The Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust is set to hold a two-week script development workshop in Lagos, Nigeria. Running from the end of October, to mid-November, the workshop is facilitated by Donat Keusch and Gabriele Sindler of DFK FILMS | dfk*script*service.
The workshop is a training program in story-telling for the screen aimed at African women screen writers who have a compelling project in late development. This training session is partly funded by The Hawthorne Foundation. Gabriele Sindler and Donat Keusch are amongst Europe’s leading script analysts. In a few weeks time, sixteen screenwriters from Africa will benefit from their expertise.
Tsitsi Dangarembga, the founder of ICAPA Trust and one of the pioneers of black women’s filmmaking on the continent, met Donat Keusch back in the 1990s while a student at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (DFFB). Keusch had been approached to mentor Dangarembga on a script she was writing at the time. The two reconnected recently and are now collaborating on several projects together with Sindler. In addition to a number of feature films, these projects include capacity building initiatives on the African continent. The programmes target women who live in an African country, a group traditionally marginalised in the African film and television industries.
Industry practitioners on the African continent often short change story development due to lack of funding and education opportunities for the process. Yet, script development is arguably the most important part of motion picture development. Keusch advises that a working treatment can easily be 80 or more pages long, with each action vividly imagined and described using all five senses. At the end of the working process the final version of a professional treatment for a normal feature length film will be some 30 to 50 pages, written in prose with no dialogue or at best with indirect speech. Writing the screenplay is faster when the stories and characters have been well-developed and when most of the cinematic solutions are designed. Other aspects of screen writing such as scene building and dialogue follow much more readily.
ICAPA’S call for the Lagos workshop received 93 applications from 24 countries. This response testifies to a widespread market and a deep need for such training activities on the African continent. Stories received ranged from Ugandan sci-fi to Tanzanian experimental coming-of-age. ICAPA Trust expects several films from this year’s workshop to proceed to production, as the Trust is setting up a special vehicle for productions that come out of its training activities.
With a five figure workshop budget and production budgets ranging between a quarter of a million and four million United States Dollars, this kind of work needs supporting. ICAPA Trust is currently fundraising for its other capacity building activities. The Trust has 501 (c) (3) status through its two fundraising partners, Chapel and York and CAF America.
Gifts via Chapel and York may be made by following this link, citing the following details – Account Name: Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust, Account No: CHAPEL906, Service: US Foundation Affiliate
To give via CAF America please download and complete the form here. When completed mail the form, with your gift, to the address on the form, citing The Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust as the organisation you suggest your gift should support.
ICAPA Trust and its many beneficiaries are most grateful for your gift. For more information about the Trust’s African capacity building and production initiatives please email email@example.com.