ICAPA and Writivism collaborate to adapt short stories into Film

The Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust and the Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE) have just announced a call for applications for a bi-lingual script-writing residency. Scriptwriters from all over Africa will adapt one of various listed short stories into short films during four weeks in Senegal, or work on original screeenplays. They will each learn a different language (French or English) during the residency.

The roots of the script-writing residency can be traced to writer, filmmaker and ICAPA Director, Tsitsi Dangarembga’s key note address delivered at the 2015 Writivism Festival in Kampala. During the festival, she stressed the need to collaborate among African arts initiatives. In 2016, she chaired the panel of judges for the annual Writivism short story prize and that is when the idea of the script writing residency was hatched.

Mr. Kyomuhendo A Ateenyi, Director of Writivism, and CACE co-founder comments:

This is yet another opportunity to widen the consumption of literature on the continent, this time round exploiting other media. We believe these initiatives are very good for the development of literature and the arts as a whole. We are thankful to ICAPA for this opportunity.

Ms Dangarembga comments:

When I started making films back in the last millennium, it soon became clear to me that one of the biggest barriers to filmmakers learning and sharing was language. I wanted to relearn French to address that challenge in my personal career, but did not have the opportunity. Serving on the Grand jury at FESPACO in 2015, I realised that while more Africans are making films – a good thing – this increase in content is not necessarily accompanied by an increase in the quality of story-telling. It occurred to me that there was a win-win opportunity waiting to be exploited in adapting our literature with its well-developed characters, plot and structure to film. This workshop, possible through the visionary support of the Ford Foundation, is the first step in what I hope will become a movement bringing African literature to Africans and the world through film and consequently increasing readership of the literature.

The deadline for receiving applications is March 31, 2017 and the full call for submissions is available here.

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