Young African filmmakers have received more support through a joint venture spanning Africa and Europe. The films in African Metropolis will show the world Africa's modern face. The short films will be shot in Lagos, Abidjan, Kinshasa, Dakar, Johannesburg, Cairo and Nairobi.


African short films will get a hefty boost thanks to a joint venture linking Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), the Nigerian financial institution; Goethe-Institut of South Africa, based in Joburg; and Steven Markovitz.

This venture supports African Metropolis, an initiative of the Goethe-Institut and executive producer Markovitz. It is also supported by the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival Rotterdam. African Metropolis was set up to explore and promote African short films and young filmmakers from various African cities across key platforms.

The short films will show the face of a modern and cosmopolitan Africa, and challenge long-standing clichés about the continent. All seven shorts are expected to be delivered in May.

The filmmakers are Jim Chuchu of Kenya, Egyptian director Ahmed Ghoneimy, Folasakin Iwajomo of Nigeria, Marie Ka who is Senegalese/Martinique, Philippe Lacote of Ivory Coast, Yohan Lengole of Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South African director Vincent Moloi.

All the participants in the joint venture are pleased with the initiative. "We are delighted to take part in supporting the work of African film artists who will share with the world their take on urban Africa, and wish that our support will encourage continued good work from these storytellers as well as others yet to come of age," said Segun Agbaje, the chief executive of GTBank.

Lien Heidenreich-Seleme at the Goethe-Institut added: "The Goethe-Institut is proud to be the main partner on this project. We regard the development of an independent and sustainable film industry on the African continent as a high priority and we count GTBank an important partner in that pursuit."

Markovitz pointed out that African filmmakers had never lived through a shortage of good ideas. "Thanks to our partners, we are now at that point where financial support and guidance will bring ideas to light in the best possible way," he explained.

Hubert Bals Fund was "proud to take part in this exciting initiative and look forward to seeing the completed short films", said Iwana Chronis, the manager. "For the Hubert Bals Fund, participating in African Metropolis has been a great way to stimulate emerging African film talent in their professional development. We are delighted to welcome the Nigerian GT Bank as a new partner."