24th June, 2020
The world’s leading streaming entertainment service provider, Netflix, has expressed commitment to partner with talented Nigerian practitioners in the creative industry to showcase their stories on the global stage.
Ben Amadasun, Netflix’s Director of Content Acquisition and Co-Productions in Africa expressed this commitment during a webinar monitored from Abuja on Wednesday.
Amadasun said that the Nigerian movie industry, (Nollywood) has been at the epicenter of the African entertainment industry, creating stars and producing content that has resonated with fans across the continent.
`This year, Netflix joins hands with some of Nigeria’s most talented creatives to bring their unique stories to the world, and with this newfound access to the global stage, their powerful stories will now enjoy a worldwide audience.
“Great stories come from anywhere in the world and Africa is full of incredible stories that will finally get to share with the world.
“We have a wealth of fables that have been passed down from generations, and Netflix has a great opportunity to bring those stories to the forefront, which will resonate all over the world,’’ he explained.
According to Nollywood Actress and Director, Genevieve Nnaji, the Nigerian creative industry needs strong platforms to support the numerous talents it produces regularly.
“We have amazing talents but we have not had adequate platforms to showcase them across the board.
“The partnership with Netflix is a good thing, especially for upcoming artists who want a chance. We have so many more stories to tell” she said.
Some of the productions on the pipeline is the Nigerian Netflix Original, Untitled Akin Omotoso directed by accomplished filmmaker Akin Omotoso.
It stars Kate Henshaw, Ade Layoe, Richard Mofe Damijo, and Joke Silva amongst others.
This six-part series is set in contemporary Nigeria and shot in Lagos.
According to Akin Omotoso, the Netflix partnership is a good opportunity to take Nigerian stories to the whole world.
“It is my firm belief that a great story will always find a receptive audience, regardless of where it is from, or how different the world is from their own reality.
“ Ultimately, people want great entertainment, compelling storylines and powerful acting. Netflix represents an incredible opportunity to get Nigerian stories to 190 countries of the world.
“ It is an indescribable moment for the Nigerian production industry, and we are thrilled to share our stories with the world,” he said.
Ms Mo Abudu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EbonyLife TV, said that the investment by Netflix would help take the Nigerian and African story to a global audience.
“For so long I have been fortunate enough to experience how African content can travel and this investment by Netflix is going to help grow the African creative industry and get our stories out there.
“We can only continue to rise and do better with how we tell our stories to those who are receiving it.
“This step that Netflix is taking is going to help grow the African industry and get our stories out there,’’ she said.
Celebrated filmmaker and actor Kunle Afolayan encouraged Nigerian filmmakers to key into the Netflix initiatives to help promote their craft.
“The stories that come from Nollywood are stories of the Nigerian people. These stories are uniquely African and they are told by creatives who live, breathe and are born from African culture.
“I believe so much in my culture and I will do everything possible to use audiovisual to project, preach, educate and also preserve the same culture. Aside from entertainment, you can educate, and you can inform,’’ he said.
Kenyan-born, Dorothy Ghettuba who leads African Originals for Netflix explained that Netflix was committed to supporting the Nigerian creative industry to project original stories from the country to the world.
She said, “our continent has a wealth of diversity, multiplicity, and beauty in stories that have yet to be told.
“ We want to be top of mind for creators in Nigeria, especially when it comes to stories they have not had a chance to tell yet.”
NAN reports that Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife TV has several licensed titles, like The Wedding Party, Castle & Castle and Fifty on the Netflix service.
It recently signed a groundbreaking partnership with Netflix to create multiple titles including the on-screen adaptations of literary works by two critically-acclaimed Nigerian authors:
A series based on contemporary author, Lola Shoneyin’s best-selling debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.
There is also a film adaptation of Death And The King’s Horseman, a play by 1986 Nobel Prize laureate in Literature, author, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with over 183 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages.
Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.