Six Winners Emerge in African Folktales Reimagined Competition

Vanessa Obioha

Netflix and UNESCO have announced winners of the short film competition ‘African Folktales Reimagined’ for Sub-Saharan Africa’s up-and-coming filmmakers. The winners are Gcobisa Yako (South Africa), Korede Azeez (Nigeria), Loukman Ali (Uganda), Mohamed Echkouna (Mauritania), Voline Ogutu (Kenya), Walter Mzengi (Tanzania).

The winners will now go into the development phase of their projects, before starting production on the short films that will eventually premiere on Netflix as part of ‘An Anthology of African Folktales’ later this year.

While congratulating the winners, Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said that “The laureates, and all the participants in this competition more broadly, highlight the rich, diverse and ever-evolving culture that Sub-Saharan Africa has to offer and that UNESCO wants to promote. We cannot wait to celebrate these films at a special premiere at UNESCO headquarters in Paris at the end of this year.”

Netflix Director of Content in Africa, Ben Amadasun added that “It’s been a truly inspiring journey for us to experience the level of creative talent from our candidates. From the thousands of applicants we’ve received to the Top 21 and finally, the 6 winners – it’s 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.”

The competition was launched by Netflix and UNESCO in October 2021, to promote diverse local stories and bring them to the world. The competition was also a step towards creative equity – as part of the Netflix Creative Equity Fund, which aims at enabling new voices from underrepresented communities within entertainment to bring their perspectives to a global audience. 

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