Chairperson of the Kenya Scriptwriters Guild, Wanjiru Kairu, has been selected as one of four African screenwriters to participate in the second edition of the AuthenticA Series programme by the Realness Institute.

Kairu and the three will begin their six-month mentorship on September 19 which will include participating in online sessions over six months as well as attending in-person residencies in South Africa at the Coot Club, and in Switzerland at the StoryBoard House, culminating with a pitching session on stage at the Series Mania Forum 2024 in Lille, France.

Channel 1

The Series Mania Forum is one of the leading content development markets in Europe, with an expected over 4,000 participants from all over the world. Kairu will be tasked with crafting both a Concept Story Pitch Deck and a pilot script as part of their journey with the mentors.

Speaking about this year’s programme, Mehret Mandefro, Co-Founder and Director of Development and Partnerships at Realness said, “Providing African writers the support, time, and space they need to do their best work is an important intervention in the media landscape. I look forward to working with this new cohort and their stories.”

Adding his sentiments about the importance of the programme, Laurence Herszberg, General Director of Series Mania said, ““AuthenticA Series Lab pitches in 2023 have been a great success and have demonstrated the interest of the international industry in projects coming from Africa. We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with the Realness Institute for a second edition. The new cohort is of high quality and I am sure that the projects will find partners in Lille.”

In addition to being the current chairperson of the Kenya Scriptwriters Guild, Wanjiru Kairu is an award-winning writer and director whose creative expertise spans radio, television, and film. Her portfolio boasts collaborative contributions, which earned an international Emmy for Best Production in an Audio Drama.  

Beyond television, she wrote over 10 films for DSTV,  and her short films have garnered international recognition and nominations. She is an instructor at Africa Digital Media Institute (ADMI), Africa Digital Media Academy in Kigali, and Multichoice Talent Factory, and a script consultant for a number of films and TV series across East Africa. 

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