×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Venice: Final Cut Program Boosts African Filmmaking

An offbeat love story set against the backdrop of war in Sudan and a documentary about a group of women who dream of playing soccer for the Libyan national team are among this year’s selections for Final Cut in Venice, the Venice Production Bridge workshop providing post-production support to films from Africa and the Arab world.

Taking place from Sept. 3-5, the program recognizes the difficulties facing filmmakers in some of the world’s most challenging regions, while also filling a funding gap not addressed by European film funds.

“When you arrive at the stage of post-production, it’s a very delicate stage,” says Final Cut head Alessandra Speciale, who received roughly 60 submissions for the program’s fifth edition.

Along with financial assistance from Final Cut, producers and directors are able to present their projects to a range of foreign buyers, distributors, producers and festival programmers. The idea is to facilitate the post process, promote possible co-production opportunities, and access the international distribution market.

Established in 2013 to provide completion funds for selected films from Africa, the program expanded in 2014 to include projects from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria.

Recent alumni include “The Wound,” by John Trengove, which opened the Panorama section of this year’s Berlinale; “Ghost Hunting,” by Raed Andoni, which won the documentary and the Panorama Dokumente Audience Award in Berlin; and “Félicité,” which won the festival’s

Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, by Alain Gomis.

This year’s Final Cut participants are “A Kasha” (Sudan, South Africa, Qatar), an offbeat love story set during the ongoing war in Sudan, by Hajooj Kuka; “Freedom Fields” (Libya, U.K.), a documentary about Libyan women’s dreams to play soccer for their country, by Naziha Arebi; “Our Madness” (Mozambique, France, Portugal, Qatar), director João Viana’s portrait of a woman stuck in a psychiatric hospital while dreaming of the family she left behind; “Dream Away” (Egypt, Germany, Qatar), by Marouan Omara and Johanna Domke, about a group of young Egyptians pulled between tradition and a liberal lifestyle in the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh; “The Harvesters/Die Stropers” (South Africa, France, Greece, Poland), by Etienne Kallos, about a teenager whose life is upended when his parents bring home a mysterious orphan; and “Joint Possession/Indivision” (Morocco, France, Qatar, UAE), by Leila Kilani, about a family pushed to sell their Tangiers estate by greedy real estate developers.

“The panorama of cinema from Africa [and the Middle East] is changing,” says Speciale. She adds that it’s “important to have this kind of window opened exclusively to African and Arab films in Venice.”

More Film

  • Singapore Actor Aloysius Pang, 28, Dies

    Singaporean Actor Aloysius Pang, 28, Dies While on Military Service

    Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang died Wednesday of injuries sustained while on military training in New Zealand. He was 28. Pang was best known for his appearance in movies “Young & Fabulous” and “Timeless Love.” He also had a string of credits in Singapore TV series. Pang was involved in an accident last week while repairing [...]

  • Alibaba Lends $100 Million to Huayi

    Alibaba Lends $100 Million to Huayi Bros. in Film Investment Expansion

    Alibaba Pictures Group, the film business arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has struck a strategic cooperation deal with leading film studio Huayi Bros. The deal includes a $103 million (RMB700 million) loan to Huayi. Alibaba Pictures said the agreement was part of its recently announced strategy to be involved in major movies aimed for [...]

  • Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear

    Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear Ex'

    Netflix has added to its roster of Mandarin-language content with the acquisition of rights to Taiwanese dark comedy “Dear Ex.” The award-winning film will play out from Feb. 1. The story involves a recently bereaved widow and a gay man fighting over a dead man’s inheritance, with the woman’s teenage son caught in the middle. [...]

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content