Netflix has announced the six short films that made the cut for The African Folktales Reimagined.
The collection of six short films was launched as part of Netflix’s partnership with UNESCO to support upcoming filmmakers who were provided with resources including a $90 000 budget and creative guidance by established filmmakers.
The emerging filmmakers were selected in 2021 following a call for submission that resulted in over 2000 applications from all over the continent. The 6 emerging storytellers from Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritania, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will see their respective short films, make their debut on Netflix, globally on March 29.
The African Folktales, Reimagined short film collection features a variety of African on-screen talent in stories by emerging African storytellers such as Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania with Enmity Djinn; Walt Mzengi Corey from Tanzania with Katope; Korede Azeez from Nigeria with Zabin Halima; Voline Ogutu from Kenya with Anyango and the Ogre; Loukman Ali from Uganda with Katera of the Punishment Island and Gcobisa Yako from South Africa with MaMlambo.
Below are the film synopsis, key cast & crew:
Zabin Halima (Halima’s Choice) – by Korede Azeez – Nigeria
With 99% of the world population uploaded into virtual worlds, a young girl from a secluded Fulani village inadvertently elopes with an AI to escape an arranged marriage. Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy; Language: Hausa; Director: Korede Azeez; Producer: Kenneth Gyang; Cast: Habiba Ummi Mohammed; Adam Garba, Produced by Cinema Kpatakpata.
Anyango and the Ogre – by Voline Ogutu – Kenya
With the backdrop of a childhood folktale, 13-year-old Otis struggles to protect his younger siblings from a monster that lives inside their home. Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and English; Director: Voline Ogutu; Producer: Sarah Hassan; Cast: Trevor Jones Kamau; Sarah Hassan, Produced by Alfajiri Productions.
Katera of the Punishment Island – by Loukman Ali – Uganda
Abandoned on an island, a woman grieving the loss of her baby exacts revenge on the powerful man who put her there. Genre: Thriller; Language: Runyankole and English; Director & Producer: Loukman Ali; Cast: Karababiito Tracy; Michael Wawuyo JR; Production company: Loukout Films.
Katope – by Walt Mzengi Corey – Tanzania
A young child with magical origins sets out on a journey to help end the drought that is devastating the community – even if it means risking their own life. Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and ciGogo; Director: Walt Mzengi Corey; Producer: Petrus Van Staden; Rebecca Mzengi Corey Cast: Jene Mahenyela Mwalimu; Rahele Matete; Production company: Solela Art and Film
Enmity Djinn – by Mohamed Echkouna – Mauritania
Three generations after he was last summoned, an ancient Enmity Djinn finds himself in an unfamiliar city confronted by a familiar foe. Genre: Fantasy/Drama; Language: Hassaniya Arabic and French; Director & Producer: Mohamed Echkouna; Cast: Zainabou Ahmed Mohamed; Mamadou Mokhtar N’diaye Gueye.
MaMlambo – by Gcobisa Yako – South Africa
The mystical river being, MaMlambo, watches over the sacred waters of discarded bodies. Genre: Drama; Language: isiXhosa; Director: Gcobisa Yako; Producer: Pakiso Albertus; Cast: Simphiwe Dana; Zikhona Bali
Each storyteller was partnered with a local production company and under the guidance of Netflix-appointed supervising producer, Steven Markovich from Big World Cinema and industry mentors: Bongiwe Selane (mentor to Gcobisa Yako); Jenna Bass (mentorto Korede Azeez); Pape Boye (mentor to Loukman Ali); Femi Odugbemi (mentor to Mohamed Echkouna); Leila Afua Djansi (mentor to Voline Ogutu) and Tosh Gitonga (mentor to Walter Mzengi) who provided guidance and nurtured the filmmakers on their journey to bring their stories to life.
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