FILES) In this file photo taken on June 28, 2019 the Netflix logo is seen on the backdrop of Netflix’s “Stranger Things 3” premiere at Santa Monica high school Barnum Hall in Santa Monica, California. Chris Delmas / AFP
Global streaming service Netflix and Realness Institute on Tuesday announced a partnership to create an Episodic Content Development Lab for writers in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Through the partnership, Realness Institute emphasizes its commitment to foster a new wave of storytelling, while Netflix also brings its expertise in episodic content development, production and insight into global content trends, a press release said.
“At Netflix, we believe that great stories come from anywhere and be loved everywhere,” says Dorothy Ghettuba, who leads African Original Series in Africa.
“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 cater for every mood and will ensure our members see their lives reflected on screen.”
Submissions into The Writer’s Lab goes live at the end of November 2020 on realness.institute/episodic-lab,and is open to writers with Film and TV experience in any genre (fictional or factual) or language.
The Lab will select six writers to work on their projects to be developed and commissioned by Netflix. The selected writers will be paid a stipend of 2000 USD per month to participate and are expected to be available full time for a period of 3 months, from June to September 2021.
Since Realness Institute’s inception in 2015, the Institute has delivered 5 editions of its Screenwriters’ Residency.
Recently, it held its first Development Executive Traineeship and Creative Producer Indaba, in which the artistic director of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Chioma Onyenwe was a participant. The Institute will also expand its offering next year to the episodic content space, thereby promoting its mission to empower African storytellers and improve the film industry.
“We had fun shaping the program 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,” says co-founder and creative director of Realness Institute, Elias Ribeiro.