Tag Archives: Realness Institute

Netflix, Realness unveil writers’ lab

Global streaming service Netflix and African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute have selected 12 Africans with scripted projects who will take part in the three-month Netflix Episodic Lab (EPL) and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) programmes.

The move is aimed at producing more original local content from creative writers in Africa.

The six candidates chosen for the EPL are Ayoade Adeyanju with the series Agent 419 (Nigeria), Kehinde Joseph with Osupa (Nigeria), Andile Ngcizela with Drummies (South Africa), Dominique Jossie with Fafi (South Africa), Kudakwashe Maradzika with Bad Influencer (Zimbabwe/South Africa) and Mary Waireri with Sheitain (Kenya/UK).

At the end of the EPL, each writer will have an opportunity to pitch their incubated concept to Netflix to have their series further developed for production.

The six selected DET candidates include Ololade Okedare (Nigeria), Anneke Villet, Antionette Engel and Thandeka Zwane (both South Africa), Damaris Irungu Ochieng’ (Kenya) and Lara Sousa (Mozambique).

Announcing the aim of the traineeship on Instagram, the Institute said: “They will accompany the incubation of the six potential Netflix African original series. The purpose of this traineeship is to build a critical missing capacity in the local media ecosystems with the hope of expanding this expertise across the continent to help bolster the quality of work produced. This skill creates opportunities for professionals to work with national film bodies, film commissions, funders, story consultants and critics.”

The EPL will take place remotely until September 5, when selected participants will receive about US$2,000 monthly stipend so that they can focus entirely on their development.

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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.

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Ladima expands film academy

Pan-African non-profit organisation The Ladima Foundation has announced the expansion of its professional training and development arm, The Ladima Film Academy, in partnership with The DW Akademie.

The Ladima Foundation will expand and formalise its education and training offering for 2021 and beyond in order to commit to the professional development of women in film, TV and content across the African continent.

Building on the success of the two short courses in animation and documentary film that took place in Lagos in January, seven introductory online and on-site courses have been rolled out in various disciplines while also developing their intermediate courses.

The courses across the disciplines have been developed by experts with a particular focus on the African environment and also starting from a feminist perspective. They include documentary filmmaking, animation, editing, cinematography, producing, directing and scriptwriting.

The courses, which will be free to women, are expected to roll out in January 2021, followed by on-site courses in Lagos, Nigeria. The online courses will be open to all aspiring and emerging women professional filmmakers in Africa who are members of the Ladima Foundation’s online community and database of women professionals across the continent. Onsite courses will be primarily focused on Nigerian women but also open to others, depending on Covid-19 protocols.

The application process will open in November 2020 via the Ladima Foundation. For details, click here. To sign up to be part of the A-List community and also benefit from the knowledge resources, search functionality and networking opportunities, click here.

The Ladima Foundation has partnered with a number of respected organisations and professionals to develop and teach these courses.

These include British-Ghanaian animator Comfort Arthur who ran a short course on basic animation for the Ladima Foundation in January 2020 and will be developing the intermediate course as well as rolling out the online version of the introduction to animation in January 2021.

Selina Ukwuoma, Cait Pansegrouw and Mehret Mandefro from the Realness Institute will deliver the scriptwriting online course and e-learning production course.

Barry Braverman, a cinematographer who has extensive training experience across Africa, has developed the introductory and intermediate cinematography courses for Ladima.

Finally, Switch Media’s South African duo Kate Boswell and James Tayler are the experts behind the documentary, editing and directing curriculum development courses.

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