Netflix and UNESCO to empower emerging African filmmakers


Ferdinand Ekechukwu

Africa has a rich narrative heritage and a wealth of folk tales that are passed down from generation to generation. When you marry these very indigenous continental stories with emerging talents from Africa, there is no limit to fresh new stories to connect people to African cultures and bring the world much closer. On this premise, the global streaming platform, Netflix in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to discover and empower new voices in the firmament of African cinema. .

This partnership, through a recently launched short film competition for emerging filmmakers from sub-Saharan Africa, on the theme “African folktales, reinvented”, “will provide six laureates with resources to develop their talents on a global scale. The winners will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and will benefit from a production budget of US $ 75,000, through a local production company, to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as an “Anthology of African Tales,” Netflix and UNESCO said in a statement.

The statement added, “We want to find the bravest, wittiest and most surprising tales of some of Africa’s most beloved folk tales and share them with entertainment fans around the world in over 190 countries. The competition, which will be administered by Dalberg, will open from October 14, 2021 to November 14, 2021. “

In addition, each of the 6 winners will also receive $ 25,000. The statement revealed that UNESCO had approached Netflix as part of the continent’s first comprehensive mapping of the film and audiovisual industries. “What we’re trying to achieve with Netflix… is how we can engage these young filmmakers to tell stories about the African people and to pass down, across generations, the culture and traditions that are in place in Africa. To do this, partnering with a Netflix global platform was vital to ensure visibility. “

UNESCO and Netflix strongly believe in the importance of promoting diverse local stories and bringing them to the world. They recognize that many emerging filmmakers struggle to find the right resources and the right visibility to enable them to fully unleash their talents and develop their creative careers. This competition aims to answer these questions and allow African storytellers to take a first step towards presenting their content to a global audience. This competition puts a global spotlight on emerging and local talent from Africa while honoring the continent’s storytelling tradition.

By injecting new energy into folk tales, these young filmmakers enable stories to transcend time, space and culture – from their communities, via a digital platform, to the hearts of audiences around the world.

This partnership will help create sustainable jobs and encourage economic growth and thus contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of goals set by the United Nations that aims to end poverty. world in all its forms by the end of this period. decade.

This film competition will also help reduce inequalities by facilitating access to global markets and ensuring decent working conditions. All of these are key goals of the 2030 Agenda.

On how to apply, for the first round, applicants will be required to submit a summary of their concept (no more than 500 words) along with links to a recent CV and portfolio / proof of any previous audiovisual work they have. produced. Applications can be submitted via from October 14 at 4:00 p.m. CET and will close on November 14, 2021 at 1:59 p.m. CET. The competition is open to people wishing to engage in the development and production of feature films.


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