Local streaming services such as Showmax have something of an edge compared to the likes of Netflix.
That edge is content aimed at a local audience.
While local content has been coming to Netflix slowly over the years, the service is now looking to dive into African content a lot more.
This morning we attended a Netflix Content Roadshow which showcased a number of new Netflix Original titles produced right here in Africa. We can’t go into too much detail just yet, but what we’ve seen is incredibly exciting.
But Netflix isn’t stopping.
The service this morning announced that it is working with the Realness Institute to create what is being called an Episodic Development Lab for writers in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
“We strongly believe that Africa has a wealth of untold stories,” head of Netflix’s African Original Series, Dorothy Ghettuba said in a statement.
“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 will ensure our audience members see their lives reflected on screen,” Ghettuba added.
The Episodic Development Lab will be open for applications from writers who have film and TV experience. Whether that experience is in fictional or non-fictional content is not a concern.
Applications open on 30th November so there’s a bit of time to work on your pitch before submitting it.
Once the application process is complete, six writers will be selected to work on projects that will be developed and commissioned by Netflix. The writers will be paid a stipend of $2 000 per month and will need to be available full-time from June to September 2021.
As we mentioned, submissions only open on 30th November, but you can head to this website to sign-up to “get notified” when submissions are live.
“This programme 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,” said Realness Institute’s director of development and partnerships, Mehret Mandefro.
Given the tidbit Netflix showed off during this morning’s content roadshow, we’re incredibly keen to see some more local content on the platform, perhaps even a few locally focused documentaries.