Tag Archives: EbonyLife Studios

EbonyLife wraps on Netflix’s Blood Sisters

Blood Sisters in production

Nigerian production company EbonyLife Studios has concluded production on thriller movie Blood Sisters, which will debut soon on global streaming platform Netflix.

EbonyLife chief executive Mo Abudu made the announcement on Instagram, saying: “Excited to share the official press release issued by Netflix on Blood Sisters. As the first and only African studio to sign a multiple-title deal with Netflix, our relationship with Netflix is based on a mutual vision: to bring authentic African stories, with superb production values, to both African and global audiences.

“Netflix’s commitment to growing the African film industry is unparalleled and we feel honoured to be part of this journey. We look forward to many more successful productions together. It’s been a busy year for us: Castle & Castle 2, Chief Daddy 2 and now Blood Sisters, yippee!!! And still more to come, trust me, we have a never-ending slate of films and series to roll out to keep you all glued.”

Blood Sisters follows the story of two friends, played by Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime, who try to cover up the death of one’s fiancé who was killed in self-defence by the other, leading to a catastrophic series of events.

As well as Dima-Okojie and Isime, the cast includes Ramsey Nouah, Uche Jombo, Kate Henshaw, Segun Arinze, Genoveva Umeh, Deyemi Okanlawon, Wale Ojo, Gabriel Afolayan, Toke Makinwa and Kehinde Bankole.

The release date of the movie is yet to be announced.

tagged in: , , , , ,

Castle & Castle heads to Netflix for S2

The second season of EbonyLife Studios’ legal drama Castle & Castle will debut exclusively on global streaming platform Netflix on September 15.

The first season of the show, a procedural drama set in a successful Lagos law firm run by a married couple, debuted in March 2019 on EbonyLife TV.

Mo Abudu

Mo Abudu, EbonyLife’s CEO, shared the news on Instagram, saying: “Three years after the first season aired, the highly anticipated second season of EbonyLife Studios’ Castle & Castle is coming exclusively to Netflix on 15th September 2021. We are tremendously excited about bringing audiences the sequel to Africa’s first legal drama series, Castle & Castle, along with our partners, Netflix.

“Fans were riveted by Season 1, and we responded to their desire to see more.

Castle & Castle Season 2 is a very sexy series and promises to deliver on high drama and some very unexpected twists and turns. No doubt you all want to know what season 2 is all about.”

Shot in Lagos, Nigeria, the new season is directed by Kayode Kasum and Walter Taylaur and stars both new and returning cast members, including Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Eku Edewor, Deyemi Okanlawon, Etim Effiong, Dorcas Shola Fapson, Kenneth Okolie, Bimbo Ademoye, Bisola Aiyeola, Mimi Chaka and media personality Denola Grey.

tagged in: , , , ,

EbonyLife, Will Packer tell Hushpuppi story

Nigeria’s EbonyLife Studios and US-based Will Packer Productions have won the rights to a Bloomberg article about a Nigerian internet scammer and are developing it into a movie with Universal Pictures.

Mo Abudu

Evan Ratliff’s article The Fall of the Billionaire Gucci Master is an exposé of Nigerian Instagram influencer Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, aka Ray Hushpuppi. He is alleged to have perfected a simple internet scam that allowed him to launder millions of dollars, which eventually led to a criminal case being filed against him in a California federal court.

EbonyLife Studios CEO Mo Abudu announced the news on Instagram, revealing that the project has been set up at Hollywood-based Universal Pictures.

“When the Hushpuppi story made headlines last year, I pitched the story idea to Will Packer and [production partner] James Lopez. They bought the idea and together we won the rights to the Bloomberg article,” she said.

“The rights were won after a highly contested derby by several producers. It’s a dream come true to be working with Will Packer Productions and Universal Pictures on this project.”

The film has been described as a hybrid of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 pseudo-biographical crime film Catch Me If You Can and Bryan Singer’s 1995 neo-noir mystery thriller film The Usual Suspects.

Outlining why she believe stories like this need to be told, Abudu said: “Firstly, there are many lessons to be learnt from good and bad stories. Secondly, if we do not tell this story, someone else will, and to ensure that this story is told with authenticity, a Nigerian storyteller with our pedigree needs to be involved.

“Too often, these types of characters are one-dimensional and feed into the worst stereotypes.

 Hushpuppi’s story is based on a real person whose story is already partly known to the world, but the film gives us a real chance to tell a cautionary tale about a character formed by his environment and life choices.”

“The films of Martin Scorsese are a great example of a filmmaker telling richly layered stories of criminal characters from his heritage that we’ve all grown to love, without ever creating the impression that all Italian Americans are members of the mafia. Needless to say, not all Nigerians are 419 scam artists.”

tagged in: , , , , ,

Westbrook partners EbonyLife on film, TV

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios has partnered with Nigerian production company EbonyLife Studios to work on TV and film projects connected to the African continent.

Mo Abudu

The projects include Dada Safaris, an ‘Afropolitan’ comedy-drama series that follows four best friends who find themselves at personal and career dead-ends.

This is joined by TV series The Gods, which focuses on a pair of married Cambridge professors who set out to find answers to a surge of natural disasters but find seven long-forgotten African gods instead.

The first movie coproduced by the two studios will be Are We Getting Married?, a comedy set in the US about the daughter of a wealthy Nigerian family who falls in love with a nerdy but charming African American from Atlanta.

Eli Shibley, Westbrook Studios’ senior VP and head of international TV and film, said: “As we set out to focus our initial slate of international content for the studio business across a diversified set of key territories and regions, the creative energy and world-class artistry coming out of Africa is absolutely undeniable.”

Regarding the link-up with EbonyLife founder and chief exec Mo Abudu, he added: “We are thrilled to be working with a best-in-class producer like Mo and her EbonyLife team to tell stories that uniquely celebrate African characters and perspectives and resonate with fans of great film and television around the world.”

Abudu said: “We all dream of lofty goals becoming a reality, then one day those dreams come true. I’m proud to announce that our vision of EbonyLife Studios being in partnership with Will and Jada’s Westbrook Studios is now real.

“Westbrooks’ goal is to create and curate powerful and inclusive content. This is completely in line with our vision at EbonyLife – to tell global African stories from our perspective. Together, we will be developing a slate of projects that reflect our shared goals. We are beyond excited.”

Abudu said the two companies will focus on “creating the largest continent-wide ecosystem within which we harness and grow our creative economy, creating countless opportunities for all that work within our sector, in front of and behind the screen, never forgetting that our primary aim must be to tell stories that are world-class, exciting, relevant and entertaining.”

Westbrook’s recent expansion includes an international pact with Israel’s Euphoria producer Tedy Productions, while EbonyLife has previously struck deals with studios including Netflix and Sony Pictures TV.

tagged in: , , , , ,