[Press release] 30 Sub-Saharan African projects selected to compete at
Digital Lab Africa Online Pitch Competition


Johannesburg, 12th April, 2018

The Digital Lab Africa call for projects #2 closed with a bang on 25 February 2018 with 730 entries from over 30 Sub-Saharan African countries. This overwhelming response confirms the importance and relevance of this program in supporting emerging talent (+200 applications compared to the first edition)!

Digital Lab Africa’s selection committees* have chosen the 30 finalists who will compete – for the first time this year – in an online pitch competition.

Startuppers, entrepreneurs, creators from the African continent (South Africa, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe) they represent the new generation of talent in creative industries (virtual reality, web creation, digital music, video game and animation).

“We would like to thank all the candidates who applied for the DLA call for projects. The number of projects received, their quality and diversity strongly illustrate the dynamism and creativity of African audiovisual industries” Erika Denis, Regional Head of Media, Film & Music (French Embassy) and Director of Digital Lab Africa

From April 26th, the « video pitch » of the 30 competitors will be displayed online on a dedicated platform (vote.digilabafrica.com) developed by Qwant, in partnership with Dailymotion Africa. This platform will allow Internet users to anonymously vote for their favorite pitch (from April 26th to May 9th) without having to communicate their personal data.


“Qwant is proud to support Digital Lab Africa in promoting innovative projects driven by talent from Sub-Saharan African region. We attach great importance to the value-creation and the achievement of ideas that emerge from the African continent, they very often put the economic project at the service of the human, what Qwant also tries to support in Europe and around the world ” says Eric Léandri, president of Qwant.

“Africa is creative, this a true challenge. Developing and increasing premium content from talent of the continent is one of our main goal and the Digital Lab Africa is a milestone to reach it” Stanislas Balaÿ & Ashley Gnahoua, Dailymotion Africa

Chosen by the DLA Selection Committees, the 10 winners of the pitch competition will be revealed at NEXT, the innovation hub of the Cannes Film Festival Market, on Thursday, May 10, at 4 pm, during a live session in the presence of some of the DLA partners.

The project which will gather the most votes on the platform will be awarded with a special prize (DLA Audience Award) including invitation (for 1 person) to one of the DLA Industry Events in France or in Sub-Saharan African region (flight ticket, accommodation & accreditation covered by DLA).

Furthermore, the DLA 1st edition winning project « Un-Human » by Shariffa Ali and Yetunde Dada (virtual reality category) will be introduced by its producer Antoine Cayrol from Atlas V.

The 10 winners will get a 3 000 euros cash prize and a tailored-made incubation programme to accelerate their project development with 2 mentors, from French & Sub-Saharan creative industries ecosystem (producers, distributors, broadcasters, experts, artists…), a residence period in France within a digital cluster/hub, and participation in industry events in France and/or in Sub-Saharan African region.

“It is with great pleasure that we will welcome at NEXT – the hub dedicated to innovation at the heart of the Cannes Film Market – the announcement of the results of the DLA Pitch Competition. We look forward to introducing these emerging African talent in the digital space” Julie Bergeron, Head of Industry Programs, Cannes Film Festival Market.

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The 30 finalists of the DLA Pitch Competition are…

Dimbit by Feben Elias (ETHIOPIA)
Nwavu, the Blind Man by João Graça (MOZAMBIQUE)
Tales of Shaa by Rodney Masanga (ZIMBABWE)
The Brats Movie by Nildo Hassane Essa (MOZAMBIQUE)
Rapulani and Rapunzel by Yolanda Keabetswe Mogatusi (SOUTH AFRICA)
Issa et l’arbre perdu by Arthur Ella (CAMEROON)


*Animation Selection Committee
Stuart Forrest,
Triggerfish Animation Studios (South Africa) | Abel Kouamé, Afrika Toon (Ivory Coast) | Eric Réginaud, Ciclic (France) | Xavier Kawa-Topor, Nef Animation (France)

Man Must Chop by Razahk Issaka (GHANA)
Future Lab Africa by Jepchumba & Tegan Bristow (KENYA)
African God by Taf Hove (SOUTH AFRICA/ZIMBABWE)
Chat Story by Howard James Fyvie (SOUTH AFRICA)
The Foxy Five by Jabulile Nadia Newman (SOUTH AFRICA)
Mission K-danse by Marina Niava (Ivory Coast)

*Web Creation Selection Committee
Alexandre Rideau,
Keewu Production, Lagardère studios (Senegal/France) | Heidelinde Blumers, ARTE (France) | Stanislas Balay, Dailymotion Africa (Ivory Coast/France) | Ashley Gnahoua, Dailymotion Africa (Ivory Coast/France) |Prof Barry Dwolatzky, Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct (South Africa)

Request Africa by Ali Dennis (KENYA)
Mbira Online by Tafadzwa Sharaunga (ZIMBABWE)
JokkoText by Mamadou Dione (SENEGAL)
Digital DJ by Chukwudi Obila (NIGERIA)
m-MuZiik by Patrick Mveng (CAMEROON)
The Rotoscope Orchestra by Magalela Mtshali (SOUTH AFRICA)

*Digital Music Selection Committee
Jérôme Galabert,
Sakifo/Iomma (Reunion Island)| Sevi Spanoudi, Black Major (South Africa)|Lesley Donna Williams, Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct (South Africa)

Last Night A Haircut Saved My Life by Roxanne Dalton (SOUTH AFRICA)
Re-Inventing The Cross by Awuor Onyango (KENYA)
II Worlds by Naomi van Niekerk  & Arnaud van Vliet (SOUTH AFRICA)
Cause and Effect by Francis Kamibili-Mzembe & Rodney Jonathan Likaku (MALAWI)
Street Hoopz by Amaebi Pere-Albert (NIGERIA)
Lucy Tour Guide by Abel Adane Seyoum (ETHIOPIA)

* VIRTUAL REALITY Selection Committee
Chloé Jarry,
Camera Lucida (France)|Ulrico Grech-Cumbo, Deep VR (South Africa), Ng’endo Mukii (Kenya) | Ian Toullec, VR-Connection (France) |Caitlin Robinson, Electric South (South Africa)

Shadow Tongue by Alex Robert Ynclan & Thuso Terence Sibisi (SOUTH AFRICA)
Drive Jozi by Ben Myres & Cukia Kimani (SOUTH AFRICA)
Project Lumpa by Mwaaba Alec Mugala (ZAMBIA)
The Orchard by David Kamunyu (KENYA)
Jilinde Game by Musafiri Mbilinyi (TANZANIA)
Rigobert’s Goat by Patrick Nguiamba Nloutsiri (CAMEROON)

*Video Game Selection Committee
Francis Ingrand,
SNJV/Plug In Digital (France), Nicholas Hall, Make Games SA/IESA (South Africa)


Digital Lab Africa: the reference platform for next-gen content

Digital Lab Africa (DLA) is the 1st platform  dedicated to creative content (web creation, virtual reality, video game, animation,digital music) linked with innovation in Africa (francophone & anglophone). The very idea of DLA is to incubate emerging creative talent by offering them a springboard to jump-start and accelerate their projects with the support and expertise of DLA partners & ecosystem (studios, event, producers, broadcasters, distributors, experts…)

Digital Lab Africa Call for Projects

The Digital Lab Africa call for projects targets artists, producers, designers, startups, students in the media and creative industries. The call is open to any individual from Sub-Saharan Africa having an innovative project in 5 categories of multimedia production: web creation/transmedia, virtual reality, video game, animation  and digital music.

The partners

Digital Lab Africa has been initiated in 2016 by the French Embassy and the French Institute of South Africa as part of their on-going support to creative industries. The Digital Lab Africa is organised in partnership with DISCOP AFRICATRACE, LAGARDERE STUDIO, TSHIMOLOGONG DIGITAL INNOVATION PRECINCT, la SACEM  together with a range of French and Sub-Saharan African partners (mentors, incubation venues, events & ecosystem partners)

MENTORSHIP : ARTE, Keewu ProductionCamera Lucida, Triggerfish animation studio, Deep VR,VR-Connection, Wits Digital Arts, Electric South, Afrika Toon, Sakifo, Le Game, Dailymotion Africa, Nef Animation, Ciclic, Black Major

INCUBATION VENUES:  PictanovoCommune Image, NurseriePôle Media Grand ParisGaité Lyrique, Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct

EVENTS: NewImages (Forum des Images), Annecy International Animation Film Festival/MIFANEXT, IoMMa, DISCOP Johannesburg, Fak’ugesi

ECOSYSTEM PARTNERS: Make Games SA/Interactive Entertainment South Africa, African Animation Network, Animation South Africa, Business France