Realness Institute in partnership with Giant streaming platform Netflix is calling for submissions to its 2023 Episodic Lab and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) programs. The 2 programs are set to take place from 30th April to 30th July 2023.
The Lab and Traineeship aim to equip screenwriters and mid-career industry professionals from Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa with skills to develop original story ideas and grow as story consultants respectively. While the Episodic Lab participants will get a chance to pitch their incubated stories to Netflix executives at the end of the program, DET participants will be trained on the story development process.
Speaking on the project, Mehret Mandefro, Director of Development and Partnerships, Realness Institute noted. “In understanding this landscape, we are delighted that Netflix has once again partnered with us, to bring these two symbiotic programs for African filmmakers in our joint quest to grow African stories and content on the continent.”
In addition to the training, participants will receive a monthly stipend of ZAR 33,000 during the Lab and Traineeship to help cover their living expenses. Both programs will take place online and then for a week in-person in July 2023 at the Coot Club in Stanford, Western Cape. To apply for either of the programs, visit The Realness Institute website before the 22nd December 2022 deadline.
2022 Episodic Lab Alumnus Voline’s Idea To Be Developed Further
Even though there is no proposal guaranteed to be developed further by Netflix, these projects offer a unique opportunity for filmmakers to hone and grow in their craft. The 2022 Episodic Lab alumnus, Voline Ogutu from Kenya pitched an idea for a romance crime thriller Dilemma. This idea has received a green light from Netflix for further development.
Voline was selected against Khanyo Mjamba (South Africa), Mlilo Mpondo (South Africa), Hussein Kurji (Kenya), Neo Sibiya (South Africa), and Sandra Madu (Nigeria). “I am honored and grateful to be part of this rare opportunity. To those who dream of telling African stories on the global stage, it is truly within your reach. Thank you to the Netflix and Realness team who were part of this process.” She said.