The Rotterdam Film Festival’s facilitation and talent incubator wing IFFR Pro has teamed with the Sundance Institute, European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs and the Realness Institute for Creative Producer Indaba, a year-long professional development initiative aimed at supporting producers from Africa.

The inaugural batch of 17 emerging producers was announced Monday. They will participate in online workshops running Aug. 28-Sept. 11 that will cover project development and planning, project financing, PR and marketing, company strategic planning, leadership and advocacy.

A key aim of Indaba is to help African producers build financial instruments for co-production where they do not currently exist and forge new models of financing that could lead to the next wave of African cinema.

“The media landscape of Africa is swiftly changing and the importance of local producers that have the training to catalyze the growth of their local markets is paramount,” said Indaba African group leader and Realness Institute co-founder Mehret Mandefro.

The initiative’s scope also includes producers from Europe and the U.S. who can help facilitate connections between African producers and international capital.

“Indaba is a game-changer for producers on the continent who are interested in building their skills in international co-productions and financing and playing a role as eco-system builders in their market,” said head of IFFR Pro Marit van den Elshout.

The inaugural group of 17 participants is divided into two groups: those with projects and those who are focusing on career development.

The participants with projects are the producers Carol Kioko – “Tero Buro”(Kenya); Maia Lekow (pictured) – “How To Build a Library” (Kenya); Lesedi Moche – “Are You Wearing You?” Nikissi Serumaga (Uganda); Lara Sousa – “Karigana (Mozambique); Souleyman Kebe – “Coura + Ouleye” (Senegal); and Wafa Tajdin – “The Last Post Office in Lagos” (Nigeria).

The participants with career development focus are: Chioma Onyenwe – Artistic Director, Africa International Film Festival (Nigeria); Dina Emam – Founder; Producer, Lotus Picture Co. (Egypt); Flavia Motsisi – Commissioning Editor for Local Entertainment Channels, Mnet (South Africa); Frank Hoeve – Producer; Co-Owner, BALDR Film (The Netherlands); Israel Mehari – Producer; Assistant Director, Kana TV (Ethiopia); Melissa Adeyemo – Founder; Producer, Ominira Studies (Nigeria/U.S.); Oluwaseun Babalola – Founder; Producer; Director, DO Global Productions (Nigeria/Sierra Leone/U.S.); Thomas Hakim – Founder; Producer, Petit Chaos (France); Thomas Kaske – Founder; Producer, Kaske Films (Germany); Toni Kamau – Founder; Producer, We are not the machine Ltd (Kenya); and Yolanda Ncokotwana – Production and Development Manager, National Film and Video Foundation (South Africa).

Realness’ screenwriting initiative, the Realness Residency, started in 2016 and has gone on to launch 20 film projects across 13 African countries.