Four creative young African screenwriters from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa have been selected for the AuthenticA Series Lab, presented by the Realness Institute in partnership with The Storyboard Collective, a Swiss philanthropic organisation dedicated to the development of authentic and transformative stories, and Series Mania.
The lab is set to commence at the end of September.
The four participants announced are Angela Wamai (Kenya), Chantel Clark (South Africa), Jessica Hagan (Ghana), and Tony Sebastian Ukpo (Nigeria).
They will undergo a six-month television series lab to develop their stories, under the mentorship of Story Expert, Selina Ukwuoma, and Creative Producer, Mehret Mandefro.
“The four selected participants all have a range of ideas and approaches to their episodic series, which will make for a creatively dynamic lab,” says Realness Executive Director, Elias Ribeiro. The programme, designed by Ribeiro, also offers opportunities to engage with a host of industry experts.
Kenyan Angela Wamai studied film in Havana, Cuba, and works as a film editor in Nairobi. She has written several short films and recently completed her debut feature film Shimoni (The Pit) which she wrote, directed, and edited. She was recently awarded best film editor by the Women in Film Awards-Kenya.
Director and screenwriter, Chantel Clark, is an Honours graduate in Television Drama (UCT) and holds an MFA from the Film Program at Columbia University. Her script for her directorial feature debut, Wit Gesigte (Pale Faces), was selected for several development labs including the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab. Her MFA thesis film, Our Albertinia, was screened at over 25 international film festivals. She is currently an ambassador for Girls in Film South Africa.
Accra-based Ghanaian-British writer, Jessica Hagan, enjoys exploring themes of identity, displacement, and misogynoir in her work. Her debut play Queens of Sheba has won numerous awards over the years. It played to sold-out houses in its 4-week run with 4- and 5-star reviews across the board at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival and continues to enjoy sold-out seasons in the UK. In 2023, Queens of Sheba will have a 3-week run at The Public Theatre, New York City.
France-based Nigerian Filmmaker and photographer, Tony Sebastian Ukpo, trained at the London Film School (LFS), before which he had already explored various creative enterprises in theatre, graphic novels, and photography, as well as film. He has written and directed an eclectic range of films, including Paris 60, Japanese murder mystery Random 11 with Haruka Abe, British Nollywood romantic comedy Mum, Dad, Meet Sam starring Joseph Benjamin, and immigration drama Simana among others.