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dentsu’s The Story Lab US Enters Exclusive Collaboration with Lagos-Based LaVida Studios

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Robust alliance is looking at an initial slate of 10 co-produced projects, including both scripted and unscripted feature film and television projects

dentsu’s The Story Lab US Enters Exclusive Collaboration with Lagos-Based LaVida Studios

Chioma Ude, managing partner of LaVida Studios

LaVida Studios, the prominent Lagos-based production and film financing company, will exclusively collaborate with the LA-based dentsu international production studio; The Story Lab US. This landmark three-year collaboration includes a slate of ten films and television properties focused on bringing African stories to the global stage, setting the standards for African-based film and TV productions. Focusing on both scripted and unscripted feature film and television projects, the new alliance would see production serviced exclusively by LaVida Studios for all Africa-based production out of The Story Lab US.

LaVida Studios, which is based in the burgeoning Nigerian production powerhouse of Lagos (aka Nollywood), is backed by PAC Capital Limited, with an initial financing commitment of US $50M for production of its of film and television projects, including the collaboration with The Story Lab’s US team at dentsu. The funding is being accessed from PAC Capital’s PanAfrican CCI Fund 1 (PCCIF 1), a $100 Million Fund dedicated to financing film production and distribution in Africa. This is part of PAC Capital's initiatives to provide the much-required financial support to Africa's vibrant and lucrative Creative and Cultural Industry.

This innovative collaboration will pave the way for African filmmakers to bring projects to LaVida Studios, and The Story Lab team in the US, for potential financing and support with production via specialist production expertise and top talent from each of the companies in the collaboration.

Advanced developments are also underway for the two paired companies to team up with the annual African International Film Festival to create an AFRIFF/dentsu & TV program, which would recruit and support top African writing talent in creating original stories which appeal to a global audience. Interest in African storytelling is on-the-up with major investments on the continent by streamers such as Amazon Studios, ShowMax, and Netflix, among others entering the space.

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

The partnership, which is being spearheaded by Geneva Wasserman, EVP and head of scripted content, The Story Lab US just nine months after she joined the organisation, is thanks in part to her having already served as a board member for the AFRIFF network. Wasserman comments; “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.” Mike Ferry, head of The Story Lab US added, “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 Chioma Ude are represented by Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and The Story Lab US is represented by United Talent Agency (UTA).

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The Story Lab , Fri, 24 Jun 2022 08:28:41 GMT