Pape Boye’s Black Mic Mac, a recently launched banner championing African and Middle Eastern talent, is kicking off a strong first roster of projects including “Let the Earth Burn” from Sundance-prizewinning Sofia Alaoui and “The Bridge” creator Måns Mårlind.
“Let the Earth Burn” is a six-part series following Kenza, a recent graduate of the police academy working in a remote station nestled in the Atlas Mountains. Surrounded by misogynistic colleagues, she starts investigating on the disappearance of some shepherds’ children.
More from Variety
Alaoui’s credits include “So What if the Goats Die,” which won best short film at Cannes and Sundance in 2021, and “Animalia,” which won the Grand Jury prize at this year’s Sundance. Mårlind is one Europe’s best-known series’ creator with credits including “Midnight Sun” and “The Bridge” and “Shadowplay.” The film is produced by Barney Prods. and co-produced by Black Mic Mac. Other projects on the outfit’s slate include the female-powered thriller “Three Cold Dishes,” which revolves around teenagers who were sold into the sex trade who then set off to take their revenge. The movie will be directed by Asurf Oluseyi and is produced by Ifind, Alma Prods., Asurf Films and Martian Network. Black Mic Mac is repping sales in addition to co-producing.
An industry veteran who worked in international sales for many years, Boye said he had the idea of launching Black Mic Mac after participating in an industry workshop in Cape Town. “While I was there I met young filmmakers who said things I had never heard before because they have a totally different mindset than the older generation of African filmmakers, who were mainly eager to make movies that would play at festivals and achieve critical recognition,” said Boye. “Whereas this new breed of directors isn’t as preoccupied by the laurels, they grew up watching mainstream films, they’re on social media, and they want to make films that are seen by many people everywhere.”
Boye said many of these emerging directors studied abroad in Europe and in the U.S., and are “returning to Africa or the Middle East to tell local stories with top production values that can resonate overseas. My dream is to see a Norwegian watch some of the films I’m producing and say ‘Wow, I can’t believe they’re capable of making this in Angola or Senegal.’”
The company is looking for projects that have an authentic identity and at the same time internationally driven, and have an established local producer attached. Boye said the outfit received as many as 600 scripts and pitches since launching a year ago.
The company is backed by Logical Pictures Group, which secured €10 million in its first financing round. The banner is not only involved in producing but also in packaging and selling with Nicola Ofoego, who previously worked in sales and acquisition at Mondex and Pathé Intl.
Some of the projects being repped in international markets and executive produced by Black Mic Mac include “Halo Haze,” by South African director Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, which is produced by with SK Global Entertainment/Ivanhoe and BlueLight. The movie follows an aspiring young rapper struggling to survive on the wrong side of the tracks in Cape Town.
Black Mic Mac and Logical Pictures are also backing Kourtrajmé, a new film school in Senegal created by Ladj Ly (“Les Miserables”), Kim Chapiron and Romain Gavras (“Athena”). Boye said one of the challenges to grow the local film industry and national production output is the dearth of trained crews, but things are changing, notably thanks to the creation of Kourtrajmé and the presence of more international productions shooting in Africa and the Middle East.
Black Mic Mac and Logical Content Ventures, the film and TV co-production fund of the Logical Pictures Group, will support the initiative in return for a first-look deal to co-produce and finance projects developed by the school’s upcoming students. Black Mic Mac will act as a distribution partner on certain projects.
Best of Variety