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Sarah Hassan to star on Voline Ogutu’s Sh11m Netflix film

Netflix’s African Folktales Reimagined competition has resulted in the creation of an anthology of short films created by the next generation of African storytellers, set to premiere at the Kalasha Film Festival.

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Among the winners is Kenyan scriptwriter Voline Ogutu, who received Sh11.3 million for her concept, Anyango and the Ogre.

The short film, which stars Sarah Hassan and features as part of the anthology, is set against the backdrop of a childhood folktale, following a 13-year-old boy struggling to protect his siblings from a monster that lives inside their home.

The competition, launched in partnership with UNESCO, received over 2,000 applications from Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are excited to finally bring this anthology of short films created by the next generation of African storytellers to Netflix members around the world. This initiative is a testament to our ongoing efforts to strengthen the pipeline of African storytelling and to include voices from underrepresented communities,” said Tendeka Matatu, Netflix’s Director of Film in Africa.

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Each winner received a production budget of Sh12 million to develop their concepts under the guidance of established filmmakers. The anthology will make its global debut on Netflix on March 29, 2023, showcasing a diverse range of African storytelling voices.

Ms Ogutu was among the other five winners with the best concepts, from South Africa, Mauritania, Uganda, Nigeria and Tanzania who each received $25 000 (Sh2.8 million) and a production budget of $75 000 (Sh8.5 million), which was later increased to $90,000 (Sh12 million), to develop their concepts under the creative guidance of established filmmakers as mentors to bring their stories to life.

One of the mentors was Kenya’s renowned filmmaker Tosh Gitonga.

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