Netflix, the world’s largest OTT platform and UNESCO, (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) have come together to launch a groundbreaking competition in Sub-Saharan Africa. Here are all the details.

Netflix and UNESCO have partnered to launch an innovative short film competition on ‘African Folktales, Reimagined’ across Sub-Saharan Africa. Winners of this short film competition will be provided with a US $75,000 production budget to create short films while also being mentored by industry professionals. 

One key aim of this competition is to discover new voices and to give emerging filmmakers in Sub-Saharan Africa visibility on a global scale. We want to find the bravest, wittiest, and most surprising retellings of some of Africa’s most-loved folktales and share them with entertainment fans around the world in over 190 countries.” says Netflix.

African Folktales Competition

The competition will open on 14th October 2021 and will go on till 14th November 2021. Besides the $75,000 production budget, the six winners will also receive $25,000 each.

Both Netflix and UNESCO believe in the importance of promoting diverse local stories, and bringing them to the world. This competition aims to address the issues faced by emerging filmmakers regarding finding the right resources and visibility to enable them to unleash their talents. This partnership will also create sustainable employment and encourage economic growth, thereby furthering United Nations’ efforts to end global poverty by the end of this decade. 

UNESCO comments:

“The film sector must ensure that the creativity of Africa is promoted, by supporting young talents and making sure that African filmmakers contribute to the international film industry.” – Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO 

“This competition puts a global spotlight on the emerging, homegrown talents of Africa while honoring the storytelling tradition of the continent. By infusing new energy into the folktales, these young filmmakers enable these stories to transcend time, space and culture – from their communities, through a digital platform, into the hearts of audiences around the world.” – Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture, UNESCO.

Netflix comments:

“Growing up, entertainment was how I connected with people. I fell in love with the stories and characters I saw on screen and experienced how storytelling has the power to inspire, which is why I’m excited about this partnership with UNESCO and the opportunities ahead. Together we will promote local cultures and support the creative industries in telling stories that cross borders, reflect universal truths, and ultimately, bring us together.” – Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO and Chief Content Officer, Netflix.

 “Africa has a rich storytelling heritage and a wealth of folktales that have been passed down for generations. When you marry these very local stories with Africa’s emerging talent, there’s no limit to fresh new stories to connect people with African cultures and bring the world that much closer to each other ”  – Ben Amadasun, Director of Content in Africa, Netflix.

For more information about the application process, please visit