EXCLUSIVE: Films and episodic projects from Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Uganda have been unveiled in the final selection of North American streamer Topic and Statement Films’ program to support, develop and finance projects from female African filmmakers.
The features and episodic projects span a range of genres including thriller, sci-fi, suspense, mystery and crime from a variety of African countries and telling a range of diasporic stories.
The selected projects 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).
The program was revealed exclusively by Deadline in June as a co-partnership between First Look Media’s SVoD Topic and Areej Noor’s women-led startup Statement Films. Submissions subsequently came in from 27 African countries, of which 34 were shortlisted and 10 selected.
Noor said the final 10 “represent this generation’s most promising African auteurs and creators,” adding: “This selection of premium projects attests to our belief in the explosive talent of women writers and directors from the continent.”
Topic GM Ryan Chanatry added: “Each story is masterfully grounded in a relatable human truth, built from the personal experiences of our amazing group of filmmakers”.
Topic has set a growth path for this year and Chanatry told Deadline in December the streamer has narrowed its focus to “elevated crime and suspense.”