On the evening of the 25th of February, 2020, a cocktail was held in Lagos, Nigeria to celebrate the entry of the international streaming giant, Netflix, to the nollywood scene. The cocktail was attended by Ted Sarandos (Chief Content Officer of Netflix) alongside many nollywood actors, producers and directors. At this cocktail, the announcement was officially made for new nollywood content to be commissioned by Netflix.
After Lionheart and many Nigerian movie uploads on Netflix, why is this a big deal you may ask? This is because this signifies the streaming giant’s actual commitment to the nollywood market and decision to put their money where their mouth is.
Ted Sarandos is quoted during the event saying, “We have launched a couple original shows that we are getting ready to launch in Africa for the world. We have been producing in countries all around the world in local languages, with local producers and local story telling. This year alone we are going to have 130 seasons of original series’ from around the world. And you know about our efforts in South Africa, what you don’t know yet is our efforts for our first original show from Nigeria for the world”
The upcoming nollywood Netflix series is directed by Akin Omotoso (A Hotel Called Memory, Vaya) with Kemi Lala-Akindoju and Dami Elebe also involved in the writing, and additional help from nollywood directors CJ Obasi and Daniel Oriahi. The unnamed series is set to to star Kate Henshaw, Joke Silva, Richard Mofe Damijo, Kehinde Bankole, Ireti Doyle and Ade Laoye amongst others.
The untitled project is a sci-fi drama series set in modern-day Lagos.
The story is about a goddess who is reincarnated as a human being to avenge her sister’s death, but must first learn how to harness her superpowers for good.
From Lionheart to the streams of nollywood content constantly being uploaded on netflix (see HERE for a full list of nollywood content on Netflix), Netflix has continued to reaffirm its interest in the African market especially with its move to charge viewers in Nigeria in Naira instead of in dollars to avoid conversion costs, as well as with its about to be released South African original series – Queen Sono.