DW Akademie, in cooperation with the director Tom Tykwer and his production company "One Fine Day Film" have launched a workshop in Nairobi to promote modern African film.
"Supporting Modern Film in Africa" - that's the motto of the two-week workshop at which 57 young film-makers from five African countries will hone their skills in the fields of camera work, script-writing, directing, editing, production, sound engineering and production design. The trainers are professional film-makers who have repeatedly been involved in Tykwer’s successful films - "Run, Lola, Run", "Perfume", "The International".
At the launch, the German ambassador Margit Hellwig-Böthe welcomed DW Akademie's efforts to support young African film-makers not only in the production of their movies but also their placement on the international market outside the African continent, describing it as an opportunity to promote cultural dialogue. She added, "In Germany, we don't pay nearly enough attention to African culture. In contrast to France or England, we are not conscious enough of the quality of African art and culture."
Ultimate Goal: A Feature Film
From left to right: German ambassador Margit Hellwig-Böthe, DW Akademie project manager Michael Tecklenburg and Tom Tykwer
At the end of the seminar, the most promising participants in each of the disciplines will be selected. From mid-October, they will produce a 90-minute feature film along with Tom Tykwer and the trainers. It will be a story from Africa, shot by Africans from an African perspective - of an international standard for an international audience.
Not all participants will be able to take part in the production of the feature film. Nevertheless, they too will be able to apply their newly-acquired skills in their future work. This long-term oriented support of young African film-makers will continue next year with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). "Our common goal is to promote and strengthen an independent African film industry," said Michael Tecklenburg, DW Akademie project manager, in Nairobi.
A Life in Two Worlds
Production design training
So what's the film going to be about? Here's a sneak preview of the plot: a young Kenyan from the country dreams of becoming an actor. He gets the chance to put his talents on display at a small theater in Nairobi. But he has to earn his living elsewhere. Thus, he lives his life between two worlds. He gets involved with dubious company and runs the risk of turning to crime…
For more information about this project and the participating African film-makers, click on the link below.
Director, script-writer, composer and producer: with twelve successful productions to his name, Tom Tykwer, 45, has long-since established himself on the German and international film scenes, and has frequently created a splash - in 1998, with "Run, Lola Run," and most recently with "The International." The film opened the 59th International Film Festival in Berlin in 2009. Two Tykwer films are due for release in German cinemas in December: the tragic-comedy "3" and "Soul Boy", which is set in Africa.