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Lionsgate picks up first Nollywood movie

A Soldier’s Story II: Return From the Dead

American film studio Lionsgate has acquired the rights to distribute its first Nollywood film, A Soldier’s Story II: Return From the Dead, in North America.

The 2020 blockbuster action movie was produced by Martin Gbados of Lagos- and Maryland-based prodco Mekdoss Productions and directed by Frankie Ogar of Frankie Ogar Films, also based in Lagos. The film is a sequel to the award-winning movie A Soldier’s Story, which premiered in 2018.

Martin Gbados

A Soldier’s Story II is a tale of love, hope and survival in the face of corruption and a country ravaged by war, according to the producers. The film will be distributed in North America via Lionsgate-backed Strawberry Fields Entertainment.

Strawberry Fields CEO Jamie Webber said the move marked the start of his company working more with Nollywood producers, and he has reportedly also agreed a US$5m budget for the next instalment in the Soldier’s Story franchise.

Gbados announced the Lionsgate deal on Instagram, saying: “A Soldier’s Story 2 gets USA and Canada distribution by Lionsgate across all major streaming platforms. First Nollywood movie distributed by Lionsgate.”

The film was shot in Nigeria and stars Nigerian actors including Daniel K Daniel, Somekele Idalamah, Linda Ejiofor and Tope Tedela.

Gbados added that the film can be watched on streaming services as part of the deal, including Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu, Amazon Video, Microsoft Store, Comcast Xfinity, FandangoNOW, YouTube, Redbox, DirecTV, Xbox, Redbox and Flixfling.

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