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Rehearsals Selected For Berlinale 2021
Michael Omonua’s 14-minute short film titled, Rehearsals, has been selected for a world premiere at the 2021 Berlin International Film Festival otherwise called Berlinale.

Produced by the Lagos-based outfit, Cine9ja Entertainment Limited, the movie produced in English and ‘Nigerian pidgin’ and subtitled in English stars Ruby Akubueze, Richard Brutus and Amanda Oruh.

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The Berlinale Short film competition comprises 20 films from 16 countries including 15 world premieres and five international premieres. World premiere is used to indicate films that have not been shown to an audience yet while international premiere indicates films that have not been shown outside their country of origin yet. Omonua’s Rehearsals has not been shown to an audience yet and so the movie will be having its world premiere at Berlinale and it will be in competition with 19 other short films including, Easter Eggs, a Belgium, France and Netherland co-production by Nicolas Keppens, A Love Song in Spanish, a France and Panama co-production by Ana Elena Tejera, More Happiness, a USA production by Livia Huang and Ventana, a USA production by Edgar Jorge Baralt.

The short film jury made up of three members will award a Golden Bear and a Silver Bear to the best two films of the short film category. The industry events for the 71st Berlinale will hold between March 1 and 5, 2021 while the Summer Special is scheduled for June 9 to 20, 2021.

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SONY In Television Deal With EbonyLife Media
EBONYLife Media has signed a two-year exclusive deal for scripted television projects with the International production division of Sony Pictures Television (SPT). The deal, which commenced in January 2021, allows SPT exclusive right to all EbonyLife scripted television projects that are intended for a global audience. This is the second deal that the Mo Abudu led EbonyLife Media will be signing with SPT. The first deal followed a three-project co-development and production deal in 2018. Announced as part of that deal is the production of a series inspired by the story of the Dahomey Warriors. SPT’s Executive Vice President for Global Scripted Development Nina Lederman said that the global media organization is excited to have the opportunity to help bring soulful African storytelling to a global platform. “We are delighted to be broadening our relationship with Mo and the team at EbonyLife who have created some of the most compelling and successful content in all of Africa,” Lederman said. Reacting to the deal, CEO of EbonyLife, Mo Abudu, said that EbonyLife whose ethos is creating original and inspiring content that showcases a progressive Africa was pleased to deepen its partnership with SPT. “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Sony Pictures Television over the last few years. Taking African storytelling to global audiences is something we are very passionate about and this new opportunity with Sony gives us a chance to reach a massive audience worldwide with our scripted TV series,” Abudu said. This deal makes it the fourth deal EbonyLife Media has signed with prominent media companies around the world. The company signed a multi-title deal in 2020 with streaming giant Netflix to produce films and series. The company also signed a deal with AMC Networks in 2020 to produce the futuristic show ‘Nigeria 2099’.

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Talent Durban 2021 Call For Entries
THE Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) in cooperation with Berlinale Talents, an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival has opened the call for projects for the 14th edition of Talents Durban. Talents Durban, a project of the DFMI, will run alongside Africa’s premier co-production market and finance forum, the Durban FilmMart. “Our vision is to stimulate the growth of the African film industry through the development of film projects, and to network African filmmakers within the continent, and the rest of the world,” says Magdalene Reddy, Acting General Manager of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “We intend to build on the success of the 2020 virtual edition to drive African cinema forward.” Talents Durban opens entries to African screenwriters and directors with fiction, documentary, animation, and hybrid projects in development. On the other hand, Talents Press invites emerging film critics and journalists to apply for mentorship and hands-on training. Talents Durban will select 32 Talents, carefully chosen by a panel of industry experts to participate in mentorship labs, workshops, discussions, market screenings, and specialized programmes for specific disciplines including directing, scriptwriting and reviewing films for digital and traditional media. Selected Talents will also participate and interact with the formal DFM programme. Organizers insist that prospective talents must have a recognized portfolio of previous work and a project in progress. Interested filmmakers are expected to complete the online application form with a deadline fixed for March 19, 2021. Applications are now open on: http://www.berlinale-talents.de/bt/durban/ap/info/index

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