Nigerian producer EbonyLife and Sony Pictures Television (SPT) have launched a new initiative designed to offer a platform for writers of African heritage.
The ÀLÓ Initiative website will open for fixed periods beginning this Friday 24 September, when writers can submit their TV scripts and story documents. These will then be reviewed and shortlisted by the ÀLÓ team, which is comprised of creative executives from both EbonyLife and SPT.
Entrants can reside outside Africa but must be of African heritage, born in any of the continent’s 54 countries or have proven citizenship as a native of the country, or be first generation children.
The initiative is open to professionals, freelancers as well as up-and-coming writers, and there are no limitations to the story ideas or scripts. Any theme or story is welcome, SPT and EbonyLife said, but submissions “must pay homage to Africa’s unique cultures, diversity, heritage and people”.
Successful candidates will have the opportunity to enter into a series pilot development agreement with SPT and EbonyLife, which will see them create and write a pilot script. Once completed, the projects will be pitched to major international broadcasters for their consideration.
ÀLÓ, which comes from the Yoruba language and translates as ‘once upon a time’, is the latest initiative between SPT and EbonyLife. The two companies struck a deal to produce three scripted series together in 2018 and forged a first-look pact earlier this year.
Mo Abudu, CEO at EbonyLife Media, said the writers initiative “is in line with our continent-wide vision to harness and grow our creative economy.”
Abudu added: “It is focused on global storytelling that is authentically African and that gives African writers access to the biggest international broadcasters in the world. It is a dream come true for me.”
Nina Lederman, EVP of global scripted development at SPT, added: “We know from our many, many conversations developing this initiative with Mo and her team at EbonyLife that there are countless stories from across the African continent yet to be told. We hope that this provides a unique platform to writers of African heritage with a story they want to bring to the world.”