Short film competition across Sub-Saharan Africa
We believe that a great story can come from anywhere, and be loved everywhere. Africa has a rich heritage of storytelling and a young population that is ready to step up and tell Africa’s stories, in all their multiplicity. We’re excited by the fresh new voices that are ready to tell the stories they were told by prior generations, to the world. Netflix has partnered with UNESCO to launch a short film competition, “African Folktales, Reimagined,” to find the bravest, wittiest, and most surprising retellings of some of Africa’s most-loved folktales. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got.
Folktales have always played an important role in the heritage of a culture, passing down values, knowledge, and customs from one generation to the next. Knowledge that builds communities, nations and unites the world in shared understanding and experience. We believe Africa’s rich history of storytelling, from universal tales to hyper-local fables, provides a fertile ground for creative retelling. This is an opportunity to reimagine the relevance of these tales to our contemporary society and extend them to the world stage on-screen: a celebration of Africa’s profoundly varied culture, folklore, and heritage. This competition invites submissions from emerging filmmakers across Sub-Saharan Africa on the theme of “African Folktales, Reimagined”.
The competition is open to individuals seeking to venture into feature film development and production. Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 5 years of demonstrable professional experience in the audio-visual industry. Applicants must have developed and produced 1 to 2 theatrical feature films, television fiction, documentaries, or 2-3 short films and/or commercials.
Do you have a tale to share with the world? If our call has set your imagination alight, you may be one of the final six storytellers chosen to tell the stories you were told, to the world, on-screen. We are calling upon budding filmmakers to share their reimagined African folktale concept for a short film that celebrates the dynamism of African cultures. All genres welcome! Look at this brief as creative ignition — see where the theme takes you. You will submit a concept synopsis that should give us a clear idea of your creative vision and artistic angle.
Be a part of the new generation that shares Africa’s dazzling folktales — and just be sure to put your own fresh twist on it. Shortlisted finalists will have the opportunity to take part in “How to Pitch to Netflix” workshops. These will give you the chance to prepare, polish, and present your film concepts with the help of industry experts. The Netflix and UNESCO judging committee will then mentor six winners to develop a 12 to 20-minute short film. The final 6 storytellers will each win $25,000; each of them will also receive a production budget of up to $75,000 to create their short film. The collection of winning films will be launched on Netflix in 2022 as an “Anthology of African Folktales, Reimagined.”
We’ll announce our top 20 finalists in January who will then be invited to a “How to Pitch to Netflix” workshop.
Our final 6 winners will be selected by an independent judging panel guided by Netflix and UNESCO.