By Yinka Akanbi
Idris Elba’s Green Door Pictures and Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Media have partnered to create a film and TV development slate that will focus on authentic, Afro-centric stories that resonate with audiences around the world.
The film executives also disclosed that new education and mentoring initiatives will launch through the partnership, with the aim of nurturing a more inclusive and diverse media landscape, where stories from Africa and its Diaspora are given the same level of attention and respect as other cultures and communities.
A joint statement issued by both production companies last week further stated that the two companies are working on a joint development slate of stories originating out of Africa or set in the diaspora as feature films and TV series for the global market.
As part of the deal, EbonyLife will use its creative academy in Lagos, Nigeria, to empower African talent and the partnership will support graduates from the programme.
Since 2018, EbonyLife Media has secured several coproduction deals with international studios, including Sony Pictures Television, Netflix, Will and Jada Smith’s Westbrook Studios, BBC Studios, Starz and Lionsgate.
The statement quoted EbonyLife Media founder Abudu as saying: “We believe that Africa has the talent and the stories to captivate the world. It’s our mission to offer the best in industry education, mentorship and production opportunities, so that our graduates can become valuable contributors to the global media landscape. We plan to hit the ground running and explore the very best that African and black stories have to offer global audiences.”
Elba’s Green Door Pictures’ credits include Hijack for Apple TV+, Sky One comedy In the Long Run, Netflix comedy series Turn Up Charlie and Idris Elba’s Fight School, a four-part documentary series for the BBC.
Commenting on the partnership, Elba said: “I have always been passionate about using my platform to make a positive impact. By partnering with Mo, we aim to offer free, world-class industry education to the next generation of storytellers and bring their authentic voices to the forefront. This partnership is a step towards creating a more inclusive and diverse media landscape, one that represents the voices and experiences of Africa and its diaspora around the world.”