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IamAFRICA Short Film Competition on YouTube


Arrangements are in top gears for the first iamAFRICA Short Film Competition. The project is a collaboration between the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), The Africa Narrative at the University of Southern California Norman Lear Centre and YouTube.

The initiative was launched to propel African content creators and their work into the mainstream consciousness of American and international audiences, who are all too often, exposed to media narratives of Africa that are widely distorted and shaped by non-Africans.

According to a landmark 2019 study conducted by the Norman Lear Centre, mentions of Africa and Africans appear infrequently in US news and entertainment, and when they do, are often negative and stereotyped.

At the same time, YouTube’s global platform has empowered content creators on the continent to revolutionise and expand the possibilities of video storytelling while reflecting a truer and more balanced perspective of the region.


With this initiative, PAFF aims to further its mission to elevate the profile of innovative content creators who are defining the current landscape of African filmmaking.

Filmmakers selected by a special jury will be given an extraordinary opportunity to embark on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles, CA to attend the 28th yearly Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles in February 2020. While in California, winners will be guests of both the Pan African Film Festival and YouTube and attend a variety of public and private events that showcase and promote their talent, including a public screening of each winning entry.

The jurors who will review submissions for the iamAFRICA prize each have strong ties to Africa, and decades of combined industry experience in production, acting, directing, screenwriting and business affairs are: Stephanie Linus, Funa Maduka, Themba Sibeko and Stacy Osei-Kuffour.

Completed films must have been produced within the last three years. (after Jan 2017)

Genre: All genres will be accepted.

Language: Must be English language or with English subtitles. Completed film must be less than 30minutes (including film credits).

Location: Completed film must be shot entirely on the African continent.
Content: There are no content restrictions, however, all submitted film(s) must comply with the terms of use that govern the YouTube platform.

Who Can Apply: Entrant(s)/Content Creator(s) must self identify as African and reside and work on the African continent.

Submission Fee: There is no submission cost for this competition. Submissions are due not later than 11:59pm on October 31 2019.

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