By G9ija

A total of $36,000 will be splashed on six indigenous screenwriters from Nigeria after Netflix entered a fresh partnership with Realness Institute.

In a recent statement by the management of Realness Institute, six Nigerian writers will benefit from the partnership between the two media companies.

According to the statement by Realness Institute, the partnership is aimed at creating an Episodic Content Development Lab for writers in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Writers are expected to send in submissions into The Writer’s Lab on November 30, 2020, on a dedicated website. The opportunity, Netflix’s Dorothy Ghettuba says, is opened to writers with Film and TV experience in any genre (fictional or factual) or language.

The lab is expected to select six writers to work on six different projects to be developed and commissioned by Netflix. The selected writers will be paid a stipend of $2000 per month to participate and are expected to be available full time for a period of 3 months – June to September 2021.

Speaking on the move, Ghettuba said, “At Netflix, we believe that great stories come from anywhere and be loved everywhere. We strongly believe that Africa has a wealth of untold stories. As we grow our slate of Originals in Africa, partnerships with organisations like Realness will help us achieve our goal of investing in writers who will bring diverse genres of authentic, local stories that cater to every mood and will ensure our members see their lives reflected on screen.”

Co-founder and creative director of Realness Institute, Elias Ribeiro corroborated Ghettuba saying, “We had fun shaping the program with the Netflix team. We all share a love for storytelling, and Netflix’s writer-centric approach is very much in line with our ethos.”

On her part, veteran Ethiopian broadcaster and Realness Institute’s director of Development and Partnerships, Mehret Mandefro said, “This program is a response to the dramatically-changing broadcasting ecosystem, which has a very important role to play in building a thriving media ecosystem in local markets and providing episodic creators with distribution opportunities.”

Since Realness Institute’s inception in 2015, the Institute has delivered five editions of its screenwriters’ residency. Recently, it held its first Development Executive Traineeship and Creative Producer Indaba, in which the artistic director of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Chioma Onyenwe was a participant. The Institute will also expand its offering next year to the episodic content space, thereby promoting its mission to empower African storytellers and improve the film industry.