Netflix, Unesco Search For African Filmmakers To ‘Reimagine’ Folktales

African film-makers are being sought by Netflix and Unesco to "reimagine" folktales.
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Photo: Netflix\YouTube

African film-makers are being sought by Netflix and Unesco to "reimagine" folktales.

For Nelson Mandela they were “morsels rich with the gritty essence of Africa but in many instances universal in their portrayal of humanity, beasts and the mystical.”

Passed down through the generations, whispered at bedtimes and raucously retold by elders, folktales have long been a mainstay of African cultural heritage.

Now some of those tales – perhaps the one about a scheming hyena or a snake with seven heads – are to gain fresh global recognition as a new competition aims to find the next generation of film-makers from sub-Saharan Africa. Unesco has teamed up with streaming giant Netflix to find and fund six short films “reimagining” folktales that will premiere in 2022.

“We want to find the bravest, wittiest, and most surprising retellings of some of Africa’s most-loved folktales and share them with entertainment fans around the world in over 190 countries,” the UN cultural body and production company said in a joint statement.

Winners of the competition, which opens on Thursday, will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and given a production grant of $75,000 (£55,000) through a local company. Entrants must be citizens and residents of a country in sub-Saharan Africa and be aged 18-35.

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