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Focus World Distributing AFRICA FIRST, VOLUME TWO Compilation of Short Films

Posted August 15, 2012

Available Today on HULU and HULU Plus;

Current AFRICA FIRST Program Accepting Entries Into Next Week

Focus World, the unique alternative distribution initiative owned and operated by Focus Features, will distribute Africa First, Volume Two, a two-hour compilation of short films from Focus’ Africa First Program, which is currently accepting new entries. The announcement was made today by Focus CEO James Schamus.

Beginning today, the compilation will be available on the free, ad-supported Hulu service and the Hulu Plus subscription service (www.hulu.com/africa-first). The short films in the compilation are by filmmakers who participated in the Program’s second year: from South Africa, Stephen Abbott’s Dirty Laundry, a dark comedy unfolding during one very long night in a Laundromat; from Uganda, Matt Bishanga’s A Good Catholic Girl, a drama addressing questions of religion and marriage in Christian and Arab communities; from Mali, Daouda Coulibaly’s Tinye So, a drama about a plague causing deafness in a West African community; from South Africa, Matthew Jankes’ Umkhungo, a science-fiction tale about a young boy from the slums of Hillbrow grappling with paranormal abilities; and, from Zambia, Rungano Nyoni’s The Adventures of Mwansa the Great, a fantasy in which a young Zambian boy’s imagination transforms everyday activities into an exciting quest. Ms. Nyoni’s movie received a BAFTA Award (Britain’s Academy Awards equivalent) nomination for Best Short Film.

Celebrating its fifth year, the Africa First Program is accepting entries through this coming Monday, August 20th. The initiative, with funds earmarked exclusively for emerging filmmakers of African nationality and residence, is for the fifth consecutive year offering eligible and participating filmmakers the chance to be awarded $10,000 in financing for pre-production, production, and/or post-production on their narrative short film made in continental Africa and tapping into the resources of the film industry there. The program also brings the filmmakers together with each other and with a renowned group of advisors, major figures in the African film world, for support and mentorship. Africa First is supervised by Program Director and producer Kisha Cameron Dingle (…Sometimes in April), whose company, Completion Films, has a first-look and consulting deal with Focus, and who coordinates the Program’s submissions and evaluations with Focus Director of Development & Production Christopher Kopp. Past short films to come out of the Program have been showcased at the Sundance, Toronto, London, and Berlin Film Festivals; on The Africa Channel; and with the Museum of the Moving Image and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, among other venues worldwide. A two-hour compilation of films made by the first year’s filmmakers in the Program, Africa First, Volume One, is available on DVD and across VOD and EST platforms. Complete details on Africa First – including application information – can be accessed year-round through www.focusfeatures.com/africafirst.

Launched in 2011, Focus World identifies and curates the most exciting voices in international and independent cinema. Part of Focus Features’ multi-platform strategy, Focus World presents titles of genuine vision and originality as premiere releases on EST, iVOD, and VOD, along with DVD and other formats.