Tag Archives: Dorothy Ghettuba

Netflix, Realness Institute set up writers lab

Global streaming service Netflix has partnered with African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute on an episodic content development lab for writers of series.

Dorothy Ghettuba

Submissions will be taken between November 30 and January 31, 2021 and are open to writers in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria who have film and TV experience, fiction or factual, in any language.

Six writers will be selected from the submissions to work on projects that will be developed and commissioned by Netflix while they will be paid a stipend of US$2,000 per month to develop their concepts in series format from June to September 2021. For updates, click here.

Dorothy Ghettuba, head of African original programming at Netflix, said: “We strongly believe that Africa has a wealth of untold stories. As we grow our slate of originals in Africa, partnerships with organisations like Realness will help us achieve our goal of investing in writers who will bring diverse genres of authentic, local stories that will ensure our audience members see their lives reflected on screen.”

Mehret Mandefro, director of development and partnerships at Realness Institute, added: “This programme 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.”

Elias Ribeiro, co-founder and creative director at Realness Institute, said: “We had fun shaping the programme 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.”

Realness was founded in 2015 to support the development of African content. It has delivered a yearly Screenwriters’ Residency and in 2020 hosted the first Creative Producer Indaba, a year-long trainee programme for development execs, in association with EAVE, International Film Festival Rotterdam’s IFFR Pro and the Sundance Institute.

tagged in: , , ,

Netflix renews Queen Sono for S2

Pearl Thusi in Queen Sono

Global streaming service Netflix has announced the renewal of its first African original series, Queen Sono, for another season.

The first run of the six-part series follows Queen Sono, played by Pearl Thusi, who becomes an unconventional spy after the death of her mother and is devoted to protecting the people of Africa. Haunted by her past, she finds herself torn between her career and search for justice.

S2 will see Queen search for the truth as her newfound need for revenge takes her on a mission across Africa while dealing with her family’s past and her complicated love life.

The show, made by South Africa-based studio Diprente, is expected to go into production later this year. The cast also includes Vuyo Dabula, Sechaba Morojele, Chi Mhende, Loyiso Madinga, Rob Van Vuuren, Kate Liquorish, Khathu Ramabulana and Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa.

Director Kagiso Lediga said: “I am so excited by the appetite for African stories and that Netflix is continuing to partner with us to bring to life the next chapter of Queen’s story and showcase it to the world.”

Dorothy Ghettuba, head of African original series at Netflix, added: “The first season of Queen Sono marked the beginning of our journey to introduce the world to exciting stories that are made in Africa. It was an unprecedented representation of a strong female black lead in African television.

“In the first season of Queen Sono, we saw grit and glamour, strength and vulnerability, as well as the past and the present, converge into a powerful narrative that explored the complexities and nuances of the African experience.”

Executive producer Tamsin Andersson said: “We are thrilled to continue our production of Queen Sono S2 with Netflix. The hard work from S1 paid off and we’re excited that the brand is investing further in the growth of our local production team.’’

While Queen Sono is Netflix’s first script-to-screen original production on the continent, the streaming platform is gearing up to debut another African original globally, Blood & Water, a young-adult drama series set in Cape Town.

Although scheduled for release soon, no firm date has yet been announced.

tagged in: , , , ,