Ghanaian filmmaker Leila Djansi has been named as one of the mentors for a NETFLIX & UNESCO project.
The project, ‘African Folktales, Reimagined’ is a short film competition across Sub-Saharan Africa. The winners will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and provided with a US$75,000 production budget to create short films that will premiere on Netflix in 2022 as an “Anthology of African folktales”.
The award-winning filmmaker was part of the judges and mentors who did the first round of selection and shortlisted 21 emerging filmmakers out of over 2,000 applications. The “I sing of a Well” producer posted on her Facebook page
“I am so excited to see the number of WOMEN selected for this! 75,000 dollars from Netflix to make a short film that will debut on the streamer? That’s career-defining. Congratulations ladies! see you all soon!”
She stated Nigerian storytellers have always been top-notch. “From Buchi Emecheta to Chimamanda Adichie. They got 4 candidates in. Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya always putting in extra effort”
The other judges and mentors are Nigeria’s Femi Odugbemi, South Africa’s Bongiwe Selane, LDavid Tosh Gitonga from Kenya, and Jean Luc Herbulot from the Republic of Congo as well as representatives from Netflix and UNESCO who will act as guides in the process. The panel will select the final six filmmakers who will receive a production grant of US$75,000 (through a local production company) to develop, shoot and post-produce their films under the guidance of Netflix and industry mentors to ensure everyone involved in the production is fairly compensated. Each of the 6 winners will also receive $25,000.
Netflix Director of Content in Africa, Ben Amadasun says the “response from all the aspiring filmmakers who took time to submit their application 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”.
See her announcement below.
About Netflix & UNESCO’s African Folktales, Reimagined Competition
Netflix and UNESCO are excited to announce the 20 shortlisted candidates who will go forward in the exciting short film competition ‘African Folktales, Reimagined’. What’s more – the quality of submissions received resulted in one extra candidate being added to the list, making it 21 filmmakers on the shortlist. The candidates were selected following a rigorous evaluation process by a wide range of industry professionals from across the continent who assessed over 2080 applications from across the continent in multiple languages. The shortlist contains a dynamic group of African creatives from across 13 countries in the region.
The shortlisted filmmakers include (in no particular order): Nosa Igbinedion (Nigeria); Ebot Tanyi (Cameroon); Loukman Ali (Uganda); Tongryang Pantu (Nigeria); Walt Mzengi (Tanzania); Venance Soro (Côte d’Ivoire); Noni Ireri (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).