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


    'Traitors' Producer 42 Hires Literary Manager Eugenie Furniss

    Eugenie Furniss is joining London- and Los Angeles-based management and production company 42 as literary manager, it was announced Wednesday. The company’s slate include movie “Ironbark,” a Cold War thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and TV series “Traitors,” a spy thriller coming to Netflix in the U.S. at the end of the month. Furniss joins 42 [...]

  • Brad Pitt Leonardo DiCaprio Once Upon

    Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Trailer Drops

    The first trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” is finally here. The highly anticipated film, starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, is set to be released on July 26. Tarantino, who wrote the script and will also direct and produce the movie, was inspired by his own upbringing in the midst [...]

  • One-Cut-Of-The-Dead-Review

    Japanese Sleeper Hit ‘One Cut of the Dead’ Heads for English Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

    “One Cut of the Dead,” a micro-budget horror film that last year defied the odds to become one of the biggest hits of the year in Japan, is headed for an English-language remake. Patrick Cunningham, a Japan-based American producer whose credits include “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Starlet,” is behind the venture. The original film, [...]

  • Come as You Are review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Come as You Are'

    The rare remake that’s actually a slight improvement on its predecessor, Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are” translates Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 Belgian “Hasta la Vista” to middle America. Other changes are less substantial, but this seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment [...]

  • Strange Negotiations review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Strange Negotiations'

    In a era when some mainstream entertainers have transitioned to targeting faith-based audiences, David Bazan is moving in the other direction. The gifted songwriter’s ersatz band Pedro the Lion was perhaps the most successful Christian indie rock act of its time, and the first to significantly cross over to secular fans. Then he ditched that persona (and [...]

  • Bluebird review

    SXSW Film Review: ‘Bluebird’

    As affectionate as a love letter but as substantial as an infomercial, Brian Loschiavo’s “Bluebird” may be of most interest to casual and/or newly converted country music fans who have occasionally wondered about the songwriters behind the songs. There’s a better than even-money chance that anyone who’s a loyal and longtime aficionado of the musical [...]

  • ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending for the Fourth Week in a Row

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the fourth week in row with “Wonder Park.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.18 million through Sunday for 1,718 national [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content