Africa Direct Call for Submissions

Africa Direct Call for Submissions

Al Jazeera English is launching the second series of Africa Direct- African filmmakers, telling African stories – directly. Big World Cinema is contracted to manage the series, commissioning African filmmakers across the continent to produce short form documentaries that challenge dominant narratives about their complex, diverse and changing continent. The series will be 12 x 25 min episodes, each made up of 2 or 3  short documentaries.

We would like to invite you to register your interest in pitching for a commission to direct and or produce one or more short documentaries,  using either of the form links below. The deadline for this registration is 4 April.

English Form
French Form

Deadline to register your interest: 4 April 2022 (5pm SAST)
Date for zoom informational call: 6 April 2022 (3pm SAST)
Deadline for submissions of ideas: 25 April 2022 (5pm SAST)

Once registered, you’ll be sent the series handbook, a link to our Zoom briefing session on Wednesday 6th April. Commissioning and production would take place from April-June, with delivery in July–August.

Films from the first six episodes of the  first series of Africa Direct can be viewed here: [Link]

The series is designed to elevate unheard voices, to present alternative narratives about places and people, and to show the human stories behind the headlines. Africa Direct will also build a network of African filmmakers for Al Jazeera, now and for the future. The project includes online briefing sessions for producers, to give an opportunity for questions and to ensure the content meets Al Jazeera’s editorial standards, Ofcom regulations and a global audience.

The short documentaries are character-led, told in the first person by one central character. People are central to the stories, whether they relate their own story directly, or tell it to us through a local African filmmaker. Together, these stories defy stereotypes and challenge pervasive and negative narratives of ‘Africa’ as a single entity. They reveal diversity, innovation, agency, solutions, creativity and invention, even amid grim realities. The stories come from a range of people and countries, from urban and rural settings, from frontline politics and experiential narratives.

Al Jazeera English is a news and current affairs channel, so each story has a strong current affairs backdrop, with a front-facing personal story. The stories relate to the deep, long-running themes of society, economies and politics – but are not ‘hot’ news that will be out of date quickly.

For any questions, please email: