Netflix and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have announced six winners of the short film competition for sub-Saharan Africa’s up-and-coming filmmakers tagged ”African Folktales Reimagined”. The winners are Gcobisa Yako (South Africa), Korede Azeez (Nigeria), Loukman Ali (Uganda), Mohamed Echkouna (Mauritania), Voline Ogutu (Kenya), and Walter Mzengi (Tanzania).
The competition which was launched by Netflix and UNESCO in October 2021, with the goal of promoting diverse local stories and bringing them to the world was also a step towards creative equity – as part of the Netflix Creative Equity Fund, which aims at enabling new voices from underrepresented communities within entertainment to bring their perspectives to a global audience.
The winners will now go into the development phase of their projects, before starting production on the short films that will eventually premiere on Netflix as part of ‘An Anthology of African Folktales’ later in 2022.
Congratulating the winners, Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay said: “The laureates, and all the participants in this competition more broadly, highlight the rich, diverse and ever-evolving culture that Sub-Saharan Africa has to offer and that UNESCO wants to promote. We cannot wait to celebrate these films at a special premiere at UNESCO headquarters in Paris at the end of this year.”
Mr. Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa, added that “It’s been a truly inspiring journey for us to experience the level of creative talent from our candidates. From the thousands of applicants, we’ve received to the Top 21 and finally, the 6 winners – it’s evident that Africa is filled with amazing storytelling talent that is ready to share their different perspectives and celebrate Africa’s rich culture and heritage.”