Tag Archives: Chioma Ude

Story Lab backs LaVida Studios with $50m

Lagos-based production company LaVida Studios has received US$50m investment from Dentsu-owned US prodco The Story Lab.

Chioma Ude

The three-year partnership will see the production of a 10-project slate including scripted and unscripted film and TV projects that focus on bringing African stories to the global stage.

The funding is being accessed from PAC Capital’s PanAfrican CCI Fund 1, a US$100m fund dedicated to financing film production and distribution in Africa.

The partnership was initiated by Geneva Wasserman, executive VP and head of scripted content at The Story Lab and will see all Africa-based production serviced exclusively by LaVida Studios.

In addition, LaVida and Dentsu will collaborate with the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) to create a joint initiative aimed at recruiting and supporting top African writing talent in creating original stories that appeal to a global audience.

Chioma Ude, founder of AFRIFF and managing partner in LaVida Studios, said: “We are thrilled to be working together with Dentsu and The Story Lab team in the US to bring authentic and compelling African stories to the world.”

“The combination of LaVida’s partnerships with top Nigerian creators and Dentsu’s global network and presence will serve as a bridge between these top content creators and the global market through this collaboration. We are honoured to bring these stories to the world,” added Wasserman.

Mike Ferry, head of The Story Lab US, said: “It is partnerships like this one which really help move the dial when it comes to discovering and elevating emerging talent. I’m so pleased we can be part of amplifying the diverse voices of Africa alongside our friends at LaVida and AFRIFF.”

LaVida Studios and Ude are represented by Creative Artists Agency and The Story Lab US is represented by United Talent Agency.

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Realness Institute film residency opens

African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute has created an opportunity for six filmmakers to develop their story ideas and work-in-progress scripts in South Africa, Nigeria and Switzerland.

Mehret Mandefro

The three-month residency will be held from August 3 to November 13 and is open to any African on the continent or living in the diaspora. Online submissions are open from now until March 7. To apply, click here.

Participants will be accompanied by Elias Ribeiro, executive director of the Realness Institute, to attend the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland as well as a creative incubation programme, dubbed BaseCamp, while one of the selected six will attend the festival’s industry development programme, called The Academy.

They will also spend six weeks at the tranquil retreat Farmhouse 58 in South Africa, where they will be mentored by story consultants Selina Ukwuoma and Mmabatho Kau, as well as Cait Pansegrouw, creative producer at South African prodco Urucu Media.

In addition, they will be accompanied by Mehret Mandefro, Realness Institute’s director of development and partnerships, to the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Lagos from November 7 to 13. There they will have the chance to attend the festival to take meetings and present their project to an audience of potential stakeholders.

Stefano Knuchel, head of Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy and project manager for BaseCamp, said: “After five years of an inspiring and fruitful collaboration between Realness and the Locarno Film Festival, by every year selecting one Realness talent for our prestigious Filmmakers Academy, we’re happy to deepen our exchanges by welcoming all the Realness participants in our new creative initiative called BaseCamp.

Stefano Knuchel

“The BaseCamp is a unique space in the context of film festivals, where 200 young talents from very different creative fields and from all over the world gather in a huge ex-military headquarters during the Locarno Film Festival to enjoy privileged access to the content of the festival and also to create a utopian space, where they give shape to different forms of creations. An innovative concept that allows the experimentation of new languages and new hybrid forms of creation.”

“Africa has been at the forefront of storytelling from the very beginning. We are passionate about telling our authentic stories. It is important to script our stories well for the global audience, hence the partnership with the Realness Institute,” added Chioma Ude, founder and executive director of AFRIFF.

The most promising projects will be awarded participation in the prestigious La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde in Cannes, receive an EAVE Producers’ Workshop partial scholarship, an invitation to TorinoFilmLab Meetings Event and Locarno Filmmakers Academy.

“We are thankful to our old partners and excited to welcome our new ones. Nigeria is an exciting market we have long been interested in entering, so it’s wonderful that our writers will get a chance to showcase their projects at AFRIFF,” said Mehret Mandefro, director of development and partnerships for the Realness Institute.

The residency programme is presented in partnership with Urucu Media, Nirox Foundation, Farmhouse 58, AFRIFF, the French Institute of South Africa, Institute Français’ La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde, TorinoFilmLab, Locarno Filmmakers’ Academy, Cocoon, CNC, EAVE, IFFR Pro, IEFTA, Berlinale Talents and Area51.

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Summit explores future of VoD

Members of the Understanding Digital Content Monetisation panel

Nigerian film makers and TV producers are constantly battling with the high rate of piracy and dubbing of online materials by viewers, Nigeria International Television (NITV) Summit delegates heard this week.

In the closing session at the NITV Summit on Wednesday, before the vote of thanks by conference founder Ijeoma Onah and cocktails, panellists tackled the topic Understanding Digital Content Monetisation & the Future of VoD in Nigeria.

Media professionals discussed the challenges they encounter with their online content as well as the various formats available to them as regards VoD.

This session was moderated by Izu Osuigwe, CEO of Forest TV, while the panellists included Chioma Ude, chairman of Envivo; Denis Pagnac, founder and CEO of Summview; movie actor Emeka Ossai; and movie producer Madu Chikwendu.

One of the issues addressed by the panel was the challenges producers face when putting their content online. Some of these include the inability to have your own channel as a producer, which can ultimately lead to failure.

Another threat to producers, according to the panel, is not creating unique content and failing to partner with telecom operators, since producers often fail if they try to monetise content online on their own.

One of the proven ways that producers can get revenue from online content is by partnering with corporations to advertise their products within that content.

The panel agreed that by targeting advertisers’ needs, producers will be able to generate revenue. “Who you are and who you know matters a lot,” said Ude, who is also the founder of the Africa International Film Festival.

Marketing is also key if you want your content to be known by the masses. Not only will you garner publicity and viewers but it will also promote you as a producer.

Delegates also heard how Envivo offers content providers the opportunity to showcase their videos, which are subsequently translated into different video formats.

The panel concluded that if producers are sensitive enough to know the direction the television industry and the world is headed, they will surely not be left behind.

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