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UNESCO, Nexflix to Launch “African Folktales, Reimagined” Short Films

UNESCO, Nexflix to Launch “African Folktales, Reimagined” Short Films

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The six short films will launch on Netflix, globally, on 29 March, 2023.

By Helena Olori

The UNESCO and Netflix have announced the global launch of “African Folktales, Reimagined,” an anthology of six short films featuring a variety of tales as old as time from across the African continent, reimagined and retold by a new generation on-screen talent.

The initiative is the outcome of a ground-breaking competition flagged off in 2021 to support budding Sub-Saharan African filmmakers. Six winners from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Mauritania and Nigeria emerged, receiving a $90,000 budget and mentorship from established filmmakers to bring their stories to life.

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In a press statement from UNESCO, the Assistant Director-General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone says, “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.”

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“This initiative is a testament to our ongoing efforts to strengthen the pipeline of African storytelling and to include voices from underrepresented communities,” adds Tendeka Matatu, Netflix’s Director of Film in Africa.

The filmmakers and projects selected for the anthology include the Ugandan director of the acclaimed crime thriller, Brotherhood, Loukman Ali (Katera of the Punishment Island), South Africa’s Gcobisa Yako (MaMlambo), Tanzania’s Walt Mzengi (Katope), Nigeria’s Korede Azeez (Halima’s Choice), Kenya’s Voline Ogutu (Anyango and the Ogre), and Mauritania’s Mohamed Echkouna (Enmity Djinn). Their respective short films make their debut on Netflix, globally.

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