Participants will have the opportunity to participate in storytelling classes, creative expression sessions, and panel discussions.
In partnership with Sard, a dedicated hub for scriptwriters in the Arab world, Netflix will train women in creative writing and develop their storytelling and creative expression skills through the writing programme, Because She Created.
The programme is designed to incubate 20 women from outside of Cairo and expose untapped talent to the creative tools and industry insight needed to advance their creative and professional development.
The writing programme is part of the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity which aims to create new opportunities for underrepresented communities within the entertainment industry through training and upskilling initiatives.
Sard was founded by writer Mariam Naoum in 2016 as a safe space for aspiring screenwriters to improve their writing skills and unleash their creative potential.
Speaking about the programme, Mariam Naoum, CEO & Founder of Sard said: “Sard believes that expressing oneself through writing is the first step to self-discovery, and we’re proud to have discovered talent through this programme that we feel will one day become scriptwriters of the future. The Arab world, including Egypt, is ripe with talent. What they need is a 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 organisations like Netflix that help steer talent in the right direction.”
The five-day programme will be hosted in Cairo and will include storytelling classes, creative expression sessions as well as discussions and talks by entertainment professionals, designed to teach the women how to collaborate and help them explore their curiosity. The programme will also feature daily artistic activities that include trips to the theatre and the cinema.
Ahmed Sharkawi, Director of Arabic Series at Netflix, added: “At Netflix, we recognise 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.”
Netflix has been working with industry partners to build the talent pipeline in the region as it works with more Arab storytellers to tell stories that can be loved globally. Netflix has also been committed to amplifying women’s stories and supporting Arab women filmmakers through its Because She Created’initiatives. Last year, Netflix hosted its first session with Arab women filmmakers to discuss the evolving role of women in the film industry. This was followed by a fireside chat with renowned actress Hend Sabry at the Cairo International Film Festival.
Last month, Netflix launched the Because She Created collection showcasing 21 films from Arab female filmmakers to highlight the importance of equitable representation in storytelling.