Netflix to invest over N1Bn to uplift women in entertainment
The sum of N1.9 billion ($5million) has been released for the Creative Equity Fund which will cater for programmes that will nurture, develop and uplift women in entertainment.
The sum was released by Netflix in commemoration of the 2021 International Women’s Day in a statement by Netflix Head of Global TV Bela Bajaria.
Netflix recently earmarked a total of $20billion for the entertainment industry globally.
According to Bajaria, the $20 million fund will be spread annually over the next five years to set underrepresented communities up for success in the TV and film industries, as well as bespoke Netflix programs that will help identify, train, and provide job placement for up-and-coming talent globally, especially in Africa.
Bajaria said, “Today, thanks to the efforts of incredibly talented women like Mo Abudu, Genevieve Nnaji, Kemi Adetiba, and others, local stories are being told with female voices at the core of its production. The Nigerian film industry has experienced many ‘female firsts’: ‘First Netflix original film ever produced in Nigeria’, and ‘first time Nigeria had submitted a film to the Oscars’ and Netflix, has been that springboard to developing and showcasing Nigerian talent and stories to global audiences.
Our belief in the importance of telling the stories of Nigerian women from all backgrounds has seen us ink the first multi-title African deal with a production company led by Mo Abudu.”
Sharing her thoughts on the announcement, filmmaker, Kemi Adetiba expressed support for the initiative saying; “When I first started in the industry years ago, I was constantly asked about the obstacles I face as a woman in a “man’s industry.” First, I always took the time to correct this notion. The filmmaking industry is not a ‘man’s industry. It might be ‘male-dominated for now, but certainly not an industry for only men. This is also why I never answer even the revised question. I don’t want another potential ‘Kemi’ or a 12-year-old Chioma watching the interview on TV, only to see only my highlighted obstacles and limitations in the piece, simply because I am a woman. They would not be encouraged to explore positions of interest within the industry, thinking they don’t stand a chance. I’d rather speak on and highlight that they do. While it could be better, they have solid representation within the industry. I want them to see that I am HERE, I have a VOICE, and I’m doing my ‘darn thang’ without needing to engage in anything outside my principles, This is why this investment by Netflix couldn’t come at a better time.”