Four Nigerians have been selected among 20 shortlisted candidates who will go forward in a short film competition dubbed ‘African Folktales, Reimagined’, organised by Netflix and UNESCO.
Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, said in a statement that “the quality of submissions received resulted in one extra candidate being added to the list, making it 21 filmmakers on the shortlist!”
He also indicated that the candidates were selected following a “rigorous evaluation process” by a wide-range of industry professionals from across Africa.
They assessed over 2,080 applications from across the continent in multiple languages.
Mr Ottone said: “The shortlist contains a dynamic group of African creatives from across 13 countries in the region.”
The lucky Nigerians who made the list are Nosa Igbinedion, Tongryang Pantu, Anita Abada, and Akorede Azeez.
The other shortlisted filmmakers include Ebot Tanyi (Cameroon); Loukman Ali (Uganda); Walt Mzengi (Tanzania); Venance Soro (Côte d’Ivoire); Mark Wambui (Kenya); Volana Razafimanantsoa (Madagascar); Mohamed Echkouna (Mauritania); Nader Fakhry (Côte d’Ivoire); Anne Catherine Tchokonté (Cameroon); Mphonyana Mokokwe (Botswana); Samuel Kanyama (Zambia); Machérie Ekwa-Bahango (Democratic Republic of Congo); Oprah Oyugi (Kenya); Ndiyathemba Modibedi (South Africa); Gcobisa Yako (South Africa); Katya Aragão (São Tomé and Príncipe) and Voline Ogutu (Kenya).
According to the assistant director-general, “The 21 emerging filmmakers will go on to the next phase of the competition where they will be required to pitch their stories to a judging panel comprising of the mentors; Nigeria’s Femi Odugbemi, South Africa’s Bongiwe Selane, Leila Afua Djansi from Ghana, David Tosh Gitonga from Kenya, and Jean Luc Herbulot from 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.”
Mr Ottone congratulated those who have been shortlisted and said they should all be proud of the quality of their work.
He adsed: “This competition showcases the extraordinary cultural richness that Africa has to offer that we want to share with people all over the world, as Africa is a priority for UNESCO.”
Also commenting, Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa, said, “We also want to thank our panel of independent industry professionals who undertook the mammoth task to read over 2,080 applications until they found 21 strong submissions.
“The response from all the aspiring filmmakers who took time to submit their application also 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.”
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