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EbonyLife, Sony Pictures in African Writers initiative

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ABUDU —It is focused on global storytelling that is authentically African

EbonyLife and Sony Pictures Television have announced a new African Writers Initiative that aims at offering a unique platform to writers of African heritage.

Named ÀLÓ, the brand-new writers’ initiative is open to all African writers.

A press statement says the word ÀLÓ is from the Yoruba language and can loosely be translated as ‘once upon a time’.

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The statement says, this is the beginning of an exciting journey to discover the best authentic African story ideas which will inspire and resonate with viewers across the globe.

It further says that the ÀLÓ Initiative website will open for fixed periods beginning from Friday when writers can submit their television scripts and story documents, which will then be reviewed and shortlisted by the ÀLÓ team which is comprised of creative executives from both EbonyLife and Sony Pictures Television.

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.

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The initiative is also open to professionals, freelancers as well as up-and-coming writers, and there are no limitations to the story ideas or scripts.

The statement also says that any theme or story is welcome, 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 Sony Pictures Television and EbonyLife under the ÀLÓ Initiative to create and write a pilot script. Once completed, the projects will be pitched to major international broadcasters for their consideration.

EbonyLife Chief Executive Officer Mo Abudu said they were excited about their growing partnership with Sony Pictures Television.

“From our deal for three scripted series, to our first-look agreement, and now the ÀLÓ Writers’ Initiative, the name of this initiative inspires me, as we chose a word which holds so much personal meaning for me,” Abudu said.

She said she was particularly thrilled about the Writers’ Initiative because “it is in line with our continent-wide vision to harness and grow our creative economy”.

“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,” Abudu said.

Nina Lederman from Sony Pictures Television said the ÀLÓ initiative was born out of Sony Pictures Television and EbonyLife’s shared passion for great storytelling.

“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,” Lederman said.

The ÀLÓ Initiative will first open for submissions between Friday this week and November 5 2021, with a further six-week period to be confirmed at a later date.

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