For the second consecutive year five film-makers have been awarded $10,000 apiece in Focus Features’ Africa First Program for short films.

The winning film-makers for 2009 are: Stephen Abbott for the dark comedy Dirty Laundry (South Africa), Matt Bishanga for the drama A Good Catholic Girl(Uganda), Daouda Coulibaly for the drama As Long As Bozos Sing(Mali), Matthew Jankes for the sci-fi story Umkhungo (South Africa), and Rungano Nyoni for the fantasy The Adventures Of Mwansa The Great (Zambia).

The award was set up to nurture emerging film-makers of African nationality and residence and the money will be used for financing projects in pre-production, production, and/or post.

In addition to on-site work in Africa, the winning film-makers of Africa First will visit New York later this autumn for a weekend of one-on-one workshops with members of the programme’s international advisory board of experts in African cinema Focus CEO James Schamus and production president John Lyons.

Africa First is supervised by producer Kisha Imani Cameron, whose Completion Films has a first-look and consulting deal with Focus.