In search of the next generation of African filmmakers: Netflix and UNESCO launch groundbreaking competition in sub-Saharan Africa



In search of the next generation of African filmmakers: Netflix and UNESCO launch groundbreaking competition in sub-Saharan Africa

VIDEO African Tales Contest | Netflix x UNESCO Share Copy Embed

Africa has a rich heritage of storytelling and a wealth of folk tales that have been passed down from generation to generation

LAGOS, Nigeria, October 14, 2021 / APO Group / –

Netflix ( and UNESCO have teamed up to launch an innovative short film competition on “African folktales, reinvented” in sub-Saharan Africa ( The winners of the competition will be trained and supervised by industry professionals and will benefit from a production budget of US $ 75,000 to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as an “Anthology of Tales”. Africans ”.

One of the key objectives of this competition is to discover new voices and to give emerging filmmakers from sub-Saharan Africa global visibility. We want to find the bravest, wittiest and most surprising tales of some of Africa’s most beloved folk tales and share them with entertainment fans around the world in over 190 countries.

The competition, which will be administered by Dalberg (, will open from October 14, 2021 to November 14, 2021. Each of the 6 winners will receive a production grant of $ 75,000 (via a local production company ) develop, shoot and post-produce their films under the guidance of industry mentors selected by UNESCO and Netflix to ensure that everyone involved in the production is compensated fairly. In addition, each of the 6 winners will also receive $ 25,000.

UNESCO and Netflix strongly believe in the importance of promoting diverse local stories and bringing them to the world. They recognize that many emerging filmmakers struggle to find the right resources and the right visibility to enable them to fully unleash their talents and develop their creative careers. This competition aims to answer these questions and allow African storytellers to take a first step towards presenting their content to a global audience.

This partnership will also help create sustainable jobs and encourage economic growth and thus contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a set of goals set by the United Nations that aims to end global poverty. in all its forms by the end of this decade. This film competition will also help reduce inequalities by facilitating access to global markets and ensuring decent working conditions. All of these are key goals of the 2030 Agenda.

The competition is open to emerging filmmakers from across sub-Saharan Africa on the theme “African folktales, reinvented”. Folk tales have always been an important means of transmitting culture, heritage and values ​​to future generations, while constantly inviting people to reimagine their relevance to our contemporary societies. This theme is inspired by Aspiration 5 of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, which celebrates African cultural identity, common heritage, values ​​and ethics. This competition aims to harness this important tradition with a modern perspective while taking advantage of new media for distributing artistic and creative content, such as Netflix.

For the first round, applicants will be required to submit a summary of their concept (no more than 500 words) along with links to a recent CV and portfolio / proof of any previous audiovisual work they have produced. Applications can be submitted via from October 14 at 4:00 p.m. CET and will close on November 14, 2021 at 1:59 p.m. CET.

UNESCO comments:

“It is important for the film industry to act so that the voices of Africa are heard, by supporting the emergence of diverse cultural expressions, by proposing new ideas and emotions and by creating opportunities for creators to contribute to the global dialogue for peace, culture and development. . “- Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO.

“The film industry must ensure that it promotes Africa’s creative talent, supporting young talent and ensuring that African filmmakers contribute to the international film industry. “- Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO.

Netflix comments:

“Growing up, entertainment was my way of communicating with people. I fell in love with the stories and characters I saw on screen and discovered how storytelling has the power to inspire, this is why I am excited about this partnership with UNESCO and the opportunities Together we will promote local cultures and support creative industries by telling stories that cross borders, reflect universal truths and ultimately bring us together. – Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO and Director of Content, Netflix.

“Africa has a rich narrative heritage and a wealth of folk tales that have been passed down from generation to generation. When you marry these very local stories with emerging talents from Africa, there is no limit to fresh new stories to connect people with African cultures and bring the world closer to each other “- Ben Amadasun, Director content in Africa, Netflix.

For more information on the application process, please visit

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