Voline Ogutu of Kenya is one of six winners in Netflix and UNESCO’s groundbreaking initiative to identify some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s up-and-coming filmmakers, dubbed ‘African Folktales, Reimagined.’
Ogutu won the competition for her work Anyango and the Ogre which will premiere on Netflix as a short film.
Each winner will get US$25,000 in addition to a US$75,000 production budget to develop short films with the help of a local production firm and a Netflix- appointed supervising producer as well as industry mentors from around the continent.
“Congratulations to the six winners! The fact that their films will be shown to a global audience is part of our commitment to promote cultural diversity around the world. Like the African movie sector itself, these six individuals have a very bright future ahead of them. 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 premier at UNESCO headquarters in Paris at the end of this year.” said Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO.
“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 finalists – 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. Congratulations to the winners – and to emerging filmmakers who didn’t make it – we urge you to continue your passion of telling African stories. The world is ready to experience your talent and we at Netflix, will continue to be your biggest cheerleaders in this journey.” said Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa.
- Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania with The Enmity Djinn
- Walter Mzengi from Tanzania with Katope
- Korede Azeez from Nigeria with Adieu, Salut
- Loukman Alifrom Uganda with Katera of the Punishment Island
- Gcobisa Yako from South Africa with Uma’Mlambo
The final six filmmakers will now begin developing their projects before beginning production on the short films that will air on Netflix later this year as part of ‘An Anthology of African Folktales.’
Netflix and UNESCO established the competition in October 2021 with the purpose of promoting and delivering various local stories to the world. The competition was also a step toward creative equity, as it was part of the Netflix Creative Equity Fund, which strives to give new voices from underrepresented populations in the entertainment industry the opportunity to share their opinions with a worldwide audience.