A pioneering celebration dedicated to honouring and elevating the voices that enrich our screens and our lives through diversity and inclusion, the Inclusive Lens Awards recognise the creators, storytellers, and innovators who are breaking traditional boundaries and showcasing the breadth of human experience.

In the dynamic landscape of film and television, the power of representation plays a crucial role in shaping perceptions, inspiring change, and fostering a more inclusive society. The Inclusive Lens Awards are designed to spotlight and reward exceptional efforts in the portrayal and inclusion of diverse narratives and characters, with a special focus on LGBTQ+ representation, disability awareness, and the depiction of diversity in children's content.

The awards ceremony, powered by Urban Brew Studios, will take place in the MIP Africa Theatre 1 at the CTICC 2 on Tuesday, 3 September from 16h15 followed by a networking kiki.



Diversity & Inclusion in Kids Programming: Pre-school

This category applauds productions that introduce young audiences to variety of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, these series help cultivate empathy, understanding, and respect from an early age. A pre-school TV show is a programme designed specifically for children aged approximately 2 to 7 years old. These shows typically focus on educational content, social and emotional development, and age-appropriate entertainment.



Distributor : Ubongo
Production company: Ubongo
Short Synopsis:  Akili, a curious 4-year-old, enters the enchanting world of Lala Land each night. There, with her animal friends, she explores language, letters, numbers, and art. In this whimsical realm, Akili learns essential skills, cultivates kindness, and navigates her emotions, adapting to the changing world of toddlerhood.

Recognised for: "Akili and Me" stands out as a beacon of inclusive and diverse representation for preschool children. Through the adventures of Akili, a curious 4-year-old, this series introduces young viewers to a magical world where learning is fun and engaging. Set in the vibrant and culturally rich Lala Land, children explore language, numbers, and art, while developing emotional intelligence and kindness. The show's diverse characters and culturally relevant content ensure that children from various backgrounds see themselves reflected on screen. 



Distributor : EVCL
Production company: EVCL
Short Synopsis:  Bino and Fino, a dynamic sibling duo, explore African music, art, and culture through cartoons and songs, creating an enriching educational experience. Their daily adventures and persistent curiosity resonate with children of all backgrounds. The show aims to bring Africa's rich history and culture into the homes and lives of its fans.

Recognised for: "Bino & Fino" excels in inclusive and diverse representation for pre-school children by immersing them in the vibrant world of African music, art, and culture. This dynamic sibling duo embarks on daily adventures that spark curiosity and learning. Through engaging cartoons and songs, children of all backgrounds can see themselves in these joyous characters. Their persistent questioning reflects every child's innate desire to learn, while the show's heart lies in bringing Africa's rich history and culture into homes worldwide.



Distributor : Ubongo
Production company: Ubongo
Short Synopsis:  "Nuzo and Namia" follows 7-year-old twins who discover a magical bookshelf in their late grandmother's house. It transports them to African countries, guided by a whimsical creature named Bubelang. The series blends adventure, education, and emotional growth, teaching them about diverse cultures while enhancing reading and listening skills.

Recognised for: "Nuzo and Namia" excels in representing inclusivity and diversity by showcasing the rich tapestry of African cultures through the eyes of 7-year-old twins. This series integrates cultural education with enchanting adventures, as Nuzo and Namia explore various African countries through a magical bookshelf. The twins' journeys teach young viewers about different traditions, fostering appreciation and understanding of diversity. The show's heartfelt narrative also addresses themes of family, loss, and resilience, making it deeply relatable. 

Meet Our Host

Meet Our Host

Vida Fantabisher, a staple in Cape Town's drag scene, has been dazzling audiences for 12 unforgettable years. Her journey from a fledgling performer to a seasoned queen is a testament to her passion for glamour, comedy, Broadway showmanship, and all things theatrical.

But Vida's story goes beyond the stage; she's a scholar of the art form she loves. With a master's degree exploring the intricacies of drag within Cape Town's vibrant cultural tapestry, Vida's commitment to the craft is undeniable.

Today, she shares her wisdom and experience as a lecturer in Character Design & Styling at AFDA, inspiring the next generation of creative minds. Vida Fantabisher's boundless energy, charisma, and dedication make her a beloved figure in both the drag and academic worlds, proving that her love for glamour and theatrics knows no bounds.

Keynote Presentation

Keynote Presentation

Zoey Black: A Trailblazer in Queer and Transgender Advocacy

Zoey Black is a queer transgender woman of colour based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a versatile documentary filmmaker, film photographer, and human rights activist committed to telling authentic and engaging queer stories. Zoey graduated from the University of Cape Town as a professionally trained actress and boasts over a decade of experience in live performance, training and facilitation, producing, and activism. Her work is deeply focused on documenting the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals, particularly the experiences of transgender and gender-diverse people.

Zoey's YouTube channel is a pioneering platform in South Africa, dedicated to exploring social and lifestyle issues relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community. It serves as an essential resource, providing accessible information on trans-specific topics and fostering greater understanding and awareness.

As an activist, Zoey is a vocal advocate for trans rights and visibility. She engages with organizations and government stakeholders to drive social change and law reform. Her leadership roles include serving on the Board of Directors for two non-profit organizations and being a member of the Steering Committee of the Southern African Trans Forum.

In addition to her advocacy and filmmaking, Zoey is a published author and editor. Her notable contributions include "They Called Me Queer" (2019), "Trans Rural Narratives" (2020), and "Keeping the Promise of Dignity and Freedom for All" (2020). Zoey Black continues to inspire and impact her community through her unwavering commitment to storytelling, activism, and education.

Meet Our Jury Members

Meet Our Jury Members

All films and series submitted to the MIP Africa Inclusive Lens Awards will be evaluated by a distinguished jury of leading professionals dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion in the African media landscape. MIP Africa extends heartfelt thanks to these jurors for their unwavering support and invaluable guidance. The winning films and series will exemplify originality, exceptional storytelling, inclusive casting, and high production values, setting new standards of excellence and inspiration in media.

Athenkosi Kwinana
Visual Artist | Visual Activist

Athenkosi Kwinana is a visual art activist specialising in drawing and printmaking. She graduated from Walter Sisulu University with a National Diploma in Fine Art and earned her Bachelor of Technology in Fine Arts in 2018. She completed her Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Johannesburg in 2022. Kwinana's first solo exhibition, REIMAGINING ALBUS, debuted in 2022. She participated in several residencies and exhibitions, including the Admirals Residency in Cape Town and the Investec Cape Town Art Fair. In 2023, she received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant and completed a residency in Havana.

Gibson Ncube
Lecturer: Stellenbosch University

Gibson is a Senior Lecturer in Modern Foreign Languages at Stellenbosch University, focusing on gender and sexual minorities in African literature and film. A C1 rated researcher by the National Research Foundation of South Africa, he authored Queer Bodies in African Films (2022). He has held prestigious fellowships, including at the African Humanities Program, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, National Humanities Center, Leeds University, and Oxford University. From 2020-2022, he co-convened the Queer African Studies Association and was named Mary Kingsley Zochonis Distinguished Lecturer in 2021.

Jason Fiddler
Festival Director: Durban Gay
& Lesbian Film Festival

Jason founded the Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in 2011 and will direct its 10th edition in 2024. He has curated over 200 films for the festival, including features, documentaries, and short films. Jason has also served on the juries of the MIX Copenhagen LGBTI Film Festival in 2013 and the International Tourism Film Festival Africa in 2021 and 2023, contributing his expertise to promote diverse cinematic voices.

Karen Jeynes
Writer, Producer and Director

Karen is an accomplished writer and director for stage and screen, is celebrated for her work with Both Worlds, especially as head writer for ZANews: Puppet Nation. She recently penned "Recipes for Love and Murder" and directed four episodes. Her portfolio includes award-winning shows like "Point of Order," "Comedy Central News," and "Parlement Parlement." Beyond her diverse work in film, TV, and theater, Karen is dedicated to disability representation in media. She is pursuing a PhD in disability representation in TV through the University of Pretoria. Karen also lectures, runs workshops on writing, and consults internationally on script development.

Mimi Bartels
CoFounder: Anakle Films

Mimi, Nollywood’s No. 1 Box Office Film Producer of 2021, has 32 AMVCA nominations for FilmOne Production and was named among the Top 150 interesting Nigerian people by 'WithChude'. With 14 years in content creation, she has distributed over 110 films, including "The Wedding Party" series and "King of Boys." Formerly General Manager of FilmOne Studios, she produced hits like "Ghost & The Tout Too" and "The Prophetess." Now Co-founder and Creative Head at Anakle Films, Mimi focuses on developing Nigerian storytelling globally. She specialises in film development, production, and strategic marketing, emphasising inclusivity and diversity.

Rogers Ofime
Director and Producer

Rogers Ofime is a Nigerian-born, Canada-based filmmaker, director, television producer, and entrepreneur, renowned for his contributions to the Nigerian entertainment industry. A fellow in Media Production at Bournemouth University UK, he has produced several notable TV soap operas, including  the acclaimed LGBTQ+ telenovela "WURA" on Showmax. Ofime has produced over 180 telefilms, 6,000 episodes of TV series, 8 short films, 10 documentaries, and 30 adverts. He is the first Nigerian to produce a multi-camera studio-based daily soap opera. He continues to tell original African stories to a global audience with a keen eye for the art of filmmaking.

Dr. Shelley Barry

Dr. Shelley Barry is a multi-award winning filmmaker whose experimental works have garnered numerous awards globally. Shelley’s accolades include two SAFTA awards and several international awards including the Zonta award for Best female filmmaker in international competition at the International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen. Her films have been acquired by prestigious institutions such as New York University and Princeton University. Currently teaching film at the University of Johannesburg, Shelley is an influential voice in contemporary cinema, with an emphasis on advocacy for diversity and inclusion on and behind the screen.

Simon Manda
Managing Editor: THISABILITY

Simon is a media practitioner with extensive experience in brand and events management. As the Managing Editor of THISABILITY Newspaper, a disability awareness multimedia platform, he has worked with Ladysmith Black Mambazo as Brand Manager, aligning the Grammy-winning group with Tourism KZN and Ithala Bank. Since 2011, Simon has been involved in media and disability management training. Partnering with Media24, THISABILITY annual training programme has empowered over 50 youth with disabilities in basic journalism skills. Collaborating with SAFOD, Simon has trained 36 youths in media and disability mainstreaming across six Southern African countries.