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Netflix Green-Lights Violine Ogutu’s Romance Crime Thriller ‘Dilemma’

Netflix Green-Lights Violine Ogutu's Romance Crime Thriller ‘Dilemma’
Violine Ogutu is a self-taught film creator who has written several M-Net TV series, including Sumu La Penzi, Jane and Abel, Njoro Wa Uba, Varshita, How To Find a Husband and City of Judah.

Netflix has given the green light for the development of the Kenyan romance crime thriller Dilemma written by Violine Ogutu.

Violine Ogutu is a self-taught film creator who has written several M-Net TV series, including Sumu La Penzi, Jane and Abel, Njoro Wa Uba, Varshita, How To Find a Husband and City of Judah.

Reacting to her story idea being selected for further development, Voline Ogutu, who has now started to turn her attention to the next steps which include Writers’ Room planning, says, “I am honored and grateful to be part of this rare opportunity. To those who dream of telling African stories on the global stage, it is truly within your reach. Thank you to the Netflix and Realness team who were part of this process.”

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Ms. Ogutu recently won the 2022 Episodic Alumnus award after being among the few Africans selected to participate in the 2022 Episodic Lab program in South Africa.

Despite never attending a film school, Ms. Ogutu won Sh11.5 million ($100,000) in March 2022 for the Netflix Short Film Competition.

Dubbed “African Folktales, Re-imagined,” organizers of the competition launched in October 2021 were looking for emerging filmmakers in Sub-Sahara. It attracted more than 2,000 applications.

In 2017, she was awarded best film director after directing the movie Seed, a fantasy drama about money, greed, and death. She was the only female in the category.

“It’s a good time for female directors to come out, the field is level. We are winning,” she said at the time.

Applications for the 2023 program.

The Realness Institute in partnership with Netflix has opened calls for submissions to its 2023 Episodic Lab and Development Executive Traineeship (DET) programs which will take place from 30 April to 30 July 2023.

The Lab and Traineeship aim to support screenwriters and mid-career industry professionals from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa who are seeking opportunities to develop their original story ideas in any genre and are looking to enhance their skills as story consultants respectively.

Bringing together a wealth of creative talent from Africa in these programs, Realness Institute offers the Episodic Lab participants the opportunity to pitch their incubated stories to Netflix executives at the end of the program. It also offers DET participants a deeper understanding of the story development process, and exposure to a more nuanced approach in the support of writers whilst simultaneously holding writers accountable for their creative work.

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To support the participants to focus on their involvement in the programs, Realness Institute will provide a monthly stipend of KSh. 223,142.89 (ZAR 33,000) for the duration of the Lab and traineeship to help cover their living expenses.

“As filmmakers, we understand how difficult it is to find time and space to focus on our creative processes: to unpack stories, mull over and bounce ideas off others, benchmark ourselves against our peers as we hustle to make films, and pitch and search for funding and finance,” says Mehret Mandefro, Director of Development and Partnerships, Realness Institute.

“In understanding this landscape, we are delighted that Netflix has once again partnered with us, to bring these two symbiotic programs for African filmmakers in our joint quest to grow African stories and content on the continent,” added Mehret Mandefro

While there is no guarantee that any proposal will be developed further by Netflix, it is a unique opportunity to interface at key milestones with Netflix executives and be afforded the opportunity to pitch.

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Ndungu Brian

Brian is a multimedia journalist and social media manager with demonstrated work both in digital and print media.
I am an entertainment enthusiast with a natural freak for telling trending conversations in entertainment and lifestyle from an African perspective. For this and many more, feel free to share your thoughts, tips or even a chat at janynbrian@gmail.com. Grazie!!

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