Netflix has partnered with UNESCO to launch a short film competition based around the reimagining of African folktales, for entrants across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Winners of the competition, which is titled African Folktales, Reimagined, will receive training and mentoring from industry professionals, as well as a $75,000 production budget to create short films that will debut on the global SVOD next year as part of an Anthology of African Folktales.
UNESCO is an agency created by the United Nations to help promote world peace through international cooperation around topics of education, science and culture.
The competition aims to discover new voices and give emerging filmmakers in Sub-Saharan Africa visibility on a global scale. The organisers said: “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.”
Global consulting firm Dalberg will administer the competition, which opened yesterday – 14 October – and will run until 14 November, with six potential winners each receiving the professional guidance and $75,000 production fund, through a local production company. Each winner will additionally 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,” commented Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO
“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,” added Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and CCO at Netflix.