Step into the Limelight: FAME Film Shorts Festival Shines a Spotlight on African Filmmakers presented by Realness Institute
The African filmmaking community is abuzz with anticipation as the FAME Film Shorts Festival, a prestigious addition to FAME Week Africa 2023, built by RX Africa, takes centre stage. This eagerly awaited event is dedicated to celebrating the innovation, creativity, and exceptional talent of the finest independent filmmakers from across the continent. Our aim is to discover, and connect these filmmakers to the international film industry.
The FAME Film Shorts Festival promises an unforgettable experience, both for participants and audiences alike. From the 7th to the 9th of September, The Labia, Cape Town’s oldest independent art-repertory movie cinema in South Africa, will showcase brave short films from an exciting selection of African filmmakers. The festival will feature 31 exceptional films from across Africa and her diaspora that reflect the creativity and diversity that is unique to her cinematic artistry.
Known for curating film programs that take place at art and cultural spaces in various cities across Europe, Lyse Nsengiyumva steps into the role of the FAME Film Shorts Festival Program Director. “The FAME Film Shorts Festival celebrates and elevates African filmmakers and their thought-provoking cinematic creations. As an alumni of the first edition of Southern Africa– Locarno Industry Academy, I’m thrilled and honored to be part of this prestigious program again, this time around as an artistic director. I will be working closely with a team of nine women film professionals to curate a balanced and vibrant program that will captivate and inspire audiences innovating from the first year and putting African curators at the forefront of the selection process,” says Nsengiyumva.
At the heart of this remarkable event is the City of Cape Town, the proud host city of the FAME Film Shorts Festival. With unwavering commitment, Cape Town continues to promote and celebrate African storytelling, solidifying its position as a leading film destination on the continent. By offering filmmakers a remarkable platform to showcase their work to the world, Cape Town showcases its dedication to nurturing creativity within the film industry.
“The City of Cape Town plays a vital role in supporting the FAME Film Shorts Festival, providing a platform for connecting filmmakers with industry professionals. As a hub for discovering raw talent in the African filmmaking community, the festival offers an unforgettable cinematic journey. We are proud to host this inclusive and inspiring event,” says the City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
Realness Institute, renowned for nurturing professional African screen talent, played a vital role in the festival’s selection process. Through their Southern Africa-Locarno Industry Academy 2023 participants and FAME Film Shorts Festival judges, they ensured a process and selection that captures the complex realities faced across the continent beyond the single story that often gets selected, curated, and distributed.
“After eight years of sourcing talent through our labs, with a strong focus on discovery, we believe Realness Institute is well appointed to present this showcase of stories. We wanted to spotlight fresh and untapped narratives, with all 31 films coming from Africa and the diaspora, for a Cape Town audience and could not be more proud of our collaboration with Lyse Nsengiyumva on the program”, says programme director and Locarno-appointed Southern Africa Manager, Elias Ribeiro.
Adding to the festival’s allure, the second-year design students from the Cape Town campus of Red & Yellow Creative School of Business participated in a poster design challenge, with Caylin Allan emerging as the winner. Her stunning artwork perfectly captures the essence of this cinematic celebration and will undoubtedly contribute to the festival’s visual appeal.
Martin Hiller, Portfolio Director of FAME Week Africa, says, “The African Penguin was chosen as the mascot for the FAME Film Shorts Festival due to its symbolic representation of diversity, resilience, and adaptability. This charming species, facing environmental challenges, embodies the festival’s commitment to conservation and environmental stewardship. Through celebrating cultural diversity and providing a platform for global storytellers, the festival aims to foster unity and understanding. The African Penguin’s joyful and playful demeanour also reflects the festival’s mission to inspire positive change through the powerful medium of film”.
The FAME Film Shorts Festival proudly partners with MIP Africa, further enhancing the experience for filmmakers and attendees alike. MIP Africa’s involvement ensures that the festival remains at the cutting edge of industry trends and advancements. From September 4 to 6 September, the Cape Town International Convention Centre will host captivating content sessions, workshops, and masterclasses presented by industry professionals. These enriching events are designed to educate and inspire all professionals within the film and television industry.
Mark your calendars for this exceptional occasion, as the FAME Film Shorts Festival is open to the public, welcoming film enthusiasts and curious minds from all walks of life. Prepare to be captivated by a diverse selection of extraordinary films that reflect the rich tapestry of African storytelling. As the festival organisers diligently work behind the scenes, more information about the featured films and ticket prices will be released soon.
As the curtain rises on the FAME Film Shorts Festival, the African filmmaking community stands on the brink of a new era, ready to seize the spotlight and propel the art of storytelling to new heights.