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Focus Features' Africa First Program Accepting Entries

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 2, 2011 at 9:31AM

In its fourth year, Focus Features' Africa First Program is accepting entries May 16 - August 22. The initiative gives grants of up to $10,000 to emerging African filmmakers making narrative short films within continental Africa, and seeks to unite filmmakers with each other as well as advisors and mentors within the African film network.
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Thompson on Hollywood


In its fourth year, Focus Features' Africa First Program is accepting entries May 16 - August 22. The initiative gives grants of up to $10,000 to emerging African filmmakers making narrative short films within continental Africa, and seeks to unite filmmakers with each other as well as advisors and mentors within the African film network.

Focus CEO James Schamus says: “Everyone at Focus is excited to welcome the next class of Africa First filmmakers to New York. Aside from the incredible films we get to see being hatched, it’s also simply enormous fun hosting the Africa First advisors and filmmakers each fall!”

Shorts produced with the help of Africa First have gone on to Sundance, Toronto and Berlin Film Festivals, and been showcased on the Museum of the Moving Image and the Film Society of Lincoln Center (which will screen a compilation of the program's films on April 7 at Manhattan's Walter Reade Theatre). Another compilation, Africa First: Volume One, will be available on internet platforms April 26 and on DVD May 10.
 
Winners of the grants will also visit NYC in the fall for a weekend of workshops with peers, African cinema experts and Focus executives. More information is available here.

This article is related to: Studios, News, Universal/Focus Features


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.