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Hot Docs News

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund Invests $150K in Nine African Projects

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Docs announced today the nine African film projects selected to receive $150,000 CAD in development and production grants. The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund, now in its eleventh year, seeks to enable more African documentary filmmakers to tell their stories and contribute to the next generation of African documentary talent. Chosen from 77 applications from 25 countries, three of the selected projects will receive development grants, three will be provided with production grants, and three will get post-production grants.

In addition to the funding of nine projects from eight countries, four of the grant recipients have been invited to participate in a year-long mentorship program, which grants direct access to industry mentors, provides networking opportunities, and includes private filmmaker labs at Hot Docs and the Durban FilmMart/Durban International Film Festival or other festivals and markets in Africa.

Since its establishment in 2011, the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund has supported 87 unique projects from 26 countries, with $1,380,000 granted to date.

Eligible projects were considered by the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund Committee, which included Hot Docs Industry (Julian Carrington, Distribution Manager & Industry Programmer; Olena Decock, Industry Programmer), Naziha Arebi (HuNa Productions), Reda Benjelloun (TV 2M), Toni Kamau (We Are Not the Machine), Mbithi Masya (NBO Film Festival), Magdalene Reddy (Durban FilmMart), and Rama Thiaw (Boulle Fallé Images).

Applications for the next round of disbursements will open October 5, 2022.

Development Grants

Directors: Elsadig Abdelgayoum, Abuzar Adam
Producer: Alyaa Musa
Production Company: Black Balance Artistic Production Co. Ltd.
Country: Sudan
When Elsadig and Abuzar first met while filming the Sudanese revolution in 2019, neither knew they would eventually turn the camera on each other. An intimate journey of a growing friendship between two directors, who seek redemption and beauty through the art of filmmaking when all the odds are against them.

Director: Cyrielle Raingou
Producers: Alice Abah, Cyrille Masso, Véronique Holley
Production Companies: JCMR, Malo Pictures, Label Vidéo
Countries: Cameroon, France
The odyssey of a director trying to exorcise her fear of water and perhaps finally face the evil eye of Njinou who takes anyone who dares to venture into deep water.

Director: Boubacar Sangaré
Producer: Mamounata Nikiema
Production Company: Pilumpiku Production
Country: Burkina Faso
Sékou Timité has one ambition: to follow in his late father's footsteps and become a "Djeli", a griot, guardian of the oral memory in West Africa. Interested in the obsolete art of the griot, he leaves his family behind and sets off to confront the modern world on the roads of the legendary Mandingo Empire.

Production Grants

Directors: Nada Riyadh, Ayman El Amir
Producers: Ayman El Amir, Mette-Ann Schepelern, Marc Irmer
Production Companies: Felucca Films, Magma Film, Dolce Vita Films
Countries: Egypt, Denmark, France
In a conservative village in the south of Egypt, dominated by patriarchy, a group of Coptic girls refuses the traditional roles forced upon them, by forming an all-female street theatre troupe. A coming-of-age portrait of girls at the crossroads of their lives.

Directors: Maia Lekow, Christopher King
Producers: Maia Lekow, Christopher King
Production Company: Circle and Square Productions
Country: Kenya

Directors: Firas Rebiai, Rami Jarboui
Producers: Firas Rebiai, Dhia Rebiai
Production Company: NAP
Country: Tunisia
Once a heavenly small town on the outskirts of Tunis, El Attar turned into a living hell after Tunisia’s largest landfill opened on its doorsteps.

Post-Production Grants

Director: Aya Tallah Yusuf
Producers: Aya Tallah Yusuf, Sumer Abd Elnasser
Production Company: Shoghl Cairo Pictures
Country: Egypt
Between Cairo and Dubai, Samar tries to rebuild her life after an acid attack by her ex-partner. The film captures 5 years of her mental and physical healing journey, and the friendship built with another acid survivor.

Director: Yakout Elhababi
Producer: Yakout Elhababi Production
Company: Behind Closed Doors
Country: Morocco
Portrait of a farming family living in the most marginalized region of Morocco, where livelihood comes exclusively from growing cannabis. The film explores the inherent taboo weighing on them and their children who mirror the parent’s work with their games.

Director: Muhannad Lamin
Producer: Muhannad Lamin
Production Company: Khayal Productions
Country: Libya Donga is the story of a fighter in the center of the Libyan conflict who carries a camera as his weapon of choice.

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