Netflix ups investment in African content and filmmakers

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Netflix’s executive team is pouring more resources into African scripted and unscripted content in hopes of producing the next global, buzzworthy show as “Squid Game” proved to be, NBC News reports.

Last month, Netflix unveiled several African original renewals, some co-production developments, more details around existing projects, and another major deal struck with South African filmmaker Mandlakayise Walter Dube at the “See What’s Next Africa” showcase.

Under the partnership, Dube, director of Netflix’s first commissioned African film Silverton Siege, will head a number of Netflix-owned films and series.

The streamer said it plans to collaborate with more African filmmakers via deals similar to Dube’s.

“There’s a curiosity across the world about locally-specific shows from Africa — great creative, great stories,” said Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s director of local language series for Africa. “The world wants to know what’s happening in Africa”.

While South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya remain the three key African territories producing Netflix originals, Ghettuba shared the streamer’s plans to buy shows from other countries in the continent including Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Uganda.

“Our investment in Africa continues to grow and we just continue to do more and more shows,” Ghettuba said. “We believe that Africa is one of the major creative centers for great storytelling that resonates around the world, so it only makes sense for us to increase our investment with our slate, with an even more exciting slate.”

Ghetubba noted that her hope is “to ensure that the next big ‘Squid Game’-like show comes from Africa.”

“That’s my ambition — a show from Africa that will have the momentous impact that ‘Squid Game’ had on the rest of the world,” Ghetubba said.

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