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Netflix and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said Thursday that they are launching a short-film competition to find “Africa’s next generation of filmmakers.”
The competition will run through Nov. 14. Winners will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and provided with a $75,000 production budget to create their short film, as well as $25,000 in prize money. The six winning films will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as an “Anthology of African folktales.”
The theme of the contest is “African Folktales, Reimagined.” Netflix and UNESCO said the aim of the competition is to discover new voices and to give emerging filmmakers in sub-Saharan Africa global visibility.
“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,” Netflix and UNESCO said in a statement.
“Africa has a rich storytelling heritage and a wealth of folktales that have been passed down for generations,” added Ben Amadasun, Netflix’s director of content in Africa. “When you marry these very local stories with Africa’s emerging talent, there’s no limit to fresh new stories to connect people with African cultures and bring the world that much closer to each other.”
For Netflix, which sees Africa as its next big untapped market, the contest will also serve as a talent search for the filmmakers who can provide the streamer with African films and series as it expands across the continent. For UNESCO, the cooperation ties in with the group’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, a series of targets established by the United Nations that aim to end global poverty in all its forms by the end of this decade. By helping African talent access the global market and by guaranteeing “dignified working conditions,” the contest can help “create sustainable employment and encourage economic growth,” key goals within the 2030 Agenda.
To take part, applicants have to submit a short synopsis of their concept of 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 here from 4 p.m. CT on Oct. 14 until 1:59 p.m. CT on Nov. 14.
You can watch the promotion video for the competition below.
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