Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Fund Awards $103,000 to 8 Top African Documentary Projects to Watch
Photo Credit: SIHLE HLOPHE

Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Fund Awards $103,000 to 8 Top African Documentary Projects to Watch


Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Blue Ice Group have announce that 8 African film projects have been chosen to receive a total of $103,000 in development and production grants from the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund in its sixth round of disbursements. Selected from 114 submissions from 25 different African countries, 4 projects will receive development grants, and 4 projects will receive production grants.

Five of the grant recipients will also receive support to attend Hot Docs 2017, where they will take part in a creative filmmakers’ lab, attend Hot Docs screenings, conference sessions, the Hot Docs Forum and various networking events, and participate in a year-round peer-to-peer mentorship program. They will also receive support to attend and participate in the Durban International Film Festival and Durban Film Market.

The list of recipients – all projects to watch – follows below,via press release:

Development Grants


Director: Yakout Elhababi

Producer: Vincent Mellili, Hind Saih, Karoline Henkel

Production Company: ESAV Prod, Bellota Films, Woodwater Films

Country: Morocco, France, Germany

High in the Rif Mountains of Morocco the people survive by growing kif. Beneath the shadow of the ambiguous legality of the crop, Behind the Doors tells the story of a family through its children and their mirroring games.


Director: Sihle Hlophe

Producer: Sarah Basyouny

Production Company: Passion Seed Communications

Country: South Africa

When an opinionated filmmaker agrees to marry her long-term boyfriend, her feminist self is conflicted about whether to allow him to pay lobola (bride price) or not.


Director: Zippy Kimundu, Meena Nanji

Producer: Meena Nanji, Zippy Kimundu

Production Company: AfroFilms International

Country: Kenya

Testament excavates the hidden history of the Kenyan independence struggle from the perspective of those at its frontlines. Through a woman’s journey, this film reveals a brutal colonial regime, examines its legacy and connects it to contemporary Kenyan issues.


Director: Yuri Ceuninck

Producer: Yuri Ceuninck

Production Company: Kori Kaxoru Films

Country: Cape Verde

They believed they could get God’s forgiveness by confessing all their sins, so they did. They publicly confessed their worst secrets and posted them on Facebook. Society got to know them and so did the State’s institutions. But the forgiveness of God and that of men do not work the same way.

Production Grants


Director: Samwel Soko Osebe

Producer: Bramwel Iro

Production Company: Lightbox

Country: Kenya

An activist who is plagued by internal conflict with his past, present and future challenges generational political injustice in Kenya.


Director: Samaher Alqadi

Producer: Karim El Hakim

Production Company: Prophecy Films

Country: Egypt

An Arab woman awakens an emotional crossroads between society’s expectations of a repressed life, and living the free life she wants. An intimate self-examination ensues exposing the taboos that controlled her Palestinian childhood, which she continues to face as a grown woman living in downtown Cairo.


Director: Mayye Zayed

Producer: Mayye Zayed, Moritz Helmes

Production Company: Rufy’s Films, Zum Goldenen Lamm Filmproduktion

Country: Egypt, Germany

A coming of age story about 14-year-old Zebiba, a young Egyptian girl who dreams of being a world champion weightlifter. With the help of her coach Captain Ramadan and against all odds, she pursues this unusual dream.


Director: Shameela Seedat

Producer: Shameela Seedat, Francois Verster, Neil Brandt, Brechtje Smidt, Dan Jawitz

Production Company: Undercurrent Film & Television (UFT), Fireworx Media (FWM), Dutch Picture Industry (DPI)

Country: South Africa

Whispering Truth to Power tells the story of South Africa’s first female public protector, Thuli Madonsela, a courageous woman who challenged the country’s most powerful politicians to protect the constitution and bring justice to ordinary people. With exclusive access, the film follows Madonsela and her team during her last year in office.

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