Writing and producing in Africa

Goals

To identify and to train young African talent in the field of script-screenplay-writing, production, directing and acting, within the context of African series.
360K
18 months

months

40

Professional South

A project

Supported by

In partnership with

Project timeline

100%
September 2015
December 2016
This project is finished

Presentation

Television series are a significant commercial asset for African TV channels: they are tremendously successful amongst a loyal viewing public, attractive to advertisers, are today much sought-after by broadcasters, and are a strong factor in channel identity. Produced locally, these programmes also constitute a creative space for not only technical but also artistic young talent.

With a view to helping to modernise and renew African series, a programme of courses in the trades of writing, directing, producing and acting has been set up and prospective participants are invited to apply.

The objective is to enable attendees to acquire the skills and techniques to write a well-balanced, creative series, involving authors, directors, production managers and also actors and technicians.

Partner-financing funds the programmes - to be broadcast in Africa - produced during the practical training course and on the basis of the projects chosen from those submitted.

The project comprises 4 parts:
- "MDR !*", open to production companies and to directors, caters for short and comic programme series projects.
- "Script Talents", the aim of which is to encourage French-speaking African authors to give expression to their talent by joining the artistic team of a pan-African TV crime series.
- "Direct yourself !" aims to identify and to train French-speaking directors within the context of the second season of the series entitled "C'est la vie !".
- "Invisible", which deals with the phenomenon of 'microbes', unemployed youths who terrorise the streets of Abidjan.
- "F&C", a family saga featuring police‑based storylines.
- "Best female talents", written exclusively by a group of African women.
- "Stories and legends of Africa", a collection of 8 films giving the public the opportunity to discover or rediscover stories rooted in the collective unconscious.

*MDR!: [ mort de rire] is the French equivalent of "LOL" [laugh out loud]


Files to download

“I learnt an awful lot not only concerning script-writing but also professional practice in the trade. Meeting young writers like myself from all over and spending a week in their company was truly inspiring. The trade of script-writer in Africa is under-valued and must be made more structured. This type of programme will be a big step in the right direction.”
Paul-Steve Kouonang Kouamo, script-writer and MDR! participant from Cameroon

Project beneficiaries

Directors, actors, authors, script-writers and production directors from French-speaking Africa.

Project manager

1.MDR !

Candidate selection
Launch of a call for applications in sub-Saharan Africa, after which 8 projects will be selected.
Selected applicants will sign an agreement and receive a grant to finance the filming of a pilot.

Training in short programme writing
The 8 candidates take part in a writing workshop in Abidjan led by two script doctors.

Pilot filming and follow-up
Candidates film the pilot using their own resources and receive production assistance, the amount of which is determined by the panel of judges. The pilot has to be filmed within 4 months of signature of the agreement. The various production stages are monitored remotely by the experts responsible for the project.
The best pilots may be chosen for developing the series and be broadcast on Canal + Afrique.

MDR !* Mobilising new comic talent in Africa

November 4, 2015

Registration is now closed.

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Eight talented Africans embark on the next step of their 'MDR !*' audiovisual adventure

February 25, 2016

Eight candidates from a pool of 100 have been selected to take part in the final stage of the MDR ! project. Hailing from Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Gabon, they will now each write the episodes for their short series and film a pilot of their comedy programme with CFI and CANAL+.

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2.Talents de script

Call for applicants
Launch of a call for applicants based on 2 pitch tests, after which 11 authors/script-writers will be selected.

Selection of finalists
The script-writers selected will take part in a workshop in Dakar, during which the context of the development of the series and its constraints will be analysed. An initial task relates to the story arcs and the synopsis.
After this workshop, 5 script-writers will be selected.

Participation in topic-specific workshops
The script-writers take part in 2 topic-specific workshops on script-writing:
- story outline: summary of each sequence in the overall story
- dialogue continuity: visual, auditory and chronological description of the story

Production direction training
Two production assistants will be selected and trained by a production direction expert.
After the training courses, all candidates must be able to become active members of the programme production team.

Script Talents call for applications

July 9, 2015

CFI has joined forces with Senegalese production company Keewu to launch Script Talents, a project that will give five African screenwriters the opportunity to help produce a police drama of 10 52-minute episodes in early 2016.

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Script Talents: 11 candidates selected

September 3, 2015

Following the Script Talents call for applications launched in July by CFI and Keewu Production (Lagardère Entertainment), for which more than one hundred files were submitted, 11 French-speaking African candidates have now been selected by a panel of professionals.

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Talented scriptwriters create a draft for an African crime series

October 13, 2015

The 11 writers from West and Central Africa who were selected following the call for applications issued by CFI and Keewu productions (Lagardère group) in July met up in Dakar for a workshop from 15 to 25 September 2015.

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The 3 winners of the Best Female Talents competition

May 31, 2017

In all, 250 talented women from 22 different countries replied to the call for applications.

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3.Réalise Toi !

Call for applicants
Launch of a call for applicants based on 2 pitch tests, after which 8 directors will be selected.

Selection of finalists
A panel of judges will choose the eight best directors and take part in an initial training course. After that course, only five of the eight will be selected to form the pool of directors who will be involved in production of Season 2 of the series entitled "C'est la vie".

Participation in topic-specific workshops
Eight-day training workshop in directing in Dakar (Senegal) for the 8 pre-selected candidates, to be followed by a two-day presentation. Surrounded by a production team, the directors must be in a position to produce scenes under filming conditions. After this workshop, Keewu Production will choose five directors who will be given the task of producing one or more episodes of the series between May and June 2016.

After the training courses, all candidates must be able to become active members of the programme production team.

“Direct yourself!” – Call for applications for African directors

March 16, 2016

CFI and Keewu Production are launching a call for applications in order to pick out directors from across the whole of Africa and train them to direct their own television series.

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“Direct yourself!”: a training course for directing African TV series

May 31, 2016

Following a call for applications launched in February 2016 by CFI and its partner Keewu Productions (a subsidiary of Lagardère Studios), the eight successful candidates from French-speaking Africa came together in Dakar to take part in a training workshop for directing their own TV series, which ran from 10 to 23 April.

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4.Top Radio competition

Call for applicants
Launch of a call for applicants based on 2 pitch tests, after which 5 humourists will be selected.

Participation in topic-specific workshops
A review of script-writing prior to participation in writing workshops with the authors of the series (and the series editor, as far as possible) for the purposes of sketch integration.

With training given by the authors of the series and the series editor, the 5 humourists selected will have the task of integrating into the screenplays the jokes, written or visual gags, skits and any other comic digressions, all the while fulfilling the specifications defined by the production.

Venue: Abidjan.

Top Radio – identifying Côte d’Ivoire’s best comic talents

July 26, 2016

CFI, Keewu Production et la RTI lancent un appel à candidatures, Top Radio, afin de collaborer avec les talents de l'humour en Côte d'Ivoire, professionnels ou amateurs, pour les besoins d'une nouvelle sitcom.

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