ALA alumnus Mohamed Echkouna ’11 has been named one of the six winners of the ‘African Folktales, Reimagined’ short film competition, which was created by Netflix in association with UNESCO. The filmmaker from Mauritania won for his Arabic/French short film The Enmity Djinn, and will now $25,000 plus a further $75,0000 production budget to create short film content for Netflix in partnership with local film production companies and under the guidance of Netflix-appointed supervising producer and industry mentors from across the continent.
The projects made by the winning filmmakers will now be developed, with the premiere of ‘An Anthology of African Folktales’ due on Netflix later this year. They will be mentored by acclaimed African filmmakers which include Femi Odugbemi, Jenna Bass, Leila Djansi, Pape Boye, Bongiwe Selane and Tosh Gitonga.
The competition was launched by Netflix and UNESCO in October 2021, with the goal of promoting diverse local stories and bringing them to the world. The competition was also a step towards creative equity – as part of the Netflix Creative Equity Fund, which aims at enabling new voices from underrepresented communities within entertainment to bring their perspectives to a global audience, according to UNESCO.
After ALA, Mohamed graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Visual Effects and Technical Direction, and now works for the Oscar and BAFTA awarded visual effects studio Framestore as a VFX technical director. He has won multiple awards for his short film Trails of Hope.