What does Africa look like to you? (image by ANF)
How does it feel when you use filters on different social media like Snapchat, Instagram, and Tiktok to take pictures or do videos of yourself? The image of you get, is that the real you? When you look at something through a filter or a lens, what you see is the image that they want you to see and not what really is. This is the case with Africa. Since before the scramble of Africa, the stories told about Africans by non-Africans have greatly been centred on poverty, under-development, sickness, and poor mind-sets. Even after the colonial era, Africa’s stories are still being told through a negative lens, such that when you look at Africa, you see poverty, bad governance, filth, and a people without agency. But is this really who and what we are? Is this all there is to the African narrative? Of course not! There is more to Africa as a continent and a people. Take a look at how Africa No Filter is trying to make Africans and Non-Africans see the continent as it is, no bias included.
- What is Africa No Filter(ANF).
One hand cannot tie a bundle. That is why, a group of funders came together about 3years ago to establish ANF. This donor collaborative is aimed primarily at changing and shifting the narrative about Africa.
ANF defines a narrative as “a collection of related stories that are articulated and refined over time to represent a central belief.”
Africa’s narrative has been an unbalanced one. A biased filter which has given the continent a very negative image. This becomes a problem to the way Africans and the rest of the world looks at this continent. ANF therefore wants to shift the focus of the African story and create a more balanced one.
- How is ANF changing the African Narrative.
Stories about the darkness of Africa have existed for close to about a century. Of course, to move from this angle no be play. For this reason, Africa No Filter has been trying to establish an eco-system of African Story tellers who tell balanced, diverse, unbiased and better stories about Africa. These stories can be told through spoken word poetry, poems, movies, documentaries, podcasts, blogs vlogs…
A major challenge that ANF recognises when it comes to telling better stories about Africa, is the lack of funds by most creatives in Africa. Tori for Africa sweet, but na money short for tori the tori fine. This is a problem ANF tries to solve through their grants.
In the close to 3years of its existence, ANF has given out over 1millionUS Dollars as grants. From this amount, only very few Cameroonians have benefited. Na say wa place no dey? or we no get better tori? On the contrary, Cameroon has an increasingly growing number of creatives: – many of whom complain about the lack of funds to sponsor their various projects This grants could be an excellent opportunity for story tellers and creatives in Cameroon.
- Some ANF grants which are still open to applications.
- The environmental storytelling fund
Under this grant, Africa No Filter, in Partnership with MasterCard Foundation will be allocating up to 5000US Dollars to selected grantees. This project is looking for creatives who are telling environmental stories different from the stereotypes on pollution, lack of water, electricity… Although ANF is looking for a category of stories told from a different angle, story tellers can still tell stories about the problems plaguing Africa, yet, their stories should not only focus on these problems. They can also talk about possible solutions to these problems or even share the stories of Africans in Africa who are making a difference in the domain of climate change.
WHO CAN APPLY?
- Open to African content creators based anywhere in Africa and the Diaspora.
- Content creators must be aged over 18 years, with a track record of producing climate content.
- Content creators must have more than two years’ experience producing podcasts, blogs, vlogs, and social media content about climate action in Africa.
- Content creators must have a combined audience of at least 5,000 followers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
- Content creators must not be represented by an agent or apply representing an organization.
- Content creators can be individuals or a maximum of three hosts.
- The Last Mile Film Fund (benefit from up to 10,000$ as funding!).
Through this grant, Africa No Filter seeks to fund movies which are already in the production or post-production face. Also, these movies should have appealing storylines which break the bounds of contemporary African movie themes like violence and poverty: – movies which show the growth which Africa has experienced, as well as the beauty of Africa.
- Short and feature-length fiction, documentary or animation films at the final stages of production, including post-production (editing, visual effects, sound mixing, dubbing), marketing and distribution, etc.
- The call-out is aimed at post-production activities which can be covered by the grant in full. However, if the cost of the intended activity is more than the requested funding from ANF (Africa No Filter), the applicant must show evidence of confirmed funding for the excess amount from another source.
- The fund is open to filmmakers based in the continent and the diaspora, and the project needs to be African led.
- All films must be submitted in their original language or subtitled in English. Only applications sent through the online application form available on our website will be accepted.
- Films must challenge a prevailing negative stereotype about or within Africa or reflect a refreshing, more contemporary and nuanced narrative of the continent, along with a storyline that is compelling to a broad audience both at the Pan-African level and internationally.
- Demonstration of commitment or willingness to commit to Better Representation. This includes but is not limited to participating in and delivering the Better Representation induction to the filmmakers you work with
- The Kekere Storytellers Fund
In line with ANF’s objective of changing the African narrative, the Kekere Storytellers fund is an initiative to promote the telling of better stories and telling stories better about Africa. Here, successful grantees could have access to 500-200US Dollars as funding (
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
- Be an African based anywhere in Africa or the Diaspora.
- Be under 35 years.
- Be able to express yourself in English or French.
- Have a track record of producing ground-breaking work that challenges stereotypical narratives about your community, country, or the continent.
- Have at least two years of related work experience
- Have a minimum of 5000 followers across Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube
- Fall in at least one of the following categories:
- Media/Content creator: Journalist, Blogger, Vlogger, Podcaster, Fiction & Non-Fiction Writer, Photographer
- Artist: Poet, Musician, Spoken Word Poet, Dancer, Painter, Sculptor, Illustrator, Animator.
This grant does not fund projects for the purchase of
equipment such as laptops, cameras….
For more information about the grants offered by Africa No Filter, visit africanofilter.org-our grants. Also do well to subscribe to their site for latest updates on their grants.
We hope this blogpost helps find the funds and research material needed for your project.
Glory Mafor, Africa No Filter.