Do you think you have what it takes to create the next great African (or South African) film production? Showmax wants to hear from you. And not in the whole ‘do it for exposure’ way you might expect, either. The streaming platform has funding to hand out for ten films set in Africa.
The company, in partnership with the Joburg Film Festival, is inviting pitches from… well, from everyone. But there are a few terms and conditions attached to these proposals. Otherwise, like advertising a job on Facebook, folks will apply despite being massively underqualified.
Showmax what you’ve got
The three main points? Your Showmax pitch “must have a first draft screenplay and be set in contemporary Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria or South Africa, with a first-time director attached who is a resident or citizen in those countries.” In other words, complete (but ambitious) newbies (who live in specific African countries) only. Oh, and your film has to be at least 40 minutes long.
You’ll also have to flex your movie-making muscle a little beforehand, though. The pitch required has to be in video format. The whole video should be less than five minutes long while covering the story (including the ending) and the lead characters, introducing the writer, director, and producer, and making mention of the genre and style of the proposed film.
Showmax CEO Yolisa Phahle said, “Making your first film is a key turning point in any director’s career. So this brief is another way we are trying to empower local filmmakers to tell their own stories for their own communities in their own languages. We’re looking for authentic stories that will resonate with our local audiences. Popular genres like romcoms, family dramas and thrillers are always welcome.”
Think you have what it takes? You’ve got until 1 April 2023 to get your pitch in. There’s an online portal available for just that purpose. There’s even an option for completely unsolicited ideas, in case you think you’ve got a winning idea that doesn’t fit this opportunity. Accosting someone in a lift or parking lot probably won’t do your movie-making ambitions any favours. Chosen pitches will be announced in the second half of 2023 and winners are in line for some budget.