Netflix has partnered with the Realness Institute as it begins a 3-month skills development program aimed at upskilling young African filmmakers in a bid to invest in the continent's storytelling.
The information was disclosed in a press release made available to AllNews Nigeria in which it was revealed that 12 industry professionals from Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe were selected to be part of the inaugural development program which commenced on June 13, 2021.
The collaboration is meant to strengthen the foundation of quality storytelling in Africa as without the existence of such storytellers, some of Netflix's favourite stories would not be possible.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings | Image Source: Gadgets 360
The streaming giant had partnered with the Realness Institute last year on two programs; an Episodic Writers Lab focused on South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, and a Development Executive Traineeship (DET) for candidates across the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
The 12 candidates were chosen based on their story ideas and they will develop their concepts alongside expert story consultants and creative producers.
The training will include improving the technical skills of the participants in an initiative that showcases Netflix and the Realness Institute's commitment to the African and Nigerian film industry.
Mehret Mandefro, Director of Development and Partnerships at the Realness Institute, said of the initiative: "The opportunity to pay writers and development executives to be mentored as they develop local content for Netflix is a gamechanger for these markets because development is often the weakest link in the value chain when it comes to creating content.
"We're excited about the 12 candidates chosen to be part of this program that will bring fresh and incredible stories to our members around the world.
"We're looking forward to this opportunity to develop and nurture the talent pipeline for the next three months and ultimately, give new voices from Africa a chance to be heard on our service."
The training lab started remotely on June 13, 2021, and will continue through September 5, 2021. Selected applicants will get a stipend to focus entirely on their development.