In Kenya, Otis, a 13-year-old boy, fights to protect his brothers from a monster that lives inside their house.
In Uganda, a woman, after being abandoned on an island for having suffered the loss of her baby, takes revenge on the powerful man who brought her there.
In Tanzania, a boy with magical origins sets out on a journey to help end the drought that is devastating the community, even if it means risking his own life.
In Nigeria, a young woman from a remote Fulani village uses artificial intelligence to escape an arranged marriage.
In Mauritania, three generations after her last summons, an ancient genius finds himself in an unknown city facing a familiar enemy.
And in South Africa, a mystical river creature, MaMlambo, watches over the sacred waters of abandoned bodies.
These stories are six traditional African tales reimagined by film directors who, thanks to a UNESCO and Netflix initiative, have had the opportunity to translate them into a series of short films.
The result can be seen from this March 29 on the video platform in 190 countries.
Africa has become one of Unesco's priorities.
In the cultural field, the support that the international organization offers to the film industry stands out.
, in The
African film Industry: trends, challenges and opportunities for growth
He already stated that the sector could create 20 million jobs and generate 20,000 million dollars (18,425 million euros) of income per year on the continent.
“The production and distribution of cinematographic and audiovisual works is one of the most dynamic growth sectors in the world.
Thanks to digital technologies, production has grown rapidly in Africa in recent years," the document states.
An example is Nollywood, as the Nigerian film industry is known, the second largest film producer in the world after Hollywood.
There are more than 2,500 that leave each year from the studies of the African country.
This has allowed the emergence of a local production and distribution industry with its own economic model.
As interesting and lucrative as it is, it is still an exception in Africa.
In most of the countries of the continent, the potential of this industry remains unexploited.
Currently, it is estimated that the sector represents 5,000 million dollars (4,606 million euros) in income and employs five million people, far from Unesco's forecasts.
Hence, it is necessary to promote it in a big way.
For this reason, the United Nations body is committed to supporting and promoting a new generation of African filmmakers.
In line with this purpose, in 2021, it jointly convened with Netflix a contest for the production of short films that had as their theme “reimagined traditional African tales”, aimed at artists from the continent.
The film industry in Africa represents 4.6 billion euros in revenue and employs five million people
Six are chosen from among the more than 2,000 candidates from 13 sub-Saharan African countries that applied to the competition.
They each won $25,000 (23,000 euros) and a production grant of 75,000 (69,100 euros) to shoot their short film, in charge of a local production company, under the supervision of producer Steven Markovich, appointed by Netflix, and other mentors from the industry.
Enerto Ottone R., Unesco's Assistant Director General for Culture, affirms that the organization "is proud to present these popular tales reinvented by young talents from the African continent."
And he adds: "The cultural expressions of 21st century Africa, steeped in tradition and heritage, but also innovation and creativity, are as diverse and dynamic as its people."
Tendeka Matatu, Director of African Language Films for Netflix, adds: "We are pleased to finally bring this anthology of short films produced by the next generation of African storytellers to Netflix users around the world."
For him, this initiative is an effort "to strengthen the African narrative and include the voices of underrepresented communities."
The collection of short films that reinvent folk tales and that will be offered by the video platform showcases a variety of emerging African talents, such as Mauritania's Mohamed Echkouna with
, Tanzania's Wlat Mzengi Corey with
, Nigeria's Korede Azeez with
Also, Voline Ogutu from Kenya with
Anyogo and the
, Loukman Ali from Uganda with
the Punishment Island
, and Gcobisa Yako from South Africa
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