Groundbreaking 27-year-old, British-Nigerian Stars Wars actor, John Boyega, is doing it for the culture and using his star power to bolster filmmaking in Africa.
News released this week that Boyega just signed a deal with Netflix to develop films focused on West and East Africa countries. The deal is penned through the rising celebrity’s production company, UpperRoom Productions, which he co-founded in 2016.
The films will feature African stories, characters and actors, as Netflix doubles down on its commitment to investing in African storytelling via projects developed on the continent.
“I am thrilled to partner with Netflix to develop a slate of non-English language feature films focused on African stories and my team and I are excited to develop original material,” Boyega said in a statement. “We are proud to grow this arm of our business with a company that shares our vision.”
Movements between both Netflix and Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions signal African stories as the new frontier for film production outfits around the globe.
Last month a high level delegation from Netflix popped into Lagos to announce their first Nigerian series, then zipped to South Africa to launch their first African original. So far, Netflix has a handful of known African productions in the works to be released in 2020.
Meanwhile, late last year Boyega announced his executive producer involvement with a South African crime thriller, and is overseeing the film’s soundtrack through his UpperRoom Records label.
Boyega has broken down barriers with his recurring roles in Star Wars, delivering smashing performances of the film’s hero, Finn.