Two Kenyans among the top 20 emerging filmmakers shortlisted for Netflix & UNESCO’s African Folktales Reimagined

African Folktales Reimagined Competition; Top 20 Emerging Filmmakers Shortlisted For Netflix & UNESCO’s Competition

Netflix and UNESCO announced the 20 shortlisted candidates who will go forward in the exciting short film competition ‘African Folktales Reimagined’. 

The candidates were chosen through a rigorous screening process by a diverse group of industry professionals from across the continent, who assessed over 2080 applications in several languages from across the continent.

The shortlist features a diverse range of African creatives from 13 nations throughout the continent.

The shortlisted filmmakers include: 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 advance to the next round of the competition, where they will pitch their stories to a judging panel that includes mentors Femi Odugbemi of Nigeria, Bongiwe Selane of South Africa, Leila Afua Djansi of Ghana, David Tosh Gitonga of Kenya, and Jean Luc Herbulot of Congo, as well as representatives from Netflix and UNESCO who will act as guides.

The panel will choose the final six filmmakers who will each get a $75,000 production grant (via a local production firm) to create, shoot, and post-produce their films with the help of Netflix and industry mentors, ensuring that everyone engaged in the production is fairly compensated. Each of the six winners will earn a prize of $25,000 as well.

“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.” – Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.  

Adding to UNESCO’s congratulatory message, Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa siad, “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.” 

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