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.