Series Mania, the international TV festival held in Lille, France, has announced that Mo Abudu, CEO of Nigeria’s EbonyLife Group, will be presented with its Women in Series award.
The prize, which is presented in tandem with the European Women’s Audiovisual Network (EWA Network) and advocacy group Pour Les Femmes Dans Les Médias (PFDM), is designed to celebrate a remarkable woman from the audiovisual industry for her vision and leadership. Previous winners have included Christina Sulebakk, general manager of HBO Max EMEA.
EbonyLife has become an Africa-based production powerhouse, signing content deals with Netflix, BBC Studios, AMC and Sony Pictures. In February 2021, EbonyLife also signed a multi-project development deal with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios for a slate of Africa-based series and features.
The company’s credits include the top-grossing Nigerian film of all time, The Wedding Party (2016), and a slate of films for Netflix including Oloture about human trafficking, domestic abuse drama Blood Sisters and period epic Death And The King’s Horseman, based on the play by Wole Soyinka. It has also produced series for Netflix such as legal drama Castle & Castle and political thriller Sons Of The Caliphate.
Abudu will be presented with the award on March 22 at Series Mania’s awards ceremony, which is taking place as an in-person event in Lille. She will also hold an onstage conversation on March 24, with the subject ‘Investing In Talent: How To Drive New Narratives’.
Series from France, the rest of Europe and the US form the bulk of Series Mania’s programming and competition sections, but this year China’s iQiyi and Singapore-based Viddsee have both been selected for competition. iQiyi’s 12-part series Gold Panning will receive its French premiere in the International Panorama Competition, and Viddsee’s 5x16mins Mirage has been selected for the Short Forms Competition.