How this one-minute mobile film festival is bringing together filmmakers from across Africa

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN)A pregnant woman trying to make it through the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya. A Tunisian cemetery with the bodies of irregular migrants who tried to flee their country. A group of Senegalese teenagers addicted to using social media.

These are the plots from some of the winning entries of the first African edition of the Mobile Film Festival, an international festival of short movies showcasing hundreds of filmmakers from across the continent.
Over the past decade, African films have continued to gain international recognition, transcending boundaries and finding new audiences -- one of the reasons why French festival founder Bruno Smadja created an all-Africa edition.
    "You are able to go over borders with the film festivals, and you give the opportunity to exchange, to share, to tell the world about how you're living and understand how others are living too," Smadja says. "So, it's a cultural exchange -- whether you're in South Africa, in Algeria, in Ghana, or in Kenya, wherever you are."
      The Mobile Film Festival (MFF), created in 2005, is all virtual. Filmmakers submit short stories of just one minute or less, shot on mobile devices. In the last four years alone, the festival has received entries from more than 130 countries and awarded grants totaling €229,00 ($275,000).
      In 2020, MFF launched its Africa edition, open only to filmmakers living on the continent. The top submissions were announced this past March. CNN spoke to some of the winners to understand their journey into filmmaking, and what's next for them in Africa's growing film industry.
      Senegalese filmmaker Marcel Moussa Diouf is the grand prize winner for the first-ever Africa edition of the Mobile Film Festival.
      As a child growing up in Senegal, West Africa, Marcel Moussa Diouf spent a lot of time watching films.
        The 23-year-old says he was inspired to learn filmmaking after stumbling on "The Hateful Eight," a 2015 thriller directed by American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. And even though he could not afford to go to film school, Diouf tells CNN that he learned about making movies on his own.
        "The internet has taught me everything I know. In 2015, I went on YouTube to learn how to make films," he says. "I was initially using my phone to practice, but I later got a laptop from my sister. And with this computer, I organized everything I learned into chapters by taking notes."