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African folklore comes to life on Netflix

Netflix has launched a new anthology of six short films titled 'African Folktales, Reimagined' in collaboration with UNESCO

From left: Voline Ogutu, Mzengi Corey and Loukman Ali .

The aim of the project is to support the next generation of storytellers in Africa, and provide them with the necessary resources to bring their stories to life.

The selected emerging filmmakers were chosen following a call for submission in 2021, which received over 2000 applications from 13 sub-Saharan African countries.

Each filmmaker was provided with a $90,000 (Sh11.8 million) budget and creative guidance from established mentors.

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The short film collection features a diverse cast of African talent and is made up of stories reimagined by six emerging African storytellers from Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritania, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

The films are set to make their debut on Netflix globally. Some of the stories include 'Enmity Djinn' by Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania, 'Katope' by Walt Mzengi Corey from Tanzania, 'Zabin Halima (Halima's Choice)' by Korede Azeez from Nigeria, 'Anyango and the Ogre' by Voline Ogutu from Kenya, 'Katera of the Punishment Island' by Loukman Ali from Uganda, and 'MaMlambo' by Gcobisa Yako from South Africa.

Korede Azeez's 'Zabin Halima (Halima's Choice)' is a sci-fi and fantasy short film from Nigeria. The story follows a young girl from a secluded Fulani village who elopes with an AI to escape an arranged marriage in a world where 99% of the population is uploaded into virtual worlds.

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The film is in the Hausa language and stars Habiba Ummi Mohammed and Adam Garba. It was produced by Cinema Kpatakpata, with Kenneth Gyang serving as the producer.

The story 'Anyango and the Ogre' by Voline Ogutu from Kenya follows 13-year-old Otis as he tries to shield his younger siblings from a menacing creature that dwells within their residence, using a childhood folktale as the setting.

The genre of the story is a mix of fantasy and drama, and it is presented in both KiSwahili and English languages.

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The film adaptation is directed by Voline Ogutu and produced by Sarah Hassan, with Trevor Jones Kamau and Sarah Hassan among the cast members. Alfajiri Productions is the production company responsible for the movie.

'Katera of the Punishment Island' by Loukman Ali, set in Uganda, portrays a woman who has been left stranded on an island after the tragic loss of her child.

Seeking retribution from the influential man responsible for her predicament, the woman navigates a path of revenge.

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The genre of the story is a thriller, presented in both Runyankole and English languages. Loukman Ali is both the director and producer of the film, with Karababiito Tracy and Michael Wawuyo JR featuring in the cast.

The production company responsible for the movie is Loukout Films.

'Katope' by Walt Mzengi Corey from Tanzania tells the story of a young child who possesses magical powers and embarks on a perilous journey to save their drought-stricken community, even at the cost of their own life.

The genre of the story is a combination of fantasy and drama, presented in both Kiswahili and ciGogo languages.

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Walt Mzengi Corey is the director of the film, while Petrus Van Staden and Rebecca Mzengi Corey are the producers.

The cast includes Jene Mahenyela Mwalimu and Rahele Matete. The production company responsible for the movie is Solela Art and Film.

In 'Enmity Djinn' by Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania, an ancient Djinn of enmity, summoned three generations after his last appearance, arrives in an unknown city to face a familiar adversary.

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The genre of the story is a blend of fantasy and drama, presented in both Hassaniya Arabic and French languages. Mohamed Echkouna serves as both the director and producer of the film, with Zainabou Ahmed Mohamed and Mamadou Mokhtar N'diaye Gueye playing lead roles.

In 'MaMlambo' by Gcobisa Yako from South Africa, a mystical river entity named MaMlambo safeguards the sacred waters where abandoned corpses are laid to rest.

The genre of the story is drama, presented in isiXhosa language. Gcobisa Yako is the director of the film, and Pakiso Albertus serves as the producer.

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The cast includes Simphiwe Dana and Zikhona Bali.

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Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

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