Egypt has a long and illustrious legacy of storytelling. It also has a wealth of untapped potential that can bring fresh & nuanced perspectives to global content but has so far remained underrepresented on the global stage. There is a subset of voices within this community — those of women, that need better acknowledgment.
On September 12th, Netflix is launching the ‘Because She Created’ writing program in partnership with Sard, a dedicated hub for scriptwriters in the Arab world, to train women in writing and develop their storytelling and creative expression skills. This program is part of the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity which aims to help create new opportunities for underrepresented communities within the entertainment industry.
Sard believes that expressing oneself through writing is the first step to self-discovery, and we’re proud to have discovered talent through this program that we feel will one day become scriptwriters of the future. The Arab world, including Egypt, is ripe with talent. What they need is concerted effort and professional support to nurture their growth. Women in the region in particular, need this kind of incubation and technical support to gain access to opportunities that advance their professional growth in an industry where their presence is still limited. Sard is trying to achieve this through the work we do, and through partnerships with organizations like Netflix that help steer talent in the right direction.Mariam Naoum, CEO & Founder, Sard
At Netflix, we recognize that being part of the creative communities comes with responsibilities and that includes the need to develop the talent pipeline and give new voices a chance to be heard. Through our partnership with Sard, we are mining a wealth of untapped potential from Egypt, an integral component of the MENA creative community, and introducing storytelling as a viable career option for the next generation of Egyptian women. We want to create more diverse content to ensure that women are represented both on screen and behind the camera, and partnerships like this allow us to equip them with the skills they need to tell the best version of their stories.Ahmed Sharkawi, Director, Arabic Series, Netflix
The ‘Because She Created’ writing program will recruit 20 women from outside Cairo, particularly, and equip them with the creative tools and industry insight needed to advance their professional development. The five-day program will be hosted in Cairo and will include storytelling classes, creative expression sessions, as well as daily artistic activities like trips to the theater and the cinema.
The program helps mine for talent in historically underrepresented regions of Egypt and introduces storytelling as a viable career option for the next generation of Egyptian women. By providing talent with a chance at a professional writing career, the program aims to inspire people to break through in the industry and create a network of women who can support each other well after the program.
Over the last two years, we’ve sparked important discussions aimed at filling the pipeline of women in entertainment, partnered with the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture to provide financial assistance to women producers and directors in the Arab world, and recently launched the Because She Created collection to highlight the importance of equitable representation in storytelling.Statement by Netflix