Call for applications: Digital Lab Africa grants

Artists, students, entrepreneurs and start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa working in digital music, web creation, virtual reality or video games are invited to submit their project for Digital Lab Africa, a new platform for multimedia talent.

Digital music projects can receive incubation from Digital Lab Africa.
Digital music projects can receive incubation from Digital Lab Africa.

Winners in each category will receive an ‘incubation ticket’ between January and October 2017 consisting of a €3000 cash prize, mentorship from global leaders in their respective fields, residence time in France and participation at key multimedia events.

The objective of Digital Lab Africa is to offer a springboard to the creators of tomorrow’s multimedia productions. The platform will allow creative multimedia projects to come to light with the support of French partners like ARTE, Okio-Studio, CCCP and Believe Digital. 

Applications will be evaluated by a selection committee based on criteria of artistic/technical quality, technological/creative innovation and feasibility/economic potential. The selected projects (maximum three projects per category) will be announced on 30 September 2016.

Selected projects will then be presented in a pitch competition at the annual audio-visual event DISCOP Africa, taking place in in Johannesburg, South Africa from 2 to 4 November 2016. The pitches - consisting of a short presentation of each project including a Q&A session - will take place in front of a jury consisting of French and local partners and before industry professionals searching for new innovative content. Based on these pitch sessions, Digital Lab Africa will announce the winning projects for each of the four categories. 

Digital Lab Africa is organised by the French Institute of South Africa in partnership with Trace and film and TV expo Discop Africa.

Digital music

The digital music category is open to all projects that offer an innovative and enriching user experience using multimedia tools, solutions and content, based on one or several African artists, musical genres or African territories (eg. Senegalese rap or Congolese rumba). The project should be aimed at video or digital music platforms on the Internet or mobile telephone - for example, creating an app offering a multimedia world and an interactive community around an artist.

Mentors of the winning project in the digital music category are Believe Digital, the leading digital distributor and services provider for independent artists and labels in the world, and 1D touch, the first worldwide fair trade streaming platform dedicated to independent contents. The platform already offers nearly one million musical references.

Other categories

The Web creation and Transmedia categories are dedicated to new ways of creating audio-visual material. They target the new generation of producers and relate to content that combines several media, and are intended to be viewed mainly online on smartphone, tablet and computer. Web creation targets all audio-visual material produced to be viewed online (first digital content) in a non-linear way. The category is open to innovative concepts and to any type of content: fiction, documentary, animation, reality shows, news, sport, entertainment, talk shows, debates, TV formats and magazine programmes (food, environment, lifestyle, culture, comedy, educational…). Projects that aim to attract an audience, engage with it and retain it, and that can be formatted into episodes or thematic channels will be considered first.

Transmedia covers all production/content that combines the use of various media (TV, Internet, mobile phones, radio, video games, social networks etc.) to offer a transmedia narrative experience, that may include some elements of interactivity and audience engagement.  The project can consist of either creating a transmedia universe of an original television or cinema production, irrespective of the genre (documentary, series, animation), or a transmedia project developed directly for online consumption.

The virtual reality category is open to anyone producing content which offers an immersive experience to the public, on any type of support (computer, tablet, smartphone, virtual reality headset), using virtual reality technologies, 360° video and 3D interactions.  Examples: journalism report, fiction or documentary movie, musical clip, museum visit, video game...

The video game category is open to all prototypes/concepts of ‘Serious Game’ - learning games, edutainment games, simulation games, games that inform, engage and advertise for mobile application or full screen, for example: a news game on a current topic, a game that promotes a cause, an advertising game to promote a film or event, an educational game to learn a language.

Who can apply

Digital Lab Africa is open to anyone, professional or not, from the sector of multimedia content creation: artists, producers, developers, start-ups, SMEs, collectives, students or entrepreneurs. It is open to any professional or individual having an innovative project in the four categories of multimedia production. It targets developing innovative projects in need of partners and financial support.

Applicants should be based in sub-Saharan Africa or a national of a country in this region.

How to apply

Applicants must complete the form (one project per form) and email it to before 31 August 2016.

Download the application form in English here (or French here) or complete the online application form.

Please attach the following documents in an email to in English or in French:

  • Presentation folder of the project including visual elements, solutions, technologies, screenplay, target audience, projected budget, business plan, production schedule, etc (5 to 8 pages maximum)
  • A beta version, preview, pilot or demo of the project (if available)
  • A biography of the applicant or description of the company represented (max 300 words)
  • A picture of the applicant (.jpeg)

All submitted projects should be set down in French or English. They should target an international audience and be innovative in form, narration, content or technologies employed.

Applicants may submit several projects, but only one per category. For any queries, email, visit the Digital Lab Africa website or watch the video below.



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