Nigeria: Netflix and Unesco launch short film competition for filmmakers from sub-Saharan Africa


Contest winners will receive a production budget of US $ 75,000 to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022.

Netflix and UNESCO have teamed up to launch an innovative short film competition on “African folktales, reinvented” in sub-Saharan Africa.

The winners of the competition will be trained and supervised by industry professionals and will benefit from a production budget of US $ 75,000 to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as “Anthology of Tales Africans “.

They say one of the key goals of this competition is to discover new voices and give emerging filmmakers in sub-Saharan Africa global visibility.

“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,” a joint statement issued by both parties.


The competition, which will be administered by Dalberg (, will open from October 14, 2021 to November 14, 2021. Each of the six winners will receive a production grant of US $ 75,000 (via a production company ) to develop, shoot and post-produce their films. It will be under the guidance of industry mentors selected by UNESCO and Netflix to ensure that everyone involved in the production is fairly paid. In addition, each of the six winners will also receive $ 25,000.

UNESCO and Netflix “strongly believe in the importance of promoting diverse local stories and making them known 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 partnership will also 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 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.

How to register

Applicants will be required to submit a summary of their concept, no longer than 500 words, in a creative statement along with a link to a recent CV and portfolio of any previous audiovisual work they have produced on https: // bit. ly / 3iZYKMM

Applications can be submitted via from October 14th and will close on November 13th.

The competition is open to people wishing to engage in the development and production of feature films.

Applicants must have a minimum of two years and a maximum of five years of demonstrable professional experience in the audiovisual industry. Applicants must have developed and produced one to two theatrical feature films, television dramas, documentaries or two to three short films and / or commercials.

Applicants must be citizens of a Sub-Saharan African country and currently reside in Sub-Saharan Africa. They must be between 18 and 35 years old at the time of submission.

Shortlisted finalists

The 20 shortlisted candidates will be announced in January and will then be invited to a “How to Present to Netflix” workshop to guide them on how to prepare, refine and present their film concepts. An independent jury, under the direction of UNESCO and Netflix, will choose the six winners, who will then develop their short films of 12 to 20 minutes under the direction of industry mentors selected by Netflix and UNESCO.

The competition is open to emerging filmmakers from across sub-Saharan Africa on the theme “African folktales, reinvented”. This theme is inspired by Aspiration 5 of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which celebrates African cultural identity, common heritage, values ​​and ethics. Organizers say the competition aims to build on this important tradition with a modern perspective while taking advantage of new media for distributing artistic and creative content, such as Netflix.

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.

UNESCO comments:

“It is important for the film industry to act so that the voices of Africa are heard, by supporting the emergence of diverse cultural expressions, by proposing new ideas and emotions and by creating opportunities for creators to contribute to the global dialogue for peace, culture and development. . “- Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO.

“The film industry must ensure that it promotes Africa’s creative talent, supporting young talent and ensuring that African filmmakers contribute to the international film industry. – Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO.

Netflix comments:

“Growing up, entertainment was my way of communicating with people. I fell in love with the stories and characters I saw on screen and discovered how storytelling has the power to inspire, this is why I am excited about this partnership with UNESCO and the opportunities Together we will promote local cultures and support creative industries by telling stories that cross borders, reflect universal truths and, ultimately, bring us together. ”- Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer, Netflix.

“Africa has a rich storytelling heritage and a wealth of folktales that have been passed down from generation to generation. When you marry these very local stories with the emerging talents of Africa, there is no limit to the new stories to connect people with African cultures and bring a lot to the world closer to each other “- Ben Amadasun, Africa Content Director, Netflix.

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