Facebook has revealed six finalists for its program – the Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds program featuring Michelle Angawa.
Angawa is a Kenyan film editor and XR developer who will be entrusted with generating tragicomedy content reflecting a day in the life of a Nairobian boda boda rider, with a budget of Ksh3.4 million (US$30,000).
The content aims to examine the various challenges of living in Nairobi.
The program’s goal, according to Meta’s statement, is to identify and invest in Africa’s future generation of Extended Reality (XR) artists.
About Michelle Angawa
According to her LinkedIn profile, Angawa describes herself as Film Editor, Climate Justice Enthusiast and XR Curator.
“Michelle is a lover of stories who has been playing with cameras and computers since the age of 14, filming and editing short clips that may never see the light of day.”
She attended Multichoice Talent Factory(MTF), a filmmaking program where she learned basic filmmaking principles and storytelling for the African context. There she co-wrote and co-edited the film Promises, that bagged the Best Student Feature at the 2020 AMVCAs.
“I look up to Lupita Nyong’o. She taught me that all dreams are valid and through her I have been able to discover my true self,” says Angawa.
“I believe that anything is possible with the right amount of planning and I never give up without a fight,” she says.
Michelle is an alumni of the La Femis L’Université D’été,Paris, a diverse documentary filmmaking program where she developed skills in docu-storytelling . Her time there coupled with a VR program from Black Rhino and Dada Trust led her to discover Immersive Journalism and VR as an empathy machine.
What Angawa will get from Facebook’s Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds Program
Aside from financial assistance, the makers will receive mentorship and passes to XR events to help them further their creativity.
“As part of the ‘Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds’ programme, each creator will be supported with funding of up to $30,000 and also participate in XR-industry events to improve their creativity and drive interest in their projects. They will also access mentorship from Electric South and Imisi3D,” read the statement in part.
The other five contestants come from Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, and Cameroon.
Facebook will require them to use music, multimedia installations, video, and sculpture to investigate projects related to spirituality, legacy, the cosmos, imagination, memory, and masculinity in their extended reality projects.
Africa No Filter (ANF) company is collaborating with Facebook to facilitate the artists.
“Seeing the number of tremendous XR talent on the African continent is reassuring.” We were blown away by the level of originality and innovation we saw during the selection process. It demonstrates that Africa is also at the forefront of global innovation,” Arts and Culture Program Lead at ANF Jessica Hagan stated.