The new partnership, they say, will provide opportunities through a two-fold approach.
Hollywood actor Idris Elba and Nigerian media mogul Mo Abudu on Thursday announced a partnership aimed at empowering and uplifting talent from Africa and the diaspora.
The duo, in a statement, through their respective production companies, Green Door Pictures and EbonyLife Media, said the partnership aims to build capacity and foster authentic representation in global film and TV projects set for production.
The new partnership, they added, will provide opportunities through a two-fold approach: through capacity building and large-scale global productions.
The hope is that new education and mentoring initiatives launched through the partnership will help foster both the lost generation and a new generation of creative professionals, showcasing their skills and telling their stories to the world.
Through their collaboration, Elba and Abudu aim to nurture a more inclusive and diverse media landscape where stories in the diaspora are given the same attention and respect as other cultures and communities.
They both call on industry leaders globally, the wider public sector, governments, and multilateral agencies, to help them grow talent globally and build capacity around Africa.
They aim to offer activities to support and empower African talent. Through EbonyLife’s ebonylifecreativeacedemy.com academy in Lagos, Nigeria (a model replicated across the continent), the partnership will help graduates from the programme.
They also hope to create a new development slate of stories from Africa or set in the Diaspora as feature films and TV series for the global market. The development slate will focus on bringing authentic, Afro-centric stories that resonate with worldwide audiences. These co-productions between Green Door Pictures and EbonyLife Media will provide rs and streamers and theatrical distribution globally.
Idris 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.”
Ms Abudu, EbonyLife Media Founder, said: “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.”
Idris is an award-winning actor, producer, director, and musician continually securing his place as one of the most versatile performers in Hollywood. In 2016, he became the first male actor to receive dual SAG awards in one evening – Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role and Outstanding Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries.
Idris’ career skyrocketed on the small screen in some of the U.K.’s top-rated shows. Soon after, Elba landed the role of Stringer Bell in HBO’s critically acclaimed series THE WIRE, which garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination. In 2010, Elba landed the title role on the BBC mini-series LUTHER, earning him a Golden Globe Award, SAG Award, and four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. The series returned in 2019 for its fifth season.
Behind the camera, Idris made his feature film directorial debut at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with YARDIE. In 2018, Elba was named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. In July of the same year, Idris launched his record label, 7Wallace Music.
Green Door Pictures was founded by him to develop new and established talent to champion inclusion, representation, and diverse storytelling in the film and TV industry.
Movie credits include ‘Concrete Cowboy’ in collaboration with Neighborhood Film Co., Tucker Tooley Entertainment and Lee Daniels Entertainment for Netflix and ‘A Diva’s Christmas Carol’ for VH1 starring Ashanti, Vivica A. Fox, Robin Givens, Eva Marcille and Mel B.
Recent non-scripted television shows include Idris Elba’s Fight School’, a four-part documentary series co-produced with Workerbee for the BBC.
Mo Abudu made her mark in the corporate world as a human resources executive before venturing into media with her ground-breaking pan-African talk show, Moments with Mo.
She went on to create EbonyLife TV, an entertainment channel known for high-quality drama series, talk and movies, which was available in 54 African and Caribbean countries. Moving into film production, her EbonyLife Films would create Nigeria’s highest-grossing films, The Wedding Party and The Wedding Party 2, and a string of successful titles that excited Nollywood fans.
Mo is a member of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences, popularly known as ‘THE OSCARS’ in the PRODUCER membership category. In September 2022, she accepted an appointment from Harvard Business School as an Executive Fellow.
In 2022 she was named one of the Top 20 Most Powerful Women in Global Entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter.
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