Realness, Netflix launch new executive traineeship

•Extend Episodic Lab entry deadline to Feb. 8

The latest programme of Realness Institute, Episodic Lab, created in partnership with Netflix, has received an overwhelmingly positive response from creative professionals both online and offline. 

A statement issued by the Programme Manager, Asanda Biyana indicates that the deadline for online submissions has been extended.It will now close upon receiving 150 additional applications or on February 8, 2021, whichever comes first. 

The Episodic Lab offers African writers from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria the opportunity to nurture their concepts into the series format, receive feedback and pitch them with the possibility of further production with Netflix. 

As part of the partnership, Realness Institute and Netflix will also run a Development Executive Traineeship (DET). While the Episodic Lab is open to applicants from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, the DET will be open to applicants from across Africa and the Diaspora. It is aimed at film professionals with an interest of being trained as story consultants or to gain insight into the story development process, working with writers and directors in the development of their stories. 

“Development is a crucial part of the creative process in storytelling. At Netflix, we’re fully committed to partnering with organisations like Realness Institute to achieve our goal of ensuring Africa’s creative professionals are equipped with all the skills necessary to deliver the quality best-in-class stories from our continent,” Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix Manager for African Originals, said.

Trainees will shadow and work alongside creative producers and creative consultants as they run the Episodic Lab and be active contributors in the writers’ rooms. They will also engage with guest experts in story development and have separate sessions from the group of writers. 

“The biggest strength of this initiative is the livingbreathing journey they will embark on. Different writers work in different ways and trainees will have the opportunity to witness and learn from this with projects in active development,” Elias Ribeiro, co-Founder and Head of Creative Studies, stated. 

According to Mehret Mandefro, Director of Development and Partnerships, “No one is thinking about training developmentexecutives in Africa, yet these executives are critical for increasing the quality and volume of production in local markets. So, this programme is filling an incredibly important gap in the local media ecosystem.” 

Trainees will receive a stipend of $2,000 a month for the three months, to be able to dedicate their full time to the programme. DET will take place at the same time as the Episodic Lab from June 1 until August 31, 2021.

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