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After a rigorous selection process, the Realness Institute and Netflix have announced 12 participants selected for the 2022 Episodic Lab (EPL) and Development Executive Traineeship (DET).
The successful applicants were drawn from a competitive pool of 200 submissions from an open call, which closed on January 21, 2022. EPL and DET commenced on May 1, 2022, and run until July 31, 2022, with the last week of the programme consisting of in-person sessions in Gauteng, South Africa.
Each of the twelve participants (six per programme), will receive a monthly stipend of USD 2 000 during the incubation period. This is to cover living expenses as they focus on their concept and professional development.
Selected for the Episodic Lab are Hussein Kurji with Bushcamp (Kenya), Khanyo Mjamba with Byline (South Africa), Mlilo Mpondo with Bayeti-Visitors (South Africa), Neo Sibiya with Ukushona Kwelanga (The Setting of The Sun) (South Africa), Sandra Madu with From Lagos with Love (Nigeria) and Voline Ogutu with Dilemma (Kenya).
For the Development Executive Traineeship (DET) lucky participants were Babalwa Baartman (South Africa), Khosie Dali (South Africa), Mona Ombogo (Kenya), Neiloe Whitehead (South Africa), Omotunde Akiode (Nigeria), Pedro Duarte Soulé (Cabo Verde).
The selected screenwriters will spend three months in a virtual lab where they will work on developing their original story ideas, in any genre, alongside the mentorship of Realness Institute Creative Producers, Elias Ribeiro, and Mehret Mandefro, and Story Consultants, Selina Ukwuoma and Thandeka Zwana. After this stage of mentorship, the lab participants will have the opportunity to pitch their incubated stories to Netflix executives.
The selected participants for the DET will gain a deeper understanding of the story development process, working alongside creative producers and story experts. They will work in teams to support the development and crafting of the Episodic Lab Participants’ respective projects and help translate their concepts into pitch decks. The approach, of the Episodic Lab and DET programmes, is vertical and horizontal learning, using writing rooms as a co-creating collaborative space.