Netflix and UNESCO announced that 21 shortlisted candidates would go forward in the exciting short film competition ‘African Folktales, Reimagined’.
The high quality of submissions resulted in one more contender being added, bringing the total number of filmmakers on the shortlist to 21.
The candidates were chosen through a rigorous screening process by a diverse group of industry professionals from across the continent, who assessed over 2080 applications in several languages. As a result, the shortlist features a dynamic group of African creatives from 13 countries.
The 21 filmmakers will advance to the next round of the competition, where they will pitch their stories to a judging panel that includes mentors Femi Odugbemi of Nigeria, Bongiwe Selane of South Africa, Leila Afua Djansi of Ghana, David Tosh Gitonga of Kenya, and Jean Luc Herbulot of Congo, as well as representatives from Netflix and UNESCO who will act as guides.
The panel will then select the final six filmmakers who will each receive a US$75,000 production grant (via a local production company) to shoot, develop and post-produce their films with the help of Netflix and industry mentors, ensuring that everyone involved in the production is fairly compensated. The six winners will also receive US$25,000.
“Congratulations to those who have been shortlisted! They should all be proud of the work they’ve done. As Africa is a priority for UNESCO, this competition highlights the immense cultural wealth that Africa has to offer, which we wish to share with people all over the world,” said UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture Ernesto Ottone R.
“We also want to thank our panel of independent industry professionals who underwent the arduous effort of reading over 2080 applications until they found 21 strong submissions!” Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa, added to UNESCO’s congratulatory message.
“The overwhelming response from aspiring filmmakers who took the time to submit their application proves that Africa has a wealth of storytelling potential and talent, and we at Netflix are thrilled to be a part of this journey to help more talented new voices in sharing their stories with the world,” Amadasun concluded.