Egypt: Netflix has partnered with Sard, a dedicated hub for scriptwriters in the Arab world, to train women in creative writing and develop their storytelling as well as creative expression skills through the ‘Because She Created’ writing program. The program 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 ‘Because She Created’ writing program 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 award-winning 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 program, 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 program that we feel will one day become scriptwriters of the future. The Arab world, including Egypt, is ripe with talent. What they need is 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 organizations like Netflix that help steer talent in the right direction."
The five-day program will be hosted in Cairo and will include storytelling classes, creative expression sessions as well as discussion and talks by entertainment professionals, designed to teach the women how to collaborate & help them explore their curiosity. The program will also feature daily artistic activities that include trips to the theater and the cinema
Ahmed Sharkawi, Director, Arabic Series, Netflix said: “At Netflix, we recognize that being part of the creative communities comes with responsibilities and that include 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.
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