Netflix & UNESCO launched short film competition across Sub-Saharan Africa

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”.

The competition is to discover new voices and give emerging filmmakers in Sub-Saharan Africa visibility globally. It is set to 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.

Audrey Azoulay, General Director of UNESCO commented on the project saying: “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”.

On the other hand, Ben Amadasun, Director of Content in Africa of Netflix, also expressed his excitement saying: “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”. It has to be noted that the theme 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.