Dear AFP Supporter,
The highlights of our last report came from the Netherlands, where thanks to your generious support two of our African Film Project graduates were about to attend the largest documentary film festival in the world today, the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).
The objective of the eleven-day festival is to promote creative documentaries and to present them to as wide an audience as possible - screening more than 200 documentaries and attracting nearly 120,000 visitors.
To make the most of the six-days they were able to attend the festival, AFP Director Jody Hassett Sanchez designed an interactive learning module for AFP graduates Stella Oigo of Kenya and Irene Fon Zih of Cameroon. This included film screnings, relevant lectures, and meetings with producers and programmers.
For Stella and Irene, the festival experience added another dimension to both their understanding of the filmmaking process and the challenges they face in telling the important stories of Africa.
"I was startled to hear that Africa has the worst market for documentaries which are distributed around the world to international broadcasters. If that holds true, I am really surprised how that can be when Africa has so many stories happening that are worth telling. However, it reaffirms my belief that as an African filmmaker, I have the responsibility to tell those stories in my community, and with the ability to make them relevant to an international audience by treating universal themes," said Irene.
Stella who describes herself as a filmmaker "hungry for information and direction" listed her three greatest lessons from the festival as:
1. Only fimmakers open to collaboration make great projects.
2. Not all failure is good but failure is essential in filmmaking.
3. If you don't pursue big ideas, you will get small results.
In addition to these valuable lessons, attending the festival allowed us to make promising connections for future development of the Africa Film Project.
Thanks to each of you for helping Stella and Irene learn new ways to tell the many important stories of Africa.
With our gratitude,
The AFP Team
Greetings from Amsterdam, where thanks to your generous support we are making progress on our shared mission to help African journalist filmmakers craft new ways to tell the stories of their homeland.
AFP Director Jody Hassett Sanchez is currently guiding Stella Oigo of Kenya and Irene Fon Zih of Cameroon through the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). IDFA boasts Europe’s oldest and largest co-financing and co-production market. The festival also presents an excellent opportunity for our students to screen cutting-edge documentaries, attend workshops about the craft of filmmaking and introduce themselves to top festival programmers and broadcasters.
"IDFA is helping me understand the importance of creating a distribution strategy during preproduction of my documentaries, says Irene.
"I've met some inspiring people who are sharing their work on merging technology and filmmaking and I plan to incorporate these ideas both online and offline when I return to Cameroon."
Stella and Irene, both AFP program participants, have shown tremendous creativity and dedication to bringing their visions to video in the face of numerous challenges. While in Amsterdam they are also testing new equipment for future AFP participants.
"This is my first time at a film festival and a lot of my questions are getting answered here, says Stella. I'm learning all aspects of pitching, financing and distribution. "
Dear Africa Film Project Supporter,As summer draws to a close we want to thank each of you for partnering with us to Help African Journalists Tell Africa's Stories. We have not yet reached the fundraising threshold needed to conduct another weeklong workshop with a new group of students. However, we are pursuing several opportunities for our existing student filmmakers to enrich their skills and build contacts within the creative community, including international film festivals and mentoring. Our AFP advisor continues to coach the students on their works in progress and we are optimistic that the important stories of their homelands will soon reach a wider audience.With our gratitude,The AFP Team
Dear Africa Film Project Supporter,
Thank you for partnering with us to Help African Journalists Tell Africa's Stories. Our student filmmakers continue to practice the skills they learned from industry experts during our November 2012 training workshop in Washington, DC.
As of this writing, the students are working on a short exercise designed to build their skills in crafting story structure and character development. The filmmakers are required to submit their assignments to our AFP advisor who then provides individual feedback to each student.
We continue to explore the possiblity of partnering current Africa Film Project students with directors and editors who can give them practical experience working on full length non fiction films.
Our sincere thanks to each of you for helping our filmmakers develop their creative voices and reveal the untold stories of their homelands.
Happy Summer from the AFP team!
We are currently in phase two of the Help African Journalists Tell Africa's Stories training program. In November 2012, as we launched on Global Giving, we brought a small group of our African filmmakers to Washington, DC for a week of followup training.
We had a top video editor on hand to help them troubleshoot technical issues they've been having in the field and to teach them Final Cut Express. They met with renown directors in our "Meet the filmmaker" screenings which featured documentaries that transcend borders and cultures. They learned more about story structure and character development in a series of hands on classes and pitched their next projects to some of Washington's key media gatekeepers.
Students returned to their homelands with assignments designed to build on their editorial and technical skills, as well as new connections to creative communities that they can call on in the future.
The next phase of the project involves partnering current Africa Film Project students with directors and editors who have agreed to give them practical experience working on full length non fiction films.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.