Deadline for applications to the Realness Institute Episodic Lab and Development Executive Traineeship has been extended to 21st January from the previous deadline of 14th January. The extension has been attributed to a surge of interest from filmmakers from Africa and the Diaspora.

The Episodic Lab is aimed at developing story concepts by screenwriters from Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, while the DET offers African producers an opportunity to hone their story development skills. These programs are designed for television and film professionals at an intermediate level. Both programs are supervised and mentored by highly skilled and experienced Story Experts and Creative Producers, whilst also drawing expertise and advice from the Netflix team.

The 2022 Episodic Lab and DET take place virtually from 1st May to 31st July, 2022. Each of the 12 selected participants, six from each program, will receive a monthly stipend of Ksh. 224,720 (USD 2000) for this period. The stipend will cover living expenses, which will allow them to focus on the development of their story concept.

This year, Thandeka Zwana, a DET participant from the inaugural 2021 edition, has joined the mentoring team as a Story Consultant. Working in the film industry on the continent since 2004, Thandeka has experience along the whole film-making value chain as a producer, line producer, script editor, and as development and production executive for numerous films and organizations.

Commenting on the program, Thandeka said, “The programme was basically a course in brain gymnastics! It gave us the opportunity to open our minds to new ways of thinking and approaching development. From psychology to the history of storytelling, we were given tools to enhance the process and make development a lot more fun for both the executives and the writers that we work with. As African storytellers, we have a great responsibility to tell our stories in the best way possible and this course – the mentors and the guest speakers – did so much in helping us understand this responsibility and use it to make our craft better.”