AFRICAN FOLKTALES REIMAGINED on Netflix is a new lore anthology series. Each episode features a story and production from an African country. Very much like the HBO Asia series Folklore. Read our African Folktales Reimagined anthology series review here!
AFRICAN FOLKTALES REIMAGINED is a new Netflix series from six different African countries. It’s a lore anthology series made in the same way the HBO Asia series Folklore was. That’s to say each episode features a new story directed by a new director and in its own style.
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There are 6 episodes, all under 30 minutes, and you’ll probably find your own favorite, so just start watching. Most are obviously in a foreign language. However, in some episodes, a lot of English is also spoken.
Continue reading our African Folktales Reimagined series review below. All six episodes are on Netflix from March 29, 2023.
Netflix in partnership with UNESCO
This new anthology of six short films covers several genres. However, as most probably know from hearing fairytales as kids, the stories do tend to have a dark side. Something evil or a villain that needs to be defeated in order for good to win. The same is the case with these African folktales. After all, these are the original fairytales!
The anthology series was made as Netflix’s partnership with UNESCO to support the next generation of storytellers. Each filmmaker was given resources to make their short film. This included a budget of $90,000 and creative guidance which came from established filmmakers. These served as mentors to help the newcomers bring their stories to life.
In 2021, there was a call for submissions to this project which resulted in over 2,000 applications from 13 countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region. The six elected storytellers for African Folktales Reimagined come from Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritania, Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The six short films in African Folktales Reimagined
All six stories in this anthology have a distinct story and style. Just like in the Asian Folklore from 2019. In that series, I definitely enjoyed some more than others, and the same goes for this one. Also, you might be surprised that so many languages are spoken.
There are the directors, countries, and titles for each of the six episodes:
- Loukman Ali from Uganda with Katera of the Punishment Island is episode 1 (runtime 27 minutes).
- Korede Azeez from Nigeria with Halima’s Choice is episode 2 (runtime 24 minutes).
- Voline Ogutu from Kenya with Anyango and the Ogre is episode 3 (runtime 18 minutes).
- Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania with Enmity Djinn is episode 4 (runtime 19 minutes).
- Walt Mzengi Corey from Tanzania with Katope is episode 5 (runtime 13 minutes).
- Gcobisa Yako from South Africa with MaMlambo is episode 6 (runtime 20 minutes).
As you can see from the above, none of the episodes are longer than half an hour. In fact, most are closer to the 20-minute mark. In other words, perfect bite-sized entertainment that offers a look into a world you might not otherwise spend much time looking at.
Watch African Folktales Reimagined on Netflix now!
I don’t want to spend too much time commenting on each episode as you should watch them all. However, I do want to mention that I really enjoyed the opening episode from Uganda.
Also, Mohamed Echkouna, who directs the episode from Mauritania, has worked in visual effects on series such as See from Apple TV+ and Jupiter’s Legacy on Netflix. And it should be said that while this episode doesn’t use too many visual effects, those that are there, are really gorgeous. The story itself wasn’t the best for me – I’ve simply enjoyed other Djinn stories more.
If you tend to enjoy these anthologies that are often true genre-hybrids, then do yourself a favor and check out the stories in African Folktales Reimagined as well. There are some gems among them, and they all have something intriguing.
African Folktales Reimagined premieres on Netflix on March 29, 2023.
Six beloved African folktales are boldly reimagined in this multilingual anthology series exploring themes of grief, love and mysticism.