Out Of Africa: Nigerian Filmmaker Diepriye Diri Selected For 2024 Global Media Makers Residency in Los Angeles

Nigerian film director and writer Diepriye Diri has been selected for this year’s edition of the annual Global Media Makers (GMM) Residency in Los Angeles, California.

She is one of 20 filmmakers selected from 12 countries, with the Residency scheduled to run for five weeks. While there, she will be developing her narrative feature film Baby Girl, the story of a young woman who struggles to understand why her mother hates her, leading to a journey of self-discovery that uncovers the circumstances surrounding her birth.

Diri is a filmmaker, SGBV Response/Prevention expert, and 2023 Mandela Washington Fellow. Her films include the shorts Girls Education: Dreams From The Street and XOXO: An Accelerate Filmmaker Project.

“As a girl from Nollywood watching Hollywood movies and dreaming that someday I’d be here, and I’m here. What a blessing”, Diri posted on her Instagram account.

This year’s edition marks the 10th GMM Residency organised by Film Independent since 2016, coming off its first overseas residency in Colombia in April. The 2024 Residency also witnessed a record number of over 650 filmmakers nominated to apply, attracting a diverse pool of creatives, including filmmakers from Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe for the first time.

“With this new cohort hailing from South Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Arab World, and Ukraine, we have now built a global community that is over 180 filmmakers strong, while forging alliances with a multitude of regional festivals and media arts organizations who are engaged in building sustainable ecosystems for these filmmakers to continue creating their important and urgent films,” said María Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education and International Programs at Film Independent. “In LA our Fellows not only make long-lasting relationships with American Mentors but form strong bonds of collaboration with their peers across borders.”

GMM Residency – Diepriye Diri 

Global Media Makers is a cultural exchange programme designed to foster relationships between American and international film professionals. It is supported through a partnership between Film Independent (a U.S. art organisation) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and connects international filmmakers with leading U.S. entertainment professionals through comprehensive filmmaker education, business training, professional networking opportunities and tailored mentorships.

Since the program’s inception in 2016, 128 Fellows have been served through GMM residencies, leading to 17 produced projects, including Egyptian Fellow Ayten Amin’s Souad (official selection at Cannes 2020, Berlin and Tribeca 2021), Lebanese Fellow Myriam Sassine’s Costa Brava (Orizzonte Venice and TIFF 2021), and Jordanian Fellow Darin Salam’s Farha (TIFF 2021). In 2022, GMM broadened its scope to include more countries in Africa, including Burkina Faso, Nigeria and South Africa.

Up to 18 Fellows are selected for a year-long mentorship program that includes a Residency in Los Angeles. Fellows participate in filmmaking labs focused on screenwriting, directing, creative producing and documentary filmmaking where they develop their current projects with a team of U.S. Mentors. The programme provides master classes, industry sessions, field trips, cultural engagement and access to individual Mentors for project support and networking.

Click here to read more about the residency.

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