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UNESCO And Netflix’s Innovative Film Competition In Africa Is Still On..

Posted by Osei Agyemang

Streaming media provider Netflix and UNESCO have banded together to launch an inventive short film competition on ‘African Folktales, Reimagined’ across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Winners of the competition will be trained and mentored by industry experts and gave a US$75,000 production financial plan to make short movies that will debut on Netflix in 2022 as an ” “Anthology of African folktales”.

One vital point of this competition is to find new voices and to give rising film producers in Sub-Saharan Africa perceivability on a global scale.

As indicated by UNESCO’s Director-General Audrey Azoulay, they want to track down the boldest, wittiest, and most astonishing retellings of a portion of Africa’s most-cherished folktales and offer them with entertainment fans all throughout the world in more than 190 nations.

As indicated by the two outfits (UNESCO and Netflix), it is significant that the film sectoe acts to ensure the voices of Africa are heard, by supporting the rise of different social articulations, advancing novel thoughts and feelings, and setting out opportunities for creators to add to global discourse for peace, culture and development.

The competition, which will be regulated by Dalberg, was opened on 14 October 2021, is running until 14 November 2021.

Every one of the 6 winners will get a production award of US$75,000 (through a local production organization) to create, shoot and post-produce their movies under the direction of Netflix and industry guides to ensure everybody engaged with the production is genuinely redressed. Moreover, every one of the 6 winners will also get $25,000.

According to Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer, Netflix, Growing up, entertainment was how he connected with people. He fell in love with the stories and characters he saw on screen and experienced how storytelling has the power to inspire.

Ted Sarandos is however excited about this partnership with UNESCO and the opportunities ahead. He says both outfits will promote local cultures and support the creative industries in telling stories that cross borders, reflect universal truths, and ultimately, bring us together.

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 to 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 competition puts a global spotlight on the emerging, homegrown talents of Africa while honouring the storytelling tradition of the continent.

By infusing new energy into folktales, these young filmmakers enable stories to transcend time, space and culture – from their communities, through a digital platform, into the hearts of audiences around the world.

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 aims to end global poverty in all its forms by the end of this decade.

This film competition 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.

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Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa also added his voice to the campaign. According to him, Africa has a rich storytelling heritage and a wealth of folktales that have been passed down for generations.

There is no limit to fresh new stories to connect people with African cultures and bring the world that much closer to each other.

For the first round, applicants will be required to submit a synopsis of their concept (no more than 500 words) as well as links to a recent CV and a portfolio/evidence of any past audiovisual work they have produced.

Applications can be submitted via www.netflix-growcreative.com/unesco from October 14th at 16:00 CET and will close on November 14th, 2021 at 13:59 PM CET.

About The Application Process- How To Apply:

Candidates will need to submit a synopsis of their concept (no more than 500 words) in a Creative Statement as well as a link to a recent CV and a portfolio of any past audiovisual work they have produced on netflix-growcreative.com/unesco

Applications Open:

Applications can be made via www.netflix-growcreative.com/unesco from October 14th. They will close on November 14th, 2021 at 11:59 PM (CET).

Eligibility Criteria:

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.

Candidates must be a citizen of a Sub-Saharan African country and currently residing in Sub-Saharan Africa to apply. Applicants must be 18-35 years old at the time of submission.

Shortlisted Finalists:

Netflix will announce the top 20 finalists in January 2022, who will then be invited to a “How to Pitch to Netflix” workshop.

These workshops will give candidates the chance to prepare, polish, and present their film concepts with the help of industry experts. The Netflix and UNESCO judging committee will then mentor six winners to develop a 12 to 20-minute short film.

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