Netflix, Unesco seeking Africa’s next gen filmmakers

Gerine (WE) Hoff
Netflix and Unesco have launched the innovative short film competition “African Folktales, Reimagined” across Sub-Saharan Africa, in a bid to discover new voices and to give emerging filmmakers in this area global visibility.
The competition’s winners will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and given a U$75 000 production budget to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as an “Anthology of African Folktales”.
Unesco Namibia public information and visibility associate Luise Mwanyangapo said that the competition opened on 14 October and will run until 14 November 2021. Each of the six winners will receive the production grant (via a local production company) to develop, shoot and post-produce their films under the guidance of Netflix and industry mentors to ensure everyone involved in the production is fairly compensated.
In addition, each of the six winners will receive a cash prize of U$25 000.
“Unesco and Netflix both believe in the importance of promoting and sharing diverse local stories with the rest of the world,” Mwanyangapo said. “Many emerging filmmakers struggle to find the resources and visibility they need to fully unleash their talents and advance their creative careers. This competition aims to address these issues and provide an opportunity for African storytellers to take the first step toward showcasing their work to a global audience.
Amongst others, Mwanyangapo said the competition would also contribute to the reduction of inequalities by facilitating access to global markets and ensuring dignified working conditions. Applicants must submit a synopsis of their concept (no more than 500 words) as well as links to a recent CV and portfolio/evidence of any previous audiovisual work they have produced for the first round.