“The key thing is, these funding bodies want you to contact them. They’ll give you the time to explain what’s required because they want people to succeed as well. ” — Hawanatu Bangura
How can you fund your creative projects whilst working a day job? Who do you need on your team to make your funding applications more competitive? How important is it to create a proof of concept to get more funding? In this episode I chat to filmmaker Hawanatu about how she’s managed to get her films and web series made.
We also discuss the importance of valuing time and talent — yours and that of the people you’re working with. The numbers start to add up and that’s when you can look at applying to screen agencies for support. Hawanatu’s latest project Afro Sistahs recently received funding from Screen Australia’s Generate initiative.
Podcast Guest Profile
Hawanatu Bangura is an Afro-Australian writer, director and producer. Born in Sierra Leone, she migrated to Australia in 2002 and as a teenager discovered her interest in filmmaking when she was involved in a youth film project.
Since then, she has written and directed six short films in various genres including dance, experimental, drama, documentary and animation. Her films have been screened both in Australia and internationally at film festivals including the Legacy Film Festival (United Kingdom), Shaan-E-Awadh International Film Festival (India), Adelaide Kids Film Festival, African Film festival Australia and International Pan African Film Festival (Cannes), Toronto International Film Festival Kids. Her short animation film, ‘Money Tree’, about a boy who wants to become rich by planting a stolen coin was nominated for best animation at Montreal International Black Film Festival (Canada).
Recently, she joined forces with a group of Afro-Australian female filmmakers to create a web series titled Afro Sistahs a short form narrative comedy/drama that explores the complex nature in which culture, gender, race, love and of course, hair, intersect.
Hawanatu’s films are driven by her personal values – so themes of social justice, empowerment, identity, peace, hope and wisdom are strong in her work. The stories in her films are universal, resonating with audiences far and wide. Hawanatu is passionate about using her films as a platform to raise consciousness about social issues and social injustices. She was part of the prestigious Screen Producers Australia: One to Watch program in 2017.
0:53 | How I’ve sought funding for my project
4:45 | Interview with Hawanatu Bangura
- Hawanatu’s website https://www.hawanatu.com/
- Afro Sistahs website https://www.afrosistahs.com
- Screen Australia funding page https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/funding-and-support