Netflix and UNESCO have announced the 20 shortlisted candidates who will go forward in the short film competition titled African Folktales, Reimagined. Interestingly this year, the quality of submissions received resulted in one extra candidate being added to the list, making it 21 filmmakers on the shortlist. 3 among them are Kenyan. These are Mark Wambui, Voline Ogutu and Oprah Oyugi.

The candidates were selected following a rigorous evaluation process by a wide range of industry professionals from across Africa. The professionals assessed over 2080 applications from across the continent in multiple languages and came up with a shortlist containing a dynamic group of African creatives from across 13 countries in the region.

The 21 emerging filmmakers will go on to the next phase of the competition where they will be required to pitch their stories to a judging panel. The panel comprises Nigeria’s Femi Odugbemi, South Africa’s Bongiwe Selane, Leila Afua Djansi from Ghana, David Tosh Gitonga from Kenya, and Jean Luc Herbulot from Congo and representatives from Netflix and UNESCO.

The panel will select the final six filmmakers who will receive a production grant of Ksh. 8.5 million (USD 75,000). The grant will be used to develop, shoot and post-produce their films under the guidance of Netflix and industry mentors. This will ensure everyone involved in the production is fairly compensated. Each of the six winners will also receive Ksh. 2.8 million (USD 25,000).

The following is the full list of the shortlisted filmmakers.

  1. Voline Ogutu (Kenya)
  2. Oprah Oyugi (Kenya)
  3. Mark Wambui(Kenya)
  4. Nosa Igbinedion (Nigeria)
  5. Ebot Tanyi (Cameroon)
  6. Loukman Ali(Uganda)
  7. Tongryang Pantu (Nigeria)
  8. Walt Mzengi (Tanzania)
  9. Venance Soro (Côte d’Ivoire)
  10. Volana Razafimanantsoa (Madagascar)
  11. Mohamed Echkouna (Mauritania)
  12. Nader Fakhry (Côte d’Ivoire)
  13. Anne Catherine Tchokonté (Cameroon)
  14. Mphonyana Mokokwe (Botswana)
  15. Anita Abada (Nigeria)
  16. Samuel Kanyama (Zambia)
  17. Machérie Ekwa-Bahango (Democratic Republic of Congo)
  18. Ndiyathemba Modibedi (South Africa)
  19. Gcobisa Yako (South Africa)
  20. Akorede Azeez (Nigeria)
  21. Katya Aragão (São Tomé and Príncipe)