BBC Studios Drama Productions, a unit of the British public broadcaster, the commercial arm of the BBC, has co-developed with Nigerian television pioneer Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu, founder and director. operator of EbonyLife Media.
Agreement brokered by the CAA, will see BBC Studios Drama Productions develop a six-part action-adventure series Claim ownership with EbonyLife. Written by BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Rowan Athale (Increase, Strange but true, Little America), heist thriller based on an original concept by Abudu, Heidi Uys and Bode Asiyanbi.
It follows “the story of a group of art thieves seeking to return works of art stolen by the British Empire 125 years ago from the Kingdom of Benin back to its rightful homeland in Nigeria,” according to one description. plot. “In his hospital bed, billionaire art collector, Chief Inneh, entrusts his life’s mission to his daughter Idia Nicole Inneh: she must reclaim four plundered ivory masks depicting Queen Idia, The first queen of the 16th century Benin Empire. The elaborate masks are on display in museums in Britain, Germany and the US and must be returned to Nigeria to restore national pride. An action woman with nothing to lose, Idia assembles an amazing team of talented but morally questionable individuals from around the world, including world-class art thief Matthew Jones , art expert Xena Kanene, yahoo-boy (meaning email scammer) Hector Mawusi and logistics genius Lindiwe Radebe. ”
Priscilla Parish, head of drama, BBC Studios, praised Abudu for his “extraordinary track record in bringing previously unheard stories to a wide audience”, adding:Claim ownershipThe breathtaking action-adventure is underpinned by poignant and trendy themes, and declares our shared intention to create stories that resonate nationally and internationally. ”
Abudu said: “Claim ownership is our first big-budget, global series, partly set in the UK. Dreams come true for two reasons – first, it’s a partnership with BBC Studios; second, the project will launch under EbonyLife Productions UK We founded EbonyLife in London because our global strategy includes expansion into the UK and USA. As Nigerians and Africans, we should see ourselves as world citizens and our storytelling, places and networks should extend to every corner of the world. ”