Covid-19 tales dominate the nine one-minute film entries from East Africa competing for €26,000 ($31,585) in prizes at the inaugural Mobile Film Festival contest between February 17 and March 17.

The films, plus five others, are among 51 entries from 23 countries, including Nigeria, Cameroon and the DRC.

The Grand Prize Africa will be worth €10,000 ($12,150). There will be two French-speaking film awards worth €500 ($607.50) each, original music score €2,500 ($337.50), documentary film €2,000 ($2,430) and African female director award €1,500 ($1,823).

The organisers will also support the winners through a €9,000 ($10,937) programme of grants for creation — 18 awards worth €500 ($607.5o) each for production aids. “The purpose of these grants is to enable the winners to make a film with professional means in the following year,” said the organisers.

Wide appeal

The entries cover women, ecology, human rights, and history among others and are available with subtitles in French, English and Arabic at, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Kenya leads with five entries, followed by Nigeria, Cameroon and the DRC — all with four entries. Burundi has two; Uganda and Rwanda have one each.

The climax will be an awards ceremony in Tunis in association with the French embassy and French Institute from March 23-25.

Winners will be chosen by an eminent jury composed mainly of directors: Blick Bassy (Cameroonian musician), Hilda Dokubo (Nigerian actress), Obi Emelonye (Nigerian director), Joël Karekezi (Rwandan director), Ismahane Lahmar (Tunisian director and screenwriter).

Since 2005, the Mobile Film Festival has discovered and promoted new film talents. The Festival Africa is an official event of the Africa2020 Season, which is currently being organised in France and aims to showcase African innovation in arts, sciences, technology, entrepreneurship and economy to the French public.

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