Film
Nollywood actors Nkem Owoh and Genevieve Nnaji in 'Lionheart.' Photo via TIFF.

Netflix Plans To Produce More Original Series From Africa in 2019

This move is in line with the streaming service rapidly expanding local programming on major continents.

We'll be seeing more Netflix originals coming from the continent in 2019, Variety reports.

The streaming service recently announced at the Content London conference that its Europe team has been looking into opportunities in Africa. "It's definitely the case that we'll commission some series there in 2019," Erik Barmack, Netflix vice president of international originals, says.


This news also comes in lieu of the platform picking up Nollywood veteran Genevieve Nnaji's directorial debut, Lionheart, back in September. This film is set to be the first Netflix original to come out of Nigeria.

Revisit the trailer below.

LIONHEART by Genevieve Nnaji - trailer eng sub youtu.be

Barmack predicts that it will only take years for half of Netflix's top 10 most-watched shows to come from outside of the U.S. He notes that shows with multinational casts also will eventually become the norm.

Netflix users watching non-English language shows and films have been on the rise—and this increase will impact the talent and scope of the TV and film industry globally.

"The big message we want to communicate to talent is you don't have to leave home to get big audiences, and you don't have to choose Hollywood versus your own country," Barmack says at the conference. "You can do both, and that, we believe, will be able to carry their audiences to their shows regardless of the language they are speaking or where the production comes from."

As the streaming platform continues to shake up the industry, we'll keep an eye on how this move could potentially lead African filmmakers and actors to an alternative path to the global stage.

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Image collage by Evanka Williamson.

How the Creator of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ Finally Got His Due In ‘Black Is King’

Thanks to Beyoncé, Solomon Linda's famous song finally made its Disney debut—81 years after it was written.

By now, we've all seen and heard think piece after think piece about Beyoncé's latest visual album release Black Is King. The film depicts and celebrates a great deal of African culture and history, paying homage to many underrated and misunderstood artists and practices.

One moment, however, put an end to an 81-year struggle with the Disney giants.

Perhaps one of Disney's most popular songs, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," is a reproduced version of the late South African performer Solomon Ntsele (Linda)'s song "Mbube."

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