Africa No Filter (ANF) and Meta have announced the six finalists of the ‘Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds’ programme which is focused on harnessing and investing in the next generation of Extended Reality (XR) creators in Africa.
Each creative will be supported with up to $30,000 in financing as part of the ‘Future Africa: Telling Stories, Building Worlds’ program, as well as opportunities to attend XR-industry events to develop their creativity and drive interest in their projects. Electric South and Imisi3D will also provide mentorship for the winners as part of their benefits.
The winners, selected from all over Africa are Malik Afegbua from Nigeria, Pierre-Christophe Gam from Cameroon, Xabiso Vili from South Africa, Nirma Madhoo from Mauritius, Michelle Angawa from Kenya, and Lara Sousa, Mozambique
In their extended realities projects, the finalists will use music, multimedia installations, films, and sculpture to explore spirituality, heritage, the cosmos, imagination and memory, and masculinity, all with a focus on telling compelling African stories that are contemporary, narrative-shifting, and immersive.
“It’s reassuring to see the amount of incredible XR talent on the African continent,” Jessica Hagan, Arts and Culture Program Lead at ANF, said at the press conference “The creativity and innovation we encountered in the selection process have been very exciting.
Hegan went on to say that although XR content creation is costly, African creators are not left behind and Africa is on the pulse of global innovation and digital trends that are transforming how stories are presented and experienced thanks to the program.
Sherry Dzinoreva, Meta’s Public Policy Programs Director, Africa, Middle East, and Turkey, said “This specially curated program is an opportunity to support African storytellers who are leveraging the power of the next evolution of social technology, whilst also shining a spotlight on the amazing, creative, and diverse talent pool we have here on the continent.
Dzinoreva emphasized that the team recognizes the power of Extended Reality and how it can be utilized to convey tales that change perceptions of and within Africa