In a villa with a vast lush garden on the shores of Lake Togo, ten young African screenwriters take full advantage of a rare opportunity to improve their skills and see the fruit of their labor on the small screen.
These screenwriters from five countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Togo) have been participating since early April in a screenwriting residency to imagine season 2 of the animated series "Junior des idées en or" , named after the hero of an animated series that traces the adventures of a group of African children.
After a season 1 produced by French screenwriters, this time "it is African screenwriters who will talk about the daily life of African children", explains Christophe Guignation, screenwriter and author of cartoons and co-founder of the Maison Junior association.
It will be broadcast on PM SA, Gulli Africa and Gulli channels.
"This series must be audible for Europeans and, at the same time, identifying for Africans", he adds, affirming that it will be the first French series with an international vocation entirely written in French-speaking Africa by Africans. .
The association was founded by Page 49, a company specializing in the development of audiovisual content for young people, the Togolese production company Yobo Studios and the Togolese Association of Animation Cinema (ATCA).
Supervised by three professionals, two French and a Togolese, the ten screenwriters aged 20 to 33 have already followed a four-month distance training.
After their stay until the end of July in the village of Alogavi, about 22 km east of Lomé, the economic capital, they will follow yet another two-month distance training course.
"The idea of this training is interesting, because it allows us to offer content that is modeled on our realities, on what we are experiencing in Africa, and with which, truly, current and future generations will be able to identify", welcomes Beninese Odilon Edjedji, 25 years old.
This training, both theoretical and practical, fills a gap in French-speaking Africa.
"I learn a lot. In Africa, it is not always easy to train in the field of cinema. And as for the specific field of scriptwriting, it is not easy, because training is rare", adds the Burkinabè Anaïs Kéré, 23, journalist and screenwriter by training, and film critic.
Two famous Togolese slammer-rappers are also participating, to help the students design the song for the series.
Sitting around a table in the middle of the villa's garden, they try to put their text on music.
Everyone does the exercise in turn, in a relaxed atmosphere.
"There are things that I did, but that I did not understand. With this training, I gradually master all the stages of writing", rejoices Yoann Feteke, a young Togolese screenwriter.
© 2021 AFP