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April 2005
African Film Commision:
New Yorker Yor-El Francis wins top award

For Immediate Release



World Wide Festival Honor Screenplays that Highlight Africa

March 30, 2005 (Los Angeles, CA) ­ The African Film Commission (AFC) will presents its 2nd Annual Award Ceremonyand the launching of the 3rd Annual Storytelling Screenwriting Competition. The event is scheduled to take place from7:00 PM until 11:00 PM, Thursday, April 28, 2005, at Messob Restaurant (Little Ethiopia), 1041 South Fairfax Ave, in Los Angeles, CA. Grand Prize Feature-winner is Yor-El Francis, of Staten Island, NY. His epic script entitled 'Fire of the Sun' is the compelling story of an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who is forced to unite the country's fractured kingdoms. Mr. Francis picks up a $5,000 cash prize.

Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Yor-El left the country after the tumultuous coup and subsequent civil war of the 1980's. He joined his grandparents who were Liberian diplomats first in Germany then in Sierra Leone where he attended the Sierra Leone Grammar School. After graduation the family moved to New York City where he attended Hunter College graduating with a BFA in film production. In 2003 Yor-El moved to Los Angeles to join the Director's Guild of America's esteemed Producer's Training Program. That opportunity has led to his working on productions as varied as "Navy NCIS," "The West Wing," "Numb3rs," "Joan of Arcadia," and most recently the Warner Brothers Motion Picture "The Dukes of Hazzard."

Shafik Benjamin of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada takes home second prize for his screenplay 'The Rape of Afrika Shonara'. The screen play takes place in 1878, during the colonization of the Congo. A young Congolese woman is forced to defend herself after white officer kills her fiancé, rapping her and leaving her to give birth to twin sons ­ one white and one black. Mother and sons avenge this crime by hunting down the soldier who committed it. Rounding out the feature winner category is Daniel Adjokatcher, of Ghana, Africa. His third prize winning submission, 'Big Man Wahlah'. The suspenseful drama follows a corrupt minister of natural resources, Dr. Gyamfi, who has to depend on a struggling taxi-driver to help him escape the country after the military closes in on him and shutdown the airport.

Under the category of documentaries, Lincia Daniel, of London, takes home the grand prize for 'Hector: The Story of the Soweto Student Uprising', which tells the story of the Soweto rebellion through the eyes of 12-year-old Hector Peterson. It is a compelling story that captures the strength of the human spirit by showing how South African children sacrificed their own lives to free their country of apartheid in an effort help secure freedom and a better future for the current generation. Winner up is Kenyan born, Wanja Mary Sellers who documentary 'Running Like The Win' shares the personal stories of victory and triumph as Kenyan long-distance runners, (home of the worlds fastest runners), risk it all for a chance to compete in the Olympics.

All entries are reviewed by Brass Brad Screenwriting Consultancy. AFC, who options the right to produce the best screenplays for world wide distribution, goal is to foster productive relationships between screenwriters and the international film community for possible production of these creative works that highlight Africa.

The mission of the African Film Commission (AFC) is to assist in the development of the African Film industry. The AFC is an intra continental film commission that works with African Governments and leaders to establish film commissions in their respective regions or countries and is dedicated to film education, collaboration and networking throughout Africa and the entire world. For additional information on African Film Commission and the Storytelling Contest, go to www.filmafrica.org




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