Realness Institute and global streaming service, Netflix, have announced a new partnership.
This partnership will birth an Episodic Content Development Lab for writers in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
Realness Institute is an incubator for African filmmakers and has been around since 2015.
Through the partnership, Realness Institute emphasizes its commitment to foster a new wave of storytelling.
Alongside, Netflix also brings its expertise in episodic content development, production and insight into global content trends.
Speaking on the Netflix side, Dorothy Ghettuba, who leads African Original Series in Africa commented thus;
“At Netflix, we believe that great stories come from anywhere and be loved everywhere.
“We strongly believe that Africa has a wealth of untold stories.”
“As we grow our slate of Originals in Africa, partnerships with organisations like Realness will help us achieve our goal of investing in writers who will bring diverse genres of authentic, local stories that cater for every mood and will ensure our members see their lives reflected on screen,” Ghettuba added.
How to be a part of the project
Submissions into The Writer’s Lab goes live at the end of November 2020 on realness.institute/episodic-lab.
The application is open to writers with Film and TV experience in any genre (fictional or factual) or language.
The Lab will select six writers to work on their projects to be developed and commissioned by Netflix.
Selected writers will be paid a stipend of 2000 USD per month to participate and are expected to be available full time for a period of 3 months, from June to September 2021.
Since inception in 2015, Realness Institute has delivered 5 editions of its Screenwriters’ Residency.
Recently, it held its first Development Executive Traineeship and Creative Producer Indaba.
The artistic director of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Chioma Onyenwe, was a participant.
The Institute will also expand its offering next year to the episodic content space, thereby promoting its mission to empower African storytellers and improve the film industry.
Also speaking on the partnership, co-founder and creative director of Realness Institute, Elias Ribeiro said that;
“We had fun shaping the program with the Netflix team. We all share a love for storytelling, and Netflix’s writer-centric approach is very much in line with our ethos.”
Veteran Ethiopian broadcaster and Realness Institute’s director of Development and Partnerships, Mehret Mandefro had this to say too;
“This program is a response to the dramatically-changing broadcasting ecosystem, which has a very important role to play in building a thriving media ecosystem in local markets and providing episodic creators with distribution opportunities.”
State of African content
Over the past year, there has been a massive growing appetite for new and exciting African content to star on global streaming platforms.
Netflix has recently enjoyed much success with its first two African original series, Queen Sono and Blood & Water.
The new partnership between Realness Institute and Netflix will explore more potentials lucked in the region.
Find out more information on the Episodic Lab, as well as the eligibility criteria and submission process here.
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