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Netflix & UNESCO Partner to Find New Generation of African Filmmakers

David Indeje is Khusoko’s Digital Editor, covering East African markets.
Netflix and UNESCO say a key aim of this competition is to discover new voices and to give emerging filmmakers in Sub-Saharan Africa visibility on a global scale.

Online video streaming platform Netflix says it will premier a series of an “Anthology of African Folktales, Reimagined” in 2022. 

This will be through a Netflix and UNESCO partnership innovative short film competition across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Winners of the competition will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and provided with a US$75,000 production budget to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as an “Anthology of African folktales”.

Netflix and UNESCO say a key aim of this competition is to discover new voices and to give emerging filmmakers in Sub-Saharan Africa visibility on a global scale.

‘‘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,’’ a joint statement issued by both parties read.

UNESCO 

“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 film sector must ensure that the creative talents of Africa are promoted, by supporting young talents and making sure that African filmmakers contribute to the international film industry.” – Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO.

“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.”

Netflix 

“Growing up, entertainment was how I connected with people. I fell in love with the stories and characters I saw on screen and experienced how storytelling has the power to inspire, which is why I’m excited about this partnership with UNESCO and the opportunities ahead. Together we will promote local cultures and support the creative industries in 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 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 much closer to each other” – Ben Amadasun, Director of Content in Africa, Netflix.

According to UNESCO’s first complete mapping of Africa’s film and audiovisual industries report, ‘The African Film Industry: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Growth’, finds out that only 44% of countries have an established film commission and 55% of countries have a film policy.

The report contains strategic recommendations to help the sector achieve its estimated potential to create over 20 million jobs and contribute $20 billion to the continent’s combined GDP.

“More than ever, international cooperation is fundamental in the face of multiple challenges which strain the potential of the film industry in Africa,” underlined Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture. “National reforms must be followed by regional and continental approaches,” he added. 

David Indeje is Khusoko’s Digital Editor, covering East African markets.

In my role as Community Engagement Editor For Khusoko, I care about our audience. engaging them, getting news delivered to them across a variety of platforms, and expanding the diversity of voices on our website.

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