African Folktales Reimagined on Netflix

By Content Nigeria reporter
March 17, 2023


Short film collection African Folktales Reimagined is set to launch globally on streaming platform Netflix on March 29.

Tendeka Matatu

The collection is the result of Netflix, in partnership with UNESCO, organising a short-film competition last year with the goal of promoting diverse local stories and bringing them to the world. Six winners emerged.

The collection features a variety of African on-screen talent in stories by African storytellers. The stories are Enmity Djinn by Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania; Katope by Walt Mzengi Corey from Tanzania; Halima’s Choice by Korede Azeez from Nigeria; Anyango & the Ogre by Voline Ogutu from Kenya; Katera of the Punishment Island by Loukman Ali from Uganda; and MaMlambo by Gcobisa Yako from South Africa.

The filmmakers were mentored by Bongiwe Selane, Jenna Bass, Pape Boye, Femi Odugbemi, Leila Afua Djansi and Tosh Gitonga, who provided guidance and nurtured them on their journey to bring their stories to life.

Ernesto Ottone, UNESCO’s assistant director-general for culture, said: “UNESCO is proud to present the tales of Africa, reimagined by its emerging, homegrown talent. At the crossroads of tradition, innovation, heritage and creativity, African expressions in the 21st 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$20bn 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.”

Tendeka Matatu, Netflix’s director of film in Africa, added: “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.”