IWD: Netflix to invest in next generation of female storytellers
For a young woman growing up in Nigeria, watching a film at home meant trying to put yourself into a character’s shoes that probably wasn’t relatable and left you wondering why roles played by women truly didn’t depict the woman’s point of view. More often women were typecast into roles that put them in a box as a wife, a secretary, or a damsel in distress.
Netflix has recently announced a $5 million investment towards programmes that help identify, train, and provide work placements for up-and-coming female talent worldwide as a part of their fund for Creative Equity.
If there’s anything Netflix has taught us, it’s that great stories are universal; they can come from anywhere and can be created by anyone, loved by everyone but what truly matters is the authenticity of these stories. Now we must ensure that every deprived voice, in this case, women- gets the same recognition and chance to be heard in this industry.
Today, thanks to the efforts of incredibly talented women like Mo Abudu, Genevieve Nnaji, Kemi Adetiba, and others, local stories are being told with female voices at the core of its production. The Nigerian film industry has experienced many ‘female firsts’: first Netflix original film ever produced in Nigeria, first time Nigeria had submitted a film to the Oscars and Netflix, has been that springboard to developing and showcasing Nigerian talent and stories to global audiences.
Our belief in the importance of telling the stories of Nigerian women from all backgrounds has seen us ink the first multi-title African deal with a production company led by Mo Abudu. We understand the need to elevate our role models’ statuses to continue to inspire and encourage the next set of creative Nigerian women who have similar dreams of achieving significant feats in Nollywood and the world.
According to the founder of Ebonylife media group, Mo Abudu, this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, ‘Choose To Challenge’ informs change, “Our key focus is to create the largest continent-wide ecosystem within which we can harness and grow our creative economy, creating countless opportunities for all that work within our sector in front and behind the screen, never forgetting that our primary aim must be to tell stories that are world class, exciting, relevant and entertaining. I’m proud to say, that at EbonyLife, we’ve always done this with women at the helm. The world is our oyster amazon, so let’s go explore, ladies.”