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Hot Docs News

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund Invests $115K in Eight African Film Projects

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Docs are pleased to announce the eight African film projects selected to receive $115,000 CAD in development and production grants. The Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund, now in its 12th year, seeks to enable more African documentary filmmakers to tell their stories and contribute to the next generation of African documentary talent. Chosen from 87 applications from 22 countries, four of the selected projects will receive development grants, one will be provided with production grants, and three will get post-production grants.

In addition to the funding of eight projects from seven countries, six 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 100 unique projects from 27 countries, with $1,433,000 granted to date.

Eligible projects were considered by the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Docs Fund Committee, which included Samaher Alqadi (Independent Filmmaker), Tapiwa Chipfupa (Ambidextrous Pictures), Mina Nabil (Fig Leaf Studios), Shameela Seedat (Undercurrent Film & Television), Khalid Shamis (Tubafilms), Mayye Zayed (Independent Filmmaker), Hot Docs Industry (Julian Carrington, Distribution Manager & Funds Programmer; and Yiqian Zhang, Manager of Funds and Labs).

Applications for the next round of disbursements will start on October 4, 2023.

Development Grants

Director: Sally Abobasha
Producers: Talal Afifi, Sally Abobasha
Production Company: Sudan Film Factory
Countries: Egypt, Sudan
Two confused teen friends attempt to find their own personality by making short films on social media, while living with a fatal genetic skin disorder and facing social stigma.

Director: Kady Traoré
Producer: Jean-Marc Dindané
Production Company: Athéna Films
Country: Burkina Faso
Kady, who was circumcised 3 days after her birth, decides 21 years later, against her family's wishes, to seek a surgical repair of the after-effects left by genital mutilation. She recounts her struggle, which is also that of her sisters, the women of her village, and several regions of Burkina Faso and Africa, where this practice has left its mark.
Director: Asmaa Gamal
Producer: Asmaa Gamal
Production Company: Rec & Roll
Country: Egypt
Chasing his dream as a stuntman, Osama moves through his inner conflict to achieve his late brother's dream and ascends the ladder of fame from poor slums towards the outside world.
Director: Zahra Moloo
Producers: Neil Brandt, Sergeo Kirby
Production Companies: Storyscope, Loaded Pictures
Countries: South Africa, Canada 
In Wildfire, two activists in central Africa fight to prevent their land being turned into national parks. Their story reveals the conflicting interests of conservation organizations, indigenous people and multinational corporations. 

Production Grant

Director: Nicole Schafer
Producers: Nicole Schafer, Teboho Pietersen
Production Company: Thinking Strings Media
Country: South Africa
Inside a public hospital in South Africa, young doctors and their patients find themselves ‘plagued’ by a multitude of colliding health and social ‘epidemics’ in the aftermath of the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

Post-Production Grants

Directors: Christina Ifubaraboye
Producers: Christina Ifubaraboye, Elisa Mereghetti (Co-Producer)
Production Companies: IMBUU, ETHNOS (Co-production company)
Countries: Nigeria, Italy
Pülö means blood and oil in Okrika, a Delta community in Southern Nigeria. Oil is the blood of Kirike that keeps the people going. Blood is the stream of life. What happens when this stream is poisoned? The film tells the story of an environmental tragedy on Okrika Island, due to crude oil pollution and wastewater from Oil Refineries.  
Director: Ager Oueslati
Producers: Raouf Oueslati, Ager Oueslati
Production Company: Taswir Edition Production
Country: Algeria
Gift left Nigeria in 2017. One night she tells Blossom, her son, what led her on this perilous odyssey. Drawn into her life’s journey, she finally realizes the impact of her memories on her day-to-day. But will she overcome them?
Director: Rama Thiaw          
Producers: Yanis Gaye, Rama Thiaw 
Production Company: BOUL FALLE IMAGES 
Country: Senegal 
 Zion Music is a musical, political, and spiritual odyssey in the heart of the African continent. It goes back to the 1970s and travels through the political history of Africa through musicians, songs, and hidden meanings in the songs.

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