Topic, in partnership with Statement Films, announced their ten-project slate created by African and diaspora female filmmakers and creators with the goal of supporting, developing, and obtaining financing for production on features and episodic projects.
The African-women-led startup Statement Films and the growing streaming service Topic (from First Look Media) formed their partnership in June 2021, focusing on thriller, sci-fi, suspense, mystery and crime stories. With both episodic series and feature projects considered, the organizations are excited to announce their slate that amplifies an incredible set of voices as they seek to tell their own stories.
“The Statement Films X Topic slate represents this generation’s most promising African auteurs and creators” said Areej Noor, Founder & CEO of Statement Films. “This selection of premium projects attests to our belief in the explosive talent of women writers and directors from the continent.”
The initiative prompted submissions across 27 African countries, from which 34 projects were shortlisted and 10 were selected. The slate consists of stories from Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Uganda, and common themes across submissions included Afro-futurism, revenge, flipped crime narratives, megachurch mysteries, cautionary tales, lore, and ritual.
The selected projects and filmmakers are Big Fish (Victoria Thomas), Brace Yourself (Thati Pele & Cait Pansegrouw), Eziko (Jenna Bass & Babalwa Baartman), The Legend of Madam Koi-Koi (Melissa O. Adeyemo & Chioma Onyenwe), Nexus (Mary Waireri), The Rain Queen (Nonzi Bogatsu), The Stone That Was Moved (Patience Nitumwesiga), 2065 (Carmen Sangion & Carol Kioko), Sister Nancy (Amirah Tajdin & Wafa Tajdin), and You Never See It Coming (Nelisa Ngcobo).
“We’re thrilled by the incredible submissions we received and the passion each creative team brings to their project” said Ryan Chanatry, General Manager of Topic. “Each story is masterfully grounded in a relatable human truth, built from the personal experiences of our amazing group of filmmakers”.