ProjectZ.Africa is an online film incubator and capacity building platform that creates international mentoring opportunities for selected Zimbabwean and other African filmmakers with the aim of transferring globally competitive film skills to this select group. The project is a flagship programme of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa (ICAPA) Trust.
It is designed for Zimbabwean and African filmmakers with proven exceptional talent who need a breakthrough opportunity to propel them to the next level of their careers. ICAPA Trust leverages its international networks to secure recognised global film practitioners for the African mentees.
Z refers to the end, signifying that Africa is about to start a new chapter in it its history. It also refers to Generation Z, the generation of young people who have grown up with film content and are eager to use the medium to tell stories that restore and engage the African continent, while being commercially competitive.
ICAPA director Tsitsi Dangarembga presented ProjectZ.Africa at Pavillon Afrique at Cannes Film Festival in May 2023, with technical support from Plug-In Group Monaco/Cannes.
Five Zimbabwean filmmakers were mentored by US filmmakers. The mentees gaining invaluable new skills and insights in their respective areas.
The extremely successful first pilot edition of ProjectZ.Africa increased capacity and skills for five Zimbabwe artists and five valuable industry relationships were established between five Zimbabwean upcoming film practitioners and US industry insiders. ICAPA Trust's media partner, Yaza Africa, represented by Agnes Amondi from Kenya reported Tsitsi Dangarembga's presentation, together with other African cinema events at Cannes Film Festival 2023 to 250000 people globally on their digital platforms. Icapa Trust aims to engage experts from different countries for future editions.
ProjectZ.Africa alumnae will have the opportunity to work on ICAPA Trust productions to consolidate their new skills. Two proof-of-concept film productions are currently in late development and early preproduction respectively in collaboration with ICAPA Trust's German film analyst experts and German co-producers.
A panel discussion with leading script consulting experts Donat Keusch and Gabriele Sindler of DFK films gave more insight into the proof-of-concept film projects and the scope of the work that is necessary to develop an interesting idea into a compelling story, and subsequently into a commercially competitive screenplay. Donat Keusch, founder of DFK films won the Golden Palm at Cannes Film Festival in 1982 and has been the silent dramaturgical analyst behind many major Hollywood films.
Tsitsi Dangarembga's screening of her classic short musical KARE KARE ZVAKO- MOTHER'S DAY - which demonstrates how African stories can be developed to reach global audiences - closed the presentation and again drew strong enthusiastic reactions from the audience.
ICAPA Trust is also grateful to Mahen Bonnetti of the New York African Film Festival and writer/director Ekwa Msangi for their input into ensuring that the 2023 edition of ProjectZ.Africa happened, as well as to digital media entrepreneur James Boyce for his assistance in designing the programme.