Realness 2


Realness is a pioneering residency initiative conceived by Elias Ribeiro and Cait Pansegrouw of Urucu Media that affords a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to cultivate their talent as authentic voices in African cinema. Since its inception, Realness has nurtured 5 African auteurs each year, growing into a prestigious incubator of emerging talent that is recognized throughout the global film community.

“There is a reason residencies such as the Sundance Labs and the MacDowell Colony are so sought-after. They offer the opportunity to withdraw from the world to create without distractions while exchanging ideas with other exciting artists and receiving expert feedback at carefully considered intervals. Realness brings that opportunity to Africa.” said international script consultant Selina Ukwuoma. “With a pan-African focus, the diversity of Africans is celebrated yet the particular concerns that we have in common come to the fore.” Selina will join Realness for the third consecutive year, alongside top South African-based consultant Mmabatho Kau who began her relationship with the residency in 2017 and who was recently selected for the esteemed Torino Film Lab’s Story Editing programme. The two will work in tandem, cross-consulting on all 5 of the selected projects for 2018. “Both Selina and I are rooted in the African narrative but have an international outlook on story. Selina’s extensive work internationally and my work locally gives the residents a holistic experience towards developing a world-class script.” added Kau.

On Saturday May 12th the 5 selected projects were announced at the Cannes Film Festival by Realness co-founder Elias Ribeiro.

Kantarama Gahigiri from Rwanda

Matthys Boshoff from South Africa

Reem Morsi and Mohammed Siam, both from Egypt.

We are finally delighted to count among the winners Ng’endo Mukii from Kenya, who is also one of Digital Lab Africa’s second edition mentor in the Virtual reality category! You can read more about Ng’endo Mukii here.


The 2018 Realness residents will move into the Nirox Foundation’s beautiful residence and sculpture park in the Cradle of Humankind on June 11th. They will work on their projects over the course of 6 weeks before participating in Africa’s largest co-production market, The Durban Film Mart. The most promising projects to emerge will be invited to participate in Locarno Filmmakers Academy, EAVE Producers Workshop, La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut Français, Torino Film Lab Meeting Event and TIFF Talent Lab, allowing them to progress closer to being realised.


Read more about Realness 2018

Read the press release