Fremantle and De Maio Entertainment have signed a partnership with Afua Hirsch’s UK based production company Born In Me with an exclusive global first look deal.

Born In Me Productions is led by award-winning writer, broadcaster and filmmaker Afua Hirsch. The agreement will give Fremantle, in collaboration with De Maio Entertainment, the rights to co-develop, produce, and distribute, scripted and unscripted television and film projects with the production company.

Known for her work on culture, identity, and history in the African diaspora and worldwide, Hirsch recently co-presented the factual documentary series Enslaved alongside Samuel L Jackson, shedding new light on 400 years of human trafficking by Europeans from Africa to the New World. The series is distributed by Fremantle and the award-winning series has sold into over 140 territories, with broadcasts on CBC (Canada), Epix (US), and the BBC in the UK.

The partnership was brokered by Lorenzo De Maio, President of the recently formed De Maio Entertainment, Fremantle’s Global Drama team headed up by President Christian Vesper and Seb Shorr, EVP Commercial and Business Affairs, Scripted.

The first project in development is a TV drama series based on the true story of Kweku Adoboli, the former investment banker who was jailed in 2012 after unauthorised losses of $2 billion. The drama will interweave the pressures and emotional complexities of being a black man working in London, becoming criminalised, and battling deportation to a country that he left when he was only four years old. The timely development of the project comes as it reaches the 10th anniversary of his arrest (September 2011). The series will be produced by Hirsch for Born In Me and Tony Tagoe and Danny Damah for TD Afrique Films.

A number of other scripted and non-scripted projects are in development and will be announced in due course.

Afua Hirsch, Managing Director, Born In Me, comments, “This is an incredible opportunity to work with Fremantle and De Maio Entertainment as partners who appreciate the range of my work – from journalistic storytelling, to scripted projects that I hope will push the boundaries of creativity. All my work is motivated by compelling stories that reflect underserved audiences, centering diverse voices, experiences and talent, and I’m confident that we will be able to elevate this mission together.”

Christian Vesper, President Global Drama at Fremantle says, “Afua has a passion and clear talent for creative storytelling in the world of politics, current affairs and drama, both on and off screen. We are

excited to work with her, the Born In Me team and De Maio Entertainment to produce relevant and original content with depth for audiences worldwide.”

Jon Creamer

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