First-time African Filmmakers To Cash In On Showmax

Showmax has issued a call for pitches from the African film industry for a slate of ten live-action films for first time directors in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

According to the streaming service, the proposals must contain a first draft script, be set in the present in one of the countries, and feature a debut director who is a resident or citizen of any of the countries.

The final films should have a minimum length of 40 minutes in line with the Best Made-for-TV Movie Award category of the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs).

The CEO of Showmax and Connected Video at MultiChoice, Yolisa Phahle, said that the service’s audience has a preference for local content, with African films making up the majority of the top-streamed titles in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana last year.

She added that this brief is another way for Showmax to empower local filmmakers to tell their stories for their own communities in their own languages.

To apply, interested filmmakers should submit a video pitch of no more than five minutes in English, which should include short bios of the writer, director, and producer, a concise summary of the story, including the ending, an introduction to the lead characters, and a discussion of the chosen genre and stylistic approach, including visual references.

Entries close on April 1, 2023 with the selected projects being announced in the second half of 2023 and screened on Showmax in 50 countries across sub-Saharan Africa in 2024.

First-time filmmakers should not have directed a movie or TV show episode that lasted 40 minutes or more in order to be eligible, although experience in directing other formats such short films, series, or commercials is acceptable.

The budget for each film will be decided on a case-by-case basis, but applicants are encouraged to limit the number of characters and sets as much as possible to keep costs down while staying true to their vision.