Netflix and UNESCO Launch Competition For African Short-film Makers

Netflix and UNESCO 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.

Global streaming giant Netflix in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have launched an innovative short-film competition titled African Folktales, Reimagined.

The competition, which will be administered by Dalberg, will open on 14 October 2021 and run until 14 November 2021. Each of the 6 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 6 winners will also receive $25,000.

UNESCO and Netflix both strongly believe in the importance of promoting diverse local stories, and bringing them to the world.

They recognize that many emerging filmmakers struggle with finding the right resources and visibility to enable them fully unleash their talents and develop their creative careers.

This competition aims to address these issues and enable African storytellers to take a first step towards showcasing their content to a global audience.

This partnership will also help create sustainable employment and encourage economic growth and it will therefore contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, a series of targets established by the United Nations which focuses on ending global poverty in all its forms by the end of this decade.

It will also help reduce inequalities by facilitating access to global markets and by guaranteeing dignified working conditions. All of these are key goals within the 2030 Agenda.

The competition is open to emerging filmmakers across Sub-Saharan Africa on the theme of “African Folktales, Reimagined.”

This theme is inspired by the 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.

Eligibility

The competition is open to individuals seeking to venture into feature film development and production. 

  • Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 5 years of demonstrable professional experience in the audio-visual industry
  • Applicants must have developed and produced 1 to 2 theatrical feature films, television fiction, documentaries, or 2-3 short films and/or commercials
  • Applicants must be below 35 years of age 
  • Applicants must be citizens and residents of a Sub-Saharan African country
  • Films that have been produced, financed, distributed, or initiated by a major film studio or television network are ineligible for competition
  • Films that have been shown on network or cable television or distributed to theatres are also ineligible for competition

Videos can be submitted in English, French, and Portuguese as well as the following African languages: Igbo, Swahili, Wolof, Yoruba, Zulu, Hausa.

Are you eligible to apply for the competition? Then apply before the deadline on Sunday, November 14, 2021.

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