Realness Institute and Netflix open call for submissions for Episodic Lab, offer stipend

Realness Institute has opened its call for submissions for its latest offering, Episodic Lab, a series development lab presented in partnership with global streaming service Netflix.

Episodic Lab will be looking for screenwriters from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with authentic and original stories of all genres. The initiative is only open to writers from the 3 countries where Netflix is currently focusing its African Originals strategy.

The Lab will take place online from 1 June 2021 to 31 August 2021, where selected writers will work on developing pitch documents for their story concepts.

“We strongly believe that Africa has a wealth of untold stories”

Dorothy Ghettuba, Head of African original programming at Netflix

Six writers will be chosen to spend 3 months in a ‘writers room’ format where they will work with a script consultant and a creative producer to fully develop their story concepts into an episodic pitch. Along with creative training, writers will receive feedback from Netflix Originals’ development team.

“Series give writers the space to make bigger worlds and more layered stories. There is no limit for what can be submitted, and we believe that with the pool of talent on our continent, and our incredible ability to tell stories, that we will see some extraordinary talent emerging from this process. We are excited and are preparing to work really hard to select the first cohort for the Lab.”

Asanda Biyana, Realness Partner and Project Manager of the Episodic Lab

A stipend of US$2000 per month will be paid to the participants to cover living expenses as they dedicate their time to the process.  At the end of the Lab, each writer will have an opportunity to pitch their finished product to Netflix and have their series developed for production. If Netflix does not commission further development and/or production, the rights to the developed material default to the authors. Creators should not be committed to a producer or director to participate in the Lab.

To apply, applicants must meet the following criteria: 

  • The Writer/writing team* must have either Film or Television experience, (*only one writer will be able to participate if selected.)
  • They can write in any genre of fiction
  • They must be able to communicate and work in English (although the story can be in a local language but would require translation for the Lab)
  • The concept must be set in South Africa, Kenya OR Nigeria
  • No producers or directors should be attached to the script
  • Pay a submission fee

Applicants must complete the online application on the Realness Institute website at Applicants are advised to read through the form before submitting.

Applicants will be required to pay a submission fee of 30 Euros via Paypal or 55 Euros via international wire transfer to cover the banking charges. The deadline for submissions is the 31 January 2021 at midnight SAST.

More News

Never miss an update

Join 37,000 subscribers: Signup to our weekly newsletter and never miss an update:


Get the latest industry news delivered directly to your inbox!

Signup to get the latest news from the Media, Technology and Telecoms industry for Africa and the Middle East.

No thanks, just take me to the website.


Get the latest industry news delivered directly to your inbox!

Signup to get the latest news from the Media, Technology and Telecoms industry for Africa and the Middle East.