The Realness Institute has announced open submissions for the 2022 Episodic Lab and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) in partnership with Netflix. The deadline for submissions is 14th January, 2022.

The Episodic Lab gives screenwriters from Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria an opportunity to develop their original story ideas, in any genre. The participants have the opportunity to pitch these incubated stories to Netflix executives at the end of the program. The 2022 Episodic Lab and DET are slated for 1st May to 31st July, 2022.

This year’s call for screenwriters in the new Realness Institute and Netflix partnership follows overwhelming applications in the inaugural editions. The program received 425 submissions for the 2021 Episodic Lab and 79 applications for the 2021 DET.

The DET, open to applicants from across Africa and the Diaspora, is aimed at mid-career industry professionals who are looking to enhance their skills as story consultants. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the story development process, and will be exposed to a more nuanced approach in the support of writers.

DET participants will work alongside creative producers and story experts in the development of their concepts and series pitch decks. They will also engage with international and local guest speakers every week for the duration of the program.

Each of the 12 participants, 6 per program, will receive a monthly stipend of Ksh. 224,720 (USD 2,000) during the incubation period. This is to cover living expenses as they focus on their concept development while being mentored.

While there is no guarantee that any proposal will be developed further by Netflix, it is an opportunity to interface at key milestones with Netflix executives.

This year’s Episodic Lab alumnus Kudi Maradzika pitched an idea for a comedy drama series that has been selected for further development. Kenya’s Mary Waireri was also among the 6 finalists selected for the Episodic Lab program.

Speaking on next year’s applications, Allison Triegaardt, Netflix Manager for Grow Creative Africa said, “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Realness Institute for the 2022 edition of the Episodic Lab and Development Executive Traineeship (DET). The development, nurturing and support of talent pipelines gives new voices a chance to be heard.”