Netflix partners with Realness Institute to train African screenwriters

Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, has partnered with Realness Institute, a pan-African film organization, to train mid-career screenwriters and film professionals from Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

Successful participants will learn how to develop original story ideas and how to improve their skills as history consultants.

The training opportunity, which is part of Netflix’s 2022 Episodic Lab and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) program, will also provide attendees with the opportunity to present their stories to Netflix executives at the end of the program.

“It also provides DET attendees with a deeper understanding of the story development process, exposure to a more nuanced approach to supporting writers while simultaneously holding writers accountable for their creative work,” Realness wrote. Institute, the co-organizers of the training in a statement.

Over the course of the program, participants are expected to learn to deepen their understanding of the story development process, “a nuanced exposure to a more nuanced approach in supporting writers while simultaneously holding writers accountable for their creative work.” DET participants will work alongside creative producers and history experts in developing their concepts and pitch decks. “

Participants will also have the opportunity to “engage with international and local speakers each week for the duration of the program”.

“What we have witnessed since the first lab and internship is that there is a deep desire for Africans to create their own stories. This bodes well for a growing audience, based in Africa and abroad. We are delighted to be a major player in igniting the fires of our incredible continental creatives. Also, to hear from last year’s participants how they were able to transplant everything they learned in the incubator into their current work and other projects, as well as the impact we have had in their lives and their creative process, ”said Mehret Mandefro, Director of Development and Partnerships, Realness Institute.


In addition to updating participant skills, each participant will receive a monthly stipend of $ 2,000 during the online incubation period between May 1, 2022 and July 31, 2022. The stipend is intended to cover the costs of sustenance of the participants so they can fully concentrate on the program.

However, the Realness Institute has warned that there is no guarantee that proposals generated during the mentorship program will be developed by Netflix.

“This is an incredible opportunity and I am grateful to the Realness and Netflix Grow Creative teams for helping to make the dreams of young writers a possibility. The episodic lab is difficult but pushes you to give your best. I’m a better writer for that, ”said Kudi Maradzika (Zimbabwe-South Africa), a 2021 Episodic Lab alumnus, who came up with a comedy-drama idea that was selected for further development.

Commenting on Netflix’s partnership with the Realness Institute, Allison Triegaardt, Netflix director for Grow Creative Africa, said that developing, nurturing and supporting talent pools gives new voices a chance to be heard.

This, he said, is essential for Netflix as they help grow the film and television industry and honor our commitment to the African creative community.

Interested participants are encouraged to visit the website of the Episodic Lab Program Application for the Developing Executive Internship Program application and wait to be shortlisted.

The application will close on January 14, 2022.

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