Netflix Welcomes Six Stories In The “African Folktales, Reimagined” Short Films Collection On The 29th Of March

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Media streaming giant, Netflix, in partnership with UNESCO, is set to premiere six stories developed from six African countries globally on 29 March 2023. These are stories set in ancient times, yet they have been repackaged by a new generation of enthusiastic African storytellers for the screen.

Following the conclusion of the Netflix & UNESCO ‘African folktales, reimagined’ short film competition, these films were selected as winners to represent sub-Sahara Africa, with each of the winners awarded USD 25,000 plus an additional production budget worth USD 75,000. According to Netflix, the competition was launched “to support the next generation of storytellers who were provided with resources including a USD 90,000 budget and creative guidance by established filmmakers as mentors to bring their stories to life”.

In 2021, after the call for submission from budding filmmakers was made, over 2000 entries from 13 countries in sub-Sahara Africa were received. The selected entries came from Nigeria, Tanzania, Mauritania, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. Before announcing the winners, Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa, noted that the many entries were initially whittled down to 21 before the final shortlist. “It is evident that Africa is filled with amazing storytelling talent that is ready to share their different perspectives and celebrate Africa’s rich culture and heritage,” he intoned.

The Nextflix Short Films collection features the following Mohamed Echkouna’s Enmity Djinn (Mauritania), Walt Msengi Corey’s Katope (Tanzania), Korede Azeez’s Halima’s Choice (Nigeria), Voline Oguta’s Anyango and the Ogre (Kenya), Gcobisa Yako’s MaMlambo (South Africa) and Loukman Ali’s Katera (Uganda).

  1. Halima’s Choice (Nigeria): Directed by Korede Azeez and initially titled Adieu, Salut, is the story of a young girl from an isolated Fulani village who unknowingly elopes with an AI to prevent an arranged marriage. The film is produced by Kenneth Gyang and it stars Habiba Ummi Mohammed, Adam Garba, etc.

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy; Language: Hausa.

  1. Katera of the Punishment Land (Uganda): Produced and directed by Loukman Ali, follows the story of an abandoned, grieving woman who seeks to exact revenge on the powerful man who put her on the island. The film stars Karababiito Tracy, Michael Wawuyo, etc.

Genre: Thriller; Language: Runyankole and English.

    1. Anyango and the Ogre (Kenya): With the backdrop of a childhood folktale, 13-year-old Otis attempts to shield his younger siblings from a monster that dwells in their home. Directed by Violin Ogutu and produced by Sarah Hassan, the film casts Trevor Jones Kamau, Sarah Hassan, etc Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and English.

Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and English.

  1. Katope (Tanzania): A young child with magical roots sets out on a journey to help put an end to the draught that besieges the community, even if it involves risking their own life. It is directed by Walt Mzengi Corey and produced by both Petrus Van Staden and Rebecca Mzengi Corey. Among the cast are Jene Mahenyela Mwalimu and Rahele Matete.

Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and ciGogo.

  1. Enmity Djinn (Mauritania): Three generations after he was last summoned, an ancient Enmity Djinn finds himself in an unfamiliar city confronted by a familiar enemy. Directed and produced by Mohamed Echkouna, the film stars Zainabou Ahmed Mohamed, Mamadou Mokhtar N’diaye Gueye, etc.

Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: Hassaniya Arabic and French.

  1. MaMlambo (South Africa): Produced by Albertus and directed by Gcobisa Yako, this tells the story of a mystical river being MaMlambo who watches over the sacred waters of discarded bodies. The cast includes Simphiwe Dana, Zikhona Bali, etc.

Genre: Drama; Language: isiXhosa.

Watch these films on Netflix from 29 March 2023.


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