Netflix and UNESCO launch short film competition

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Calling all aspiring filmmakers.
Calling all aspiring filmmakers.
Photo: Sam McGhee/Unsplash
  • Netflix and UNESCO have launched a short film competition across Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Themed, African Folktales Reimagined it is inspired by African Union 2063 Agenda's Aspiration 5, which celebrates African cultural identity.
  • Winners will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and be given a budget to create short films that will be screened on the streaming service in 2022.
  • The competition will run from 14 October until 14 November 2021.

Netflix and UNESCO have partnered to launch short film competition African Folktales, Reimagined across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Winners will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and given a $75 000 production budget to create short films that will premiere on the streaming service in Netflix in 2022 as an "Anthology of African folktales".

According to a press release, the competition is to discover new voices and give emerging filmmakers in Sub-Saharan Africa visibility globally.

"We want to find the bravest, wittiest, and most surprising retellings of some of Africa's most-loved folktales and share them with entertainment fans around the world in over 190 countries."

The competition, which Dalberg will administer, will open from 14 October 2021 until 14 November 2021.

Each of the six winners will receive a production grant of US $75 000 (through a local production company) to develop, shoot and post-produce their films under the guidance of industry mentors selected by UNESCO & Netflix to ensure everyone involved in the production is fairly compensated. In addition, each of the six winners will also receive $25,000.

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

The theme – African Folktales, Reimagined - is inspired by African Union 2063 Agenda's Aspiration 5, which celebrates African cultural identity, common heritage, values, and ethics. This competition aims to harness this important tradition with a modern outlook while leveraging new mediums of distributing artistic and creative content, like Netflix.

For the first round, applicants will be required to submit a synopsis of their concept (no more than 500 words) and links to a recent CV and a portfolio/evidence of any past audiovisual work they have produced. Applications can be submitted via from 14 October at 16:00 CET and will close on 14 November 2021 at 13:59 PM CET.

Africa has a rich storytelling heritage and a wealth of folktales that have been passed down for generations. When you marry these very local stories with Africa's emerging talent, there's no limit to fresh new stories to connect people with African cultures and bring the world that much closer to each other.
Ben Amadasun, Director of Content in Africa, Netflix

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