The WeOwnTV Filmmaker Fellowship is a regional film fund and professional development program supporting the production of independent documentaries directed by West African filmmakers living in the region. The program was founded in the wake of the West African Ebola outbreak. In 2022 we began raising funds for the inaugural Idriss Kpange Filmmaker Fellowship Award which will provide filmmakers with funding for their projects, creative labs, one-on-one mentoring, and professional development.
Idriss was one of Sierra Leone's leading filmmakers and worked as a video journalist for Reuters, as well as for local networks. Idriss loved training young filmmakers and co-founded the Opin Yu Yi Human Rights Film Festival in 2012. He was dismayed that there was no professional filmmaking school in Sierra Leone & wanted to share his passion and knowledge. Tragically Idriss died on 15 February 2022 at 43 years old. WeOwnTV is proud to continue his legacy through this fellowship program.
Our goal is to raise enough funds to support one filmmaker for three years. The program will provide our fellows with funding for their projects, creative labs, one-on-one mentoring, professional development workshops, and networking opportunities. The Fellowship will be supported by team members from the Opin Yu Yi Film Festival & WeOwnTV and filmmakers will have access to equipment and mentorship at the Freetown Media Centre in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Today, now faced with a global pandemic, social unrest, and economic uncertainty, we believe it is critical to provide forums for self-expression and peaceful debate through the medium of documentary film. This project will help establish trust between the community, journalists, creatives, and government officials. They can create a portrait of the region that celebrates resilience and creativity and writes a history that moves beyond being singularly defined by tragedy.