Chika Ikogwe selected for AFTRS National Talent Camp 2022 funding, News

Chika Ikogwe selected for AFTRS National Talent Camp 2022 funding

Talent Camp is a biannual initiative of the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS), which launched in 2017. The 2022 event is financed with the assistance of Screen NSW, Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, VicScreen, Screen Queensland, and Screen Tasmania.

NSW emerging filmmaker Chika Ikogwe is one of four emerging screen creatives from across Australia have been awarded production funding totalling as part of AFTRS National Talent Camp.

Four projects have been selected: two narrative projects and two documentaries.

The narrative projects include the comedy-horror proof of concept Dog Eats World by Nigerian/Australian writer and actor Chika Ikogwe (NSW) and writer/director Alice Yang’s (SA) short film Happy Bellies Happy Jia. The recipient documentary projects are Jason Christou’s (VIC) Proof of Concept Skinny and Sara Glaoua’s (TAS) short Mum’s The Word.

As an actor, Chika Ikogwe has worked extensively in the industry across theatre and television on shows such as Fangirls and, most recently, Netflix’s worldwide hit Heartbreak High. As a writer, she co-wrote the play The House at Boundary Road Liverpool and has several works in development, including the TV series Just Chidi Things which was the winner of the Screen Makers Conference Pitch-o-rama competition in 2020. She’s incredibly passionate about bringing authentic Afrocentric stories to the forefront of Australian stages and screens.

Chika’s selected project Dog Eats World is about a young, money-hungry Black woman and her co-worker who land the job of a lifetime working for a mega celebrity and her dog, unaware they’ll be dedicating their lives to this new role.

Chika says: “Dog Eats World explores the idea of societal prioritisation of animal lives over the lives of Black people and other people from marginalised community groups. The 2022 National Talent Camp was a nourishing experience that allowed me to further explore what is quite an eccentric idea, with a group of inspiring emerging creatives. I’ll be using the production funding to create a proof of concept for Dog Eats World which will hopefully help us attract further funding to create the full-length film.”

Head of Screen NSW Kyas Hepwoth said: “Screen NSW is serious about developing career pipelines for emerging talent in NSW and I am excited that National Talent Camp will provide Chicka Ikogawe with the tools make Dog Eats World production ready.”

AFTRS, Screen NSW, Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, VicScreen, Screen Queensland, and Screen Tasmania have announced the four projects to be funded as the culmination of the 2022 Talent Camp program. Talent Camp is a skills development program designed to support emerging creatives from regional locations, culturally diverse backgrounds, disability, socioeconomic status and those from the LGBTQI+ communities.

With a focus on building crucial screen skills across industry sectors, Talent Camp 2022, the third iteration of Talent Camp, was broken into two programs: one for Narrative storytelling and one for Documentary. Both intensives included training on Writing, Directing and Producing taught by industry leaders.

Talent Camp, first established in 2017, was created to develop the skills of creatives from diverse backgrounds and is designed to provide opportunities for emerging storytellers to create new content and be employment ready for the screen sector.

The program recognises diversity as differences in gender, Indigenous identity, cultural and linguistic diversity (CALD), disability, sexual orientation, geographic location and socioeconomic status.

Image: Chicka Ikogwe

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