Netflix has reiterated its commitment to invest in African stories and talent long-term. The streaming service is also making efforts and investments in talent development as well as knowledge transfer and skills enhancement programs supported by its Grow Creative team.

In 2020, Netflix partnered with the Realness Institute on the Episodic Writers Lab and a Development Executive Traineeship (DET) for candidates across the Sub-Saharan Africa region. From over 500 applications, 12 creatives from Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe were chosen to participate in these two inaugural 3-month programs. The programs will run until September 2021.

The Episodic Lab (EPL) selected writers based on their story ideas and will develop these concepts alongside expert story consultants and creative producers. The selected writers will also undergo creative training and receive feedback from the Netflix team. At the end of the Lab, each writer will pitch their incubated concept to Netflix to have their series further developed for production.

Listed below are the selected African Writers for Episodic Lab.

  • Ayoade Adeyanju – Agent 419
  • Dominique Jossie – Fafi
  • Andile Ngcizela – Drummies
  • Mary Waireri – Sheitain
  • Kehinde Joseph – Osupa
  • Kudakwashe Maradzika – Bad Influencer

Simultaneously, the six participants in the Development Executive Traineeship (DET) will fully immerse themselves in the story development process. Their training will include bolstering their technical skills by partnering them with the EPL writers to develop story concepts into quality productions. This skill creates opportunities for professionals to work with national film bodies, film commissions, philanthropists, story consultants and critics.

This month, Netflix is hosting a 5-day workshop focusing on post-production. The APost Lab will focus on training film and television professionals from across Africa on technical best practices, technical and creative support methods, and methods to facilitate the best creative process.

32 participants have been invited to participate in the workshops while more than 100 film and TV professionals from across the continent will be part of the Masterclasses.

Netflix has added that it will continue to strengthen the quality of African storytelling and to bring fresh voices to its members in Africa and around the world.