mandefro.
The outcome of the programme is that each participant will deliver a Pitch Deck and Bible of international standard. The rights of the material developed through the programme, will remain with each writer.
Selina Ukwuoma is an accomplished freelance script consultant. She began her career at literary agency Curtis Brown working on theatre, film and television projects. She has since gone on to advise on award-winning indies as well as consulting for production companies and designing and running development initiatives such as Realness Screenwriters’ Residency and the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Foundation. Selina teaches screenwriting at the UK’s National Film and Television School and regularly mentors and leads workshops at film festivals.
Dr. Mehret Mandefro draws on her interdisciplinary training as a physician and anthropologist to create compelling narratives she calls "visual medicine." She co-founded the independent media production companies Truth Aid in New York and Area 51 Films in Ethiopia, and was most recently the Executive Producer of Ethiopia’s largest general entertainment channel Kana Television. Mehret also coordinates Ethiopia Creates, a multidisciplinary effort dedicated to strengthening Ethiopia's creative economy, and is co-founder of Realness Institute, which aims to build the film and television industry across Africa.
Angela Wanjiku Wamai studied film at La Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión in Havana, Cuba and works as a film editor in Nairobi, Kenya. She is passionate about editing documentaries as it allows her to observe human beings. Angela was recently awarded best film editor by the Women in Film Awards - Kenya. She is profoundly influenced by realist cinema and oddly drawn to stories about broken men. Angela is a typical melancholic and she is often very aware of the hurt and pain around her. Yet, this melancholic nature is accompanied by a great sense of humour, so she is always trying to use humour to lighten the dark worlds of her films.
Chantel Clark is a South African director and screenwriter. Chantel’s script for her directorial feature debut “Wit Gesigte (Pale Faces)”, was selected for the Sundance Institute’s January 2019Screenwriters Lab, IFP’s 41st IFP Week Project Forum, and was a SFFILM Spring2019 Rainin Grant Finalist. Asa Graduate of the Film MFA Program at Columbia University, her thesis film “Our Albertinia” was awarded a 2018 National Board of Review Student Grant and screened at over 25 international film festivals. Chantel has received her Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Production and in Television Drama from the University of Cape Town. She is currently an ambassador for Girls in Film South Africa.
Jessica Hagan is an Accra-based Ghanaian-British writer, who heavily explores themes of identity, displacement and misogynoir in her work. Her debut play “Queens of Sheba'' won the Untapped Award 2018. The play went to Edinburgh FringeFestival in August 2018 and had a successful sold-out 4 week run with 4- and 5-star reviews across the board and won the The Stage Award 2018. In 2019,“Queens of Sheba'' went to a 10-city National Tour and won an OFFIE in 2020 for Best Performance Piece for its run. Jessica is a recipient of the Writers Guild National Play Commission Scheme 2022 for her play BRENDA'S GOT A BABY,co-produced by Soho Theatre, New Diorama Theatre and Nouveau Riche. In 2023,“Queens of Sheba'' will have a 2-week run at the Public Theatre, New York City.
Tony Sebastian Ukpo is a Nigerian filmmaker and photographer, based in France. Trained at the London Film School, before which he had already explored various creative enterprises in theatre, graphic novels and photography, as well as course film. He has written and directed an eclectic range of films, including “Paris 60” , “Japanese murder mystery” , “Random 11”, “Mum, Dad, Meet Sam” and immigration drama “Simana” among others.
Each of the four participants will receive a monthly stipend of 1000 EUR for the duration of the programme. This is to help cover living expenses as they focus on developing their concept while being mentored.All travel and accommodation for the South African, Swiss and SeriesMania legs of the programme will be covered by the programme. Selected participants shall arrange and cover the costs of their visas and travel insurance.
- Open to all African nationals
- Age requirement: 21+
- Writers with experience in either film or television
- If the writer is part of a writing team, only the applicant will be able to participate if selected
- Story Concept must be set in Africa
- The language of the story must be in English or French and/or a local language
- Open to all genres
- The programme will be delivered in English, therefore applicants must be able to speak English
- Open to all genres
- No producer / production company attachment necessary
- Willing to commit to 8 days in person in South Africa, 2 months in Switzerland, and attend the online sessions from home
Please note: the call for applications for this year's edition is now closed. Follow this space for news on the open call for 2023!