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Idris Elba To Direct Nigerian Film With Seal And Nse Ikpe-Etim

EXCLUSIVE: Luther and Hijack star Idris Elba is set to direct singer Seal, Nollywood stars Nse Ikpe-Etim (Shanty Town), Eku Edewor (Breath Of Life) and Atlanta Bridget Johnson (Man Of God), and former Nigerian Idol contestant Constance Olatunde in short film Dust To Dreams.

The film is a collaboration between Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Films and African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) through its Creative Africa Nexus (Canex).

Set against the backdrop of Lagos, Nigeria, the film follows the relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter as she meets her father for the first time.

Created by the Mo Abudu, and written and directed by Elba, Mo Abudu will serve as both executive producer and producer, with Heidi Uys as supervising producer. Alongside Abudu and Uys on the project are producers Temidayo Makanjuola, Inem King, and Vanessa Demme.

Multi-Grammy winner and former American’s Got Talent judge Seal, whose mother is Nigerian, has had a couple of film and TV roles to date, including appearing briefly as himself in 2022 comedy film Me Time with Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Hart, and as Pontius Pilate in Fox musical drama The Passion from 2016.

Golden Globe winner Elba — a Brit of Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian descent — and Nigerian media mogul Abudu announced last year that they were joining forces to develop emerging talent from Africa and to make a slate of African films and TV shows. Elba made his directorial debut on 2018 movie Yardie.

Afreximbank is a pan-African multilateral financial institution created in the early ’90s under the auspices of the African Development Bank.

Abudu said of the collaboration: “I am delighted to be working with Afreximbank and this incredibly talented team. Dust To Dreams is a story close to my heart, and I’m thrilled to bring it to life with such passionate collaborators.”

Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Afreximbank, stated: “The collaboration with EbonyLife Films is a testament to our commitment to empowering Africa’s creative economy through the Canex Programme. The Bank is committed to supporting Africa’s creative industries through financing, facilitation, providing market access solutions, capacity building and other services”.

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