BY ROTIMI AKINRULI
LaVida Studios, a Nigerian production company, has secured a $50 million production investment as well as a three-year collaboration deal with Dentsu International-owned The Story Lab.
The deal with The Story Lab U.S. is for 10 films and television properties focused on bringing African stories to the global stage using scripted and unscripted film and TV projects and the alliance will see production serviced exclusively by LaVida Studios for all Africa-based production out of The Story Lab.
“We are thrilled to be working together with Dentsu and its The Story Lab team in the U.S. to bring authentic and compelling African stories to the world,” Chioma Ude, managing partner in LaVida Studios and founder, African International Film Festival (AFRIFF), said.
Based in Lagos, Nigeria’s bustling commercial city and the epicentre of its flourishing film industry, LaVida Studios is behind “Seven” on Netflix, as well as “Third Party”, “Stuck” and “Eye-Witness” for AfricaMagic/Showmax.
LaVida has received backing from PAC Capital, with an initial financing commitment of $50m for production of its film and television projects, including this new collaboration with The Story Lab US. The funding is being accessed from PAC Capital’s PanAfrican CCI Fund 1, a $100 million fund dedicated to financing film production and distribution in Africa.
Plans are also underway for LaVida and Dentsu to team with AFRIFF to create a joint initiative, which would recruit and support top African writing talent in creating original stories that appeal to a global audience.
The partnership is partly thanks to Geneva Wasserman, executive VP and head of scripted content, The Story Lab U.S, who had served on the board of the AFRIFF network.
“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 honored to bring these stories to the world,” Wasserman said.
LaVida Studios and Chioma Ude are represented by CAA and The Story Lab U.S. is represented by UTA.