Realness Institute, an incubator for African filmmakers, in partnership with Netflix, a US streaming service, has called for entries for its content development lab initiative dubbed Episodic Lab. 

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In a statement on Monday, the institute said the initiative is only open to writers from the three countries — Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa — where Netflix is currently focusing its African originals strategy.

It stated that six writers would be selected to spend three months in a “Writers Room’’ format, while they are expected to work on developing pitch documents for their story concepts.

The institute said submissions will end on January 31, 2021, while the Episodic Lab would take place remotely from June 1 to August 31, 2021.

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It also announced that a stipend of $2000 per month will be paid to the participants to cover living expenses during the training.

“These participants will work with a script consultant and a creative producer to fully develop their story concepts into an episodic pitch. Along with creative training, the writers will receive feedback from the Netflix Originals’ development team,” the statement read.

“Each writer will have an opportunity to pitch their finished product to Netflix and have their series developed for production.”

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It, however, explained that “if Netflix does not commission further development and/or production, the rights to the developed material default to the authors. Creators should not be committed to a producer or director to participate in the Lab.”

On the criteria for the entries, the institute said “potential applicants can be a writer/writing team with either film or television experience, but one writer only will be able to participate if selected.”

It added that “entries can be in any genre of fiction, in English and/or local language and concept must be set in South Africa, Kenya or Nigeria. No producers or directors should be attached.”

Asanda Biyana, Realness partner and project manager of the Episodic Lab, said the initiative hopes to give selected writers the space to make bigger worlds and more layered stories.

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It added that interested participants are required to pay a submission fee of 30 Euros via Paypal or 55 Euros via international wire transfer to cover the banking charges.

Applications can be completed here.



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