Tom Tykwer (pictured) and Marie Steinmann’s One Fine Day Films and the Deutsche Welle Akademie launch new training scheme for African film-makers.

One Fine Day Films, Tom Tykwer and Marie Steinmann’s alternative production company, has joined forces with the Deutsche Welle Akademie to launch a new initiative that will offer hands-on training to budding African film-makers.

FilmAfrica! has been developed from out of pilot scheme, which ran the production company ran with UK-based charity Anno’s Africa in Nairobi in autumn 2008, while making the film Soul Boy by Ghanaian-Kenyan debutant Hawa Essuman.

The scheme will receive $1.4m (€1m) in support from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) over the next two years and will also receive support from the Goethe Institut in Nairobi. In addition, the Filmstiftung NRW has awarded $136,137 (€100,000) towards the production costs the next film, which will be shot this autumn.

Guy and Siobhain “Ginger” Wilson’s Nairobi-based production house Ginger Ink, which was a co-producer of Soul Boy, will serve as the local partner for FilmAfrica!

Speaking to ScreenDaily, Tykwer said: “This year’s project will be more structured than the pilot project of Soul Boy. There will be a series of workshops over a number of months before the actual shoot, and we will have 10-15 participants in six or seven department workshops. Out of a total of 60-100 people, we will then generate the crew which will be trained before we actually start shooting the movie. On Soul Boy, the film was the workshop. Therefore, we will know better what the particular skills and knowledge are of the individual people.”

Tykwer added some of the participants in the workshops may come from other East African countries such as Sudan or Ethiopia, but the focus will remain on Kenya.

Screenwriting workshops have been already been held in preparation for the next film project, with more than 35 screenplays having been involved and developed. “Out of these, ten major candidates are in the running, and we will then come down to three or four after the other training workshops in the summer. The final choice of screenplay should then be made with the director who is chosen from the workshops,” Tykwer said.

Meanwhile, Film!Africa plans to continue the collaboration with German camera manufacturer and distributor ARRI, which provided equipment and post-production facilities to Soul Boy, and Tykwer suggested that the second film might be able to use ARRI’s new “Blue” digital camera.

Soul Boy had its world premiere at the Rotterdam and Gothenberg International Film Festivals before being screened as a Generation Special presentation at the Berlinale last weekend. The film will be shown to the local Kenyan cast and crew in the Nairobi district of Kibera - where Soul Boy is set - on March 4.