Focus Features to finance African shorts

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Focus Features is giving a chance to African filmmakers with a $10,000 leg up on their next short. The boutique studio has established the Africa First Program, which will help finance short films made by native Africans and shot in continental Africa. Kisha Imani Cameron (‘Sometimes in April’) is spearheading the initiative.

‘As an independent producer myself, I’m always listening for new voices,’ Cameron said. ‘Filmmakers selected for grants will retain the copyrights to their projects as well as artistic, budgetary and editorial control. But throughout the process -- and, ideally, beyond -- the team at Focus will lend them support.’

Five awards of $10,000 will be made this year. Submissions are due July 15. More details are available at