Due to a surge of interest from filmmakers from Africa and the Diaspora, the Realness Institute, in partnership with Netflix, has announced an extension for submissions for the 2022 Episodic Lab and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) programmes. Applicants will now have until 21 January 2022 to apply.
The Episodic Lab is aimed at developing story concepts by screenwriters from South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria; while the DET offers African producers an opportunity to hone their story development skills. These programmes are designed for television and film professionals at an intermediate level.
Both programmes are intimately supervised and mentored by highly skilled and experienced Story Experts and Creative Producers, whilst also drawing expertise and advice from the Netflix team.
The 2022 Episodic Lab and DET take place online from 1 May to 31 July 2022. Each of the twelve selected participants (six per programme) will receive a monthly stipend of USD 2 000 for this period to cover living expenses, which will allow them to focus on the development of their story concept.
Exciting news for these programmes is that Thandeka Zwana, a DET participant from the inaugural 2021 edition, has joined the mentoring team as a Story Consultant. Working in the film industry on the continent since 2004, Thandeka has experience along the whole film-making value chain as a producer, line producer, script editor, and as development and production executive for numerous films and organisations.
Thandeka Zwana says “The programme was basically a course in brain gymnastics! It gave us the opportunity to open our minds to new ways of thinking and approaching development. From psychology to the history of storytelling, we were given tools to enhance the process and make development a lot more fun for both the executives and the writers that we work with. As African storytellers, we have a great responsibility to tell our stories in the best way possible and this course – the mentors and the guest speakers – did so much in helping us understand this responsibility and use it to make our craft better. It is a huge honour to be included in the team for 2022 and I look forward to cultivating stronger writers and stories.”
“We are thrilled to have received so many new proposals, with many requests from filmmakers to extend the deadline due to the proximity to the festive season and so many holidays,” says Elias Ribeiro, Executive Director of the Realness Institute. “So we encourage all interested to get their proposals in soon. We are also honoured to have Thandeka Zwana joining the mentoring team, who comes with a wealth of experience in development, production and distribution. We look forward to working with her to support the projects and writers to excel with their work.”
Realness Institute is a non-profit organisation that aims to empower Africans to tell their stories from their own point of view.
For information on eligibility and the application process please visit the following:
• Episodic Lab: https://www.realness.institute/episodic-lab
• Development Executive Traineeship: https://www.realness.institute/det
Pictured above; Thandeka Zwana