20 Emerging African Film makers Shortlisted for Netflix-UNESCO Contest
Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, and UNESCO have announced the 20 shortlisted candidates who will go forward in the short film competition ‘African Folktales, Reimagined’.
It was also announced that the quality of submissions received resulted in one extra candidate being added to the list, making it 21 filmmakers on the shortlist.
The candidates were selected following a rigorous evaluation process by a wide-range of industry professionals from across the continent who assessed over 2080 applications from across the continent in multiple languages. The shortlist consists of creatives from 13 African countries.
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The shortlisted filmmakers include (in no particular order): Nosa Igbinedion (Nigeria); Ebot Tanyi (Cameroon); Loukman Ali (Uganda); Tongryang Pantu (Nigeria); Walt Mzengi (Tanzania); Venance Soro (Côte d’Ivoire); Mark Wambui(Kenya); Volana Razafimanantsoa (Madagascar); Mohamed Echkouna (Mauritania); Nader Fakhry (Côte d’Ivoire); Anne Catherine Tchokonté (Cameroon); Mphonyana Mokokwe (Botswana); Anita Abada (Nigeria); Samuel Kanyama (Zambia); Machérie Ekwa-Bahango (Democratic Republic of Congo); Oprah Oyugi (Kenya); Ndiyathemba Modibedi (South Africa); Gcobisa Yako (South Africa); Akorede Azeez (Nigeria); Katya Aragão (São Tomé and Príncipe) and Voline Ogutu (Kenya).
The 21 emerging filmmakers will now go on to the next phase of the competition where they will be required to pitch their stories to a judging panel comprising of the mentors; Nigeria’s Femi Odugbemi, South Africa’s Bongiwe Selane, Leila Afua Djansi from Ghana, David Tosh Gitonga from Kenya, and Jean Luc Herbulot from Congo as well as representatives from Netflix and UNESCO who will act as guides in the process.
The panel will select the final six filmmakers who 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 Netflix and industry mentors to ensure everyone involved in the production is fairly compensated. Each of the 6 winners will also receive $25,000.
“Congratulations to those who have been shortlisted! They should all be proud of the quality of their work. This competition showcases the extraordinary cultural richness that Africa has to offer that we want to share with people all over the world, as Africa is a priority for UNESCO.” said Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.
Adding to UNESCO’s congratulatory message, Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa said, “We also want to thank our panel of independent industry professionals who undertook the mammoth task to read over 2080 applications until they found 21 strong submissions! The response from all the aspiring filmmakers who took time to submit their application also proves that there’s a wealth of storytelling potential and talent in Africa and we at Netflix are excited to be part of this journey for more talented new voices to share their stories with the world.”
For more information about the competition, please visit www.netflix-growcreative.com/unesco.
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with 222 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, feature films and mobile games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
Oral Ofori is Founder and Publisher at www.TheAfricanDream.net, a digital storyteller and producer, and also an information and research consultant.