Two Kenyan screenwriters to receive Sh694k from Netflix

Hussein Kurji and Voline Ogutu, have been selected to represent Kenya at the 2022 Episodic Lab organised by Realness Institute, in partnership with Netflix.

Hussein Kurji and Voline Ogutu, have been selected to represent Kenya 2022 Episodic Lab organised by Realness Institute, in partnership with Netflix

Hussein Kurji and Voline Ogutu, have been selected to represent Kenya at the 2022 Episodic Lab organised by Realness Institute, in partnership with Netflix.

The Episodic Lab is aimed at developing story concepts by screenwriters from South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. Kurji was selected for his project titled Bushcamp while Ogutu's is known as Dilemma.

“It’s not every day an opportunity, specifically to showcase African talent, comes around,” said Kurji. “The Lab will strip our writing bare, and we’ll all be better for it,” he concluded.

The news comes only months after Ogutu was named among six winners set to produce African content for Netflix. She was among winners in a competition dubbed African Folktales, Reimagined.

Kurji and Ogutu will spend three months in a virtual lab developing their original story ideas, with mentorship from Realness Institute’s creative producers Elias Ribeiro and Mehret Mandefro, and story consultants Selina Ukwuoma and Thandeka Zwana.

The two together with ten other participants will each receive a monthly stipend of $2,000 (Sh231,400) from May to July 31, to cover personal expenses as they work on their concept and professional development.

The lab participants will then have the opportunity to pitch their projects to Netflix executives. The Episodic and Development Executive schemes were launched in June 2020; and received 200 applications across the two for this year.

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