The 25 feature, medium and short films of Generation Africa share the lived realities of African youth, the largest youth demographic in the world whose futures will determine the shape of global fortunes over the next few decades, through the lens of migration across 16 Anglophone and Francophone countries of Africa.
In 2018, STEPS issued a call for stories around migration, receiving over 180 submissions from which 45 stories were chosen to participate in week-long story development workshops with local and international experts. Strong story ideas were selected for further development and offered financial and professional support to shape their project packages. An editorial process to select stories for production then took place, resulting in 25 films which have been co-produced with local production companies, with support from STEPS and the Generation Africa project.
The pan-African project aims to deliver films with local perspective and a global appeal, ensuring high production values through consistent professional support from story to picture- lock. Each of the filmmakers in production was given professional support for dramaturgy, while production companies received funding support including some international co-productions to complete the film. Finally, each of the films were able edit with mentorship from experienced documentary editors and editing consultants.
Through the interventions above, a veritable documentary film community has been built around the project, connecting filmmakers and producers across the Anglophone and Francophone regions of the continent and with colleagues working in Europe and further afield.
Generation Africa is an ambitious project whose vision could not have been realised to this stage without the generous support of partners internationally. The bulk of the funding support for the project has come from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, through the DW Akademie. The three documentary departments of Arte (France, Strasbourg and ZDF) have also collectively joined to support the project as lead broadcasters in Europe.
This project has been conceptualized with audience outreach in mind, and as part of the Generation Africa strategy, it invites public broadcasters internationally to be part of the global broadcasting event to take place in early 2022. This unique event will see international collaboration between broadcasters within a similar window where the films will be shared with audiences to create a global conversation about migration.
This unique broadcasting opportunity as well as the impact strategy of the Generation Africa project which will work with organizations and communities in Africa and abroad to lead conversations on migration through these films will ensure that documentary film continues in its role as a catalyst for critical conversations that move society forward.