The U.S. streaming giant has partnered with Sard, a dedicated hub for screenwriters in the Arab world on a writing program called Because She Created.
Its stated goal is training twenty women from outside Cairo and to “expose untapped talent to the creative tools and industry insight needed to advance their creative and professional development,” Netflix said in a statement.
The program is financed by the Netflix Fund for Creative Equity.
Sard was founded by award-winning writer Mariam Naoum in 2016 as a space for aspiring screenwriters to improve their writing skills and unleash their creative potential.
Naoum is a prominent Egyptian screenwriter and social activist whose credits include Kamla Abou Zekry’s Cairo-set ensemble film “One/Zero”; and the TV series “A Girl named Zat,” “Heat Wave” and “The Women’s Prison,” a scathing exploration of the Egyptian prison system, among other popular and groundbreaking shows.
“The Arab world, including Egypt, is ripe with talent. What they need is concerted effort and professional support to nurture their growth,” Naoum said in a statement.
“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,” she added.
The five-day program will be hosted in Cairo. It will include storytelling classes, creative expression sessions and talks by entertainment professionals.
Ahmed Sharkawi, Director, Arabic Series, Netflix said: “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.”
Netflix’s Egyptian original series include “Finding Ola” which toplines Cairo-based Tunisian star Hend Sabry (pictured, above) as a happy divorcee who embarks on a journey of self-discovery after her divorce.
The streamer in July dropped a “Because She Created” film collection featuring works by Arab female filmmakers that comprised the doc “Let’s Talk” by Egypt’s Marianne Khoury about the life of her uncle, late great Egyptian director Youssef Chahine; Nariss Nejjar’s “Stateless” which looks at North African history from a female perspective; and Leyla Bouzid’s “A Tale of Love and Desire,” the story of a young Arab man in Paris experiencing his first love and first sexual experience, narrated from a female perspective.