Netflix, in partnership with UNESCO, is set to debut the “African Folktales, Reimagined” collection, globally on March 29.
The anthology which contains six short films, including one from Kenya called “Anyango and the Ogre” was launched to support the next generation of storytellers who were provided with resources including a $90 000 budget and creative guidance by established filmmakers as mentors to bring their stories to life.
The emerging filmmakers were selected in 2021 following a call for submission that resulted in over 2000 applications from 13 countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region.
The six emerging storytellers from Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritania, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will see their respective short films, make their debut on Netflix.
The “African Folktales, Reimagined” short film collection features a variety of African on-screen talent in stories by emerging African storytellers such as Voline Ogutu from Kenya with “Anyango and the Ogre”, Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania with “Enmity Djinn”, Walt Mzengi Corey from Tanzania with “Katope”, Korede Azeez from Nigeria with “Halima’s Choice”, Loukman Ali from Uganda with “Katera of the Punishment Island” and Gcobisa Yako from South Africa with “MaMlambo”.
Speaking about the anthology series, Ernesto Ottone R., the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture said,
“UNESCO is proud to present the tales of Africa, reimagined by its emerging, homegrown talents. At the crossroads of tradition, innovation, heritage and creativity, African expressions in the twenty-first century are as diverse and dynamic as its people.
The UNESCO-Netflix partnership represents our shared commitment to the audiovisual industries of Africa, which have the potential to generate US$20 billion in revenues annually. African creativity is a force for sustainable development, and we cannot wait for the audiences around the world to feel its unstoppable energy.”
On behalf of Netflix, Africa Tendeka Matatu, Netflix’s Director of Film in Africa said,
“We are excited to finally bring this anthology of short films created by the next generation of African storytellers to Netflix members around the world. This initiative is a testament to our ongoing efforts to strengthen the pipeline of African storytelling and to include voices from underrepresented communities. We’re grateful to our partners at UNESCO who walked this journey with us to provide an opportunity for the six emerging African filmmakers to create and showcase their reimagined folktales to the world, in their own languages, so that more people can see their lives reflected on screen.”
Watch the trailer for the anthology below.