Tag Archives: Prime Video

Africa braces for The Swarm

The Swarm is based Frank Schätzing’s novel

Amazon’s streaming service Prime Video has picked up ecological thriller The Swarm for subscribers in sub-Saharan territories.

The 8×60’ series is based on Frank Schätzing’s bestselling book and chronicles the struggle of humankind against an unknown enemy that lives in the depths of the sea.

The Swarm is produced by Schwarm TV Productions, a joint venture between Intaglio Films and ndF IP, for ZDF, France Télévisions, Rai Fiction, Viaplay Group, Hulu Japan, ORF and SRF, in coproduction with Bravado Fiction and Beside Production, in co-operation with Athos KG.

Germany’s ZDF Studios and Beta Film are handling worldwide sales. The deal with Amazon was brokered by Yuliya Fischer, director of drama at ZDF Studios.

The series, directed by Barbara Eder (Barbarians), Luke Watson (Ripper Street) and Philipp Stölzl (The Physician), stars Alexander Karim (Dying of the Light), Cécile de France (The New Pope), Leonie Benesch (The Crown), Barbara Sukowa (Hannah Arendt) and Takuya Kimura (I Come With the Rain).

“The Swarm is one of the hottest titles in our scripted catalogue. I’m delighted that Prime Video will be introducing its African subscribers to this ecological thriller that is like no other,” said Fischer.

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Trevor Noah to host LOL South Africa

South African comedian Trevor Noah is to host Amazon Prime Video’s first South African original, LOL: Last One Laughing.

Trevor Noah

The South African version of the format will debut next year and will feature famous South African comedians taking each other on to see who can keep a straight face and who can make their opponents laugh. The winner will have ZAR1m (US$56,000) donated to their charity of choice.

The 6×30’ series is being produced by BBC Studios-backed production company Rapid Blue and Noah’s LA-based Day Zero Productions.

The show is based on a Japanese format that Prime Video has produced locally in many markets worldwide, including Nigeria, Germany, Spain, Canada, Mexico, the Nordics, Australia and France.

“I’m excited to be back home to host Prime Video’s first South African original, LOL: Last One Laughing, and to have a chance to connect with my home audience. I am equally delighted for the opportunity to be working alongside my fellow home-grown comedy stars on a show that not only entertains but gives back to the South African production and charity communities,” said Noah.

Noah was the host of The Daily Show, an American late-night talkshow and satirical news programme on Comedy Central, from 2015 to 2022. He has won various awards, including a Primetime Emmy from 11 nominations.

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Gangs of Lagos to debut next month

Gangs of Lagos is set in Isale Eko

Nigerian crime drama Gangs of Lagos is set to debut on Amazon’s Prime Video next month.

Directed by Jade Osiberu, the drama will premiere on April 7. It is set in Isale Eko, Lagos, and follows a group of friends who have to navigate their own destiny growing up on the bustling streets and neighbourhoods of Nigeria’s largest city.

The cast includes Tobi Bakre, Chioma Akpotha, Bimbo Ademoye, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Eniola Badmus and Iyabo Ojo. It is produced by Osiberu and Kemi Lala Akindoju and coproduced by Akin Omotoso.

Gangs of Lagos builds on Prime Video’s commitment to invest in Nigeria and the Nollywood film industry, the company said, adding to the collection of Nollywood movies and series already available to stream. These include Brotherhood, King of Thieves, Hey You! and Palava!, as well as Nigerian original series LOL: Last One Laughing Naija, coming later this year.

Bakre said: “I am more than happy you finally get to see the magic we made. This project means so so much to me personally and my career as an actor. I personally believe it’s the best thing you will see on screen this year globally. This is Nigeria to the world. More than happy to be a part of it.”

Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, head of Nigerian originals at Prime Video, added: “Gangs of Lagos is a unique story about family and friendship, against the action-packed backdrop and striking set pieces of the streets of Lagos.

“As the first Nigerian original to launch on Prime Video, Gangs of Lagos sets the tone and standard, with the authentically Nigerian storyline in a genre that is so popular around the globe, making it a movie for our audiences at home and abroad.”

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Amazon lines up Nigerian originals

Prime Video Nigerian original Gangs of Lagos

Global streamer Amazon Prime Video has launched a local version of its service in Nigeria, with two Nigerian originals forming part of the content line-up.

The Nigerian productions are crime drama Gangs of Lagos and comedy format LOL: Last One Laughing Naija.

Gangs of Lagos centres on a group of friends growing up on the streets of the Nigerian city. Produced by Jade Osiberu and Kemi Lala Akindoju and coproduced by Akin Omotoso, it stars actors including Tobi Bakre and Adesua Etomi-Wellington.

LOL: Last One Laughing Naija is a local adaptation of Japanese format LOL. In the show, 10 famous comedians attempt to make each other laugh. The one who refrains from laughing for the longest time, while forcing other contestants to laugh first, is the winner. LOL will be hosted by Nigerian comedian Basketmouth.

Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, head of Nigerian originals at Prime Video, said the originals would complement the streamer’s growing catalogue of Nollywood and African series and movies.

“The news signals our continued commitment to the Nigerian TV and film industry, bringing the very best of authentic, homegrown stories to not only our customers in Nigeria but also Prime Video members around the world,” she added.

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Amazon, Anthill strike licensing deal

Global streaming service Amazon Prime Video has signed a licensing deal with Nigerian film production and animation company Anthill Studios.

Niyi Akinmolayan

The deal means that Amazon’s streaming platform will be home to all of Ikeja-based Anthill Studios’ cinema releases from this month onwards following their theatrical run.

Niyi Akinmolayan, founder of Anthill Studios, said on Instagram: “With this licensing deal, we can explore more story ideas, including genres new to Nollywood like sci-fi and animation, for a global audience.

“This also means we get to share a lot of great things with you, as these films are fully owned by Anthill Studios and we want to bless the industry with knowledge.”

Ayanna Lonian, Amazon Prime Video’s director of content acquisition, added: “We want to showcase the very best of Nollywood and authentic African stories.”

Victoria Akujobi, head of production at Anthill Studios, said: “This deal is very empowering to us as a studio and to the entire industry. The world will get to see the best stories from the continent.”

Anthill Studios is behind cinema hits including Prophetess, Elevator Baby, Day of Destiny, Malika and Frogeck. Its deal with Amazon comes soon after the streamer inked a similar pact with Lagos film producer Inkblot Studios, the company behind Moms at War 2 and The Wedding Party.

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