Today Netflix and The School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) at the University of Southern California (USC) announced an expansion of their partnership for capacity-building efforts to help strengthen Africa's storytellers with training sessions in South Africa and Nigeria.
Source: © Terje Sollie Pexels
Netflix is offering training sessions in South Africa and Nigeria, led by SCA’s Award-winning faculty
The partnership, which kicked off earlier this year with picture editing and post-sound programmes will continue to focus on post-production as well as including creative talent development programmes like screenwriting and producing.
These skills training and capacity-building initiatives are part of Netflix’s efforts to strengthen Africa’s creative industries by harnessing its networks of local and global creative experts and other partners in the global creative community.
Netflix Grow Creative initiative
“Africa is a hugely important region for Netflix and as we grow the number of productions it is important for African stories to be able to meet the growing demand for quality storytelling,” says Allison Triegaardt, Netflix’s Grow Creative manager for Africa.
“Our Grow Creative partnerships like the one with USC are just one of the ways Netflix is harnessing our networks around the world to help bridge the skills gap and upskill experienced crew. This will also ensure an even stronger diversity of voices, stories, and points of view for our global audience," she adds.
“This is a unique and unprecedented opportunity for USC SCA to join with Netflix Grow Creative in Nigeria, South Africa, and Turkey, to train these creative professionals and provide them important tools they can incorporate in their own projects,” notes Alan Baker, associate dean of international projects at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
“It is in perfect sync with our school’s ongoing global focus through the special training workshops we have designed and taught for nearly 20 years to develop and upskill international filmmakers, writers, game producers, and new media artists in several countries,"he adds.
The initial two programmes in Nigeria - picture editing and post-sound training - were conducted by SCA’s world-renowned editors and SCA faculty, Douglas Blush, Stephen Flick, and Richard Burton at KAP Academy.
These resulted in directly advancing the skills of 36 young professionals as well as equipping them with professional software licenses supplied by Adobe for picture editing and Avid Technology, supplied ProTools software for sound editing.
Furthermore, KAP’s infrastructure was further enhanced to ensure the training facilities were set up to accommodate the training. The upcoming hybrid courses will range in length between 10 to 12 weeks, based on SCA’s established curriculum which features various Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning SCA instructors and specialists amongst its more than 17,000 alumni, in partnership with local industry leaders and production houses.
The sessions are also targeted at existing talent within their respective fields who want the opportunity to further grow and develop their skills. SCA has hired as programme director, Nigerian American producer Adetoro Makinde to run the programme’s daily creative and administrative operations.
Starting in October 2022, the new training workshops will include:
- Line producer training - A 12-week hybrid workshop of online and in-person training for emerging South African line producers, featuring international movie and television producers, led by lead instructor Brian Donovan and programme director Adetoro Makinde. Guest speakers include Schalk Burger (Savage Beauty, Reyka) and Robbie Thorpe (Material, Tell Me Sweet Something, Justice Served) and Cheryl Eatock (Black Earth Rising, Raised By Wolves, The Dark Tower), James E. Williams (Grey's Anatomy), Seith Mann (Raising Dion, King Shaka, #Freerayshawn).
- Novel Adaptation Training: For intermediate to advanced screenwriters to adapt selected South African novels in association with Ochre Media. Lead instructor is Camille Tucker (The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel). Guest speakers include Erika Green Stafford (New Amsterdam, How to Get Away With Murder, The Mentalist), Adele Lim (Raya and the Last Dragon, Crazy Rich Asians), Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Dear Evan Hansen), Uzodinma Iweala (Beast of No Nation)
- Train the trainers - creative producers: A unique training session with a dual focus, firstly designed to uplevel Creative Producers and secondly designed to empower Creative Producers in the transfer of skills to the next generation so they in turn can do the same. These workshops will be offered in the Middle East, Turkey and South Africa.
- Novel adaptation: Masterclass in collaboration with the Writer’s Guild of South Africa in early 2023 - more details to be shared at a later date.
The USC SCA is one of the most prestigious schools in the world for the study of all facets of the cinematic arts. Notable alumni include: Hwang Dong-Hyuk creator of Squid Game; Jon M. Chu director Crazy, Rich Asians; Shonda Rhimes, creator and showrunner of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Bridgerton” Ryan Coogler, director of Black Panther; George Lucas, creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones; Kevin Feige, producer of Disney’s Marvel films and Ron Howard, director of Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Since 1929, the School has nurtured and inspired writers, directors, scholars, entrepreneurs, producers, animators, and interactive designers who have developed unparalleled mastery and prominence in cinema, television, and new media.
Through this partnership, Netflix will continue its deep commitment to investing significantly in Africa’s creative industries and talent long-term.
Netflix strives to be a good partner for Africa’s creative industry and we’ll continue to create new opportunities to support Netflix’s business needs by helping to build up the talent required to support our production pipeline in our key markets like South Africa and Nigeria, and grow the diversity and variety of stories.