Realness Institute & Netflix Team Up to Create Episodic Lab – And Kenyans Get to Participate

Realness Institute, an African screenwriters’ Residency has partnered with the global streaming superpower, Netflix to create an Episodic Content Development Lab for writers in Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria. The writer’s lab is set to open for entries at the end of November on and will be seeking submissions from writers in the aforementioned countries with film and TV experience in any genre or language, be it fictional or factual.

This partnership is looking to select 6 writers to work on projects that will be developed and commissioned by Netflix. The selected writers will be paid a stipend of 2000 USD per month to participate and will be expected to be available full time for a period of 3 months, from June to September 2021.

Speaking of the partnership, Kenya’s Dorothy Ghettuba who is Netflix’s lead for African Original Series says, “At Netflix, we believe that great stories come from anywhere and can be loved everywhere. We strongly believe that Africa has a wealth of untold stories,” adding, “As we grow our slate of Originals in Africa, partnerships with organizations like Realness will help us achieve our goal of investing in writers who will bring diverse genres of authentic, local stories that cater for every mood and will ensure our members see their lives reflected on screen.”


Co-founder and Creative Director of Realness Institute, Elias Ribeiro, added, “We had fun shaping the program with the Netflix team. We all share a love for storytelling and Netflix’s writer-centric approach is very much in line with our ethos.”


Since the 2015 inception of Realness Institute, they have delivered 5 editions of its Screenwriters’ Residency and recently the first Creative Producer Indaba as a Development Executive Traineeship. The non-profit will be expanding its offering in 2021 to the episodic content space.

“This program is a response to the dramatically changing broadcasting ecosystem which has a very important role to play in building a thriving media ecosystem in local markets and providing episodic creators with distribution opportunities,” adds veteran Ethiopian broadcaster and Realness Institute Director of Development and Partnerships Mehret Mandefro