Netflix and Unesco host a competition for African filmmakers for folklore series
(Credit: Zhifei Zhou)

Netflix News

Netflix and Unesco host a competition for African filmmakers for folklore series

Netflix has teamed up with Unesco in the search for African filmmakers to produce a series of films based on sub-Saharan folklore tales. 

Together they are looking for six young aspiring creators who will be funded to produce projects set for release in 2022. 

Folktales are the backbone of every heritage and represent humanities first clutches of culture. Through them, we learn, connect and express.

Now, a new competition aims to bring these tales from sub-Saharan Africa to a wider global audience in new reimagining’s and they are looking for aspiring regional filmmakers to bring them to life. 

Unesco and Netflix announced in a joint statement: “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 is now open, and it will be offering training, mentorship and a production grant of $75,000 (£55,000) for any lucky winner. You can find out more about applying in the video below.

The rules stipulate that all entrants be citizens and residents of a country in sub-Saharan Africa and be aged 18-35.

Unesco’s assistant director-general for culture, Ernesto Ottone, approached the streaming giant, explaining: “What we’re trying to achieve with [Netflix] … is how we can engage those young film-makers in telling stories of African folk and in passing on through the generations the culture and the traditions that are in place in Africa.”

Later adding: “The purpose is to give the voice to the young creators who are living there and are creating there.”

Hopefully, the initiative not only brings out some amazing pieces of work from the rich depths of cultural history but also provides a footing in the industry for an underrepresented region in the arts.