Ringside Media, the investment arm of Newen-backed indie Ringside Studios, has acquired a minority stake in Joi Productions.

Joi Productions was founded by Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, and in 2020 received a BFI Vision award. Gharoro-Akpojotor herself has been chosen as a Screen International Star of Tomorrow, and a BAFTA Breakthrough Nominee, and has had breakout hits producing Rapman’s Blue Story and Boxing Day. She is currently producing Champion for the BBC, written by Candice Carty-Williams (Queenie).

Joi Productions focusses on Black, Queer and Female-led stories. Joining Joy is Wildgaze’s Head of Development, Tom Hawkins.

Hawkins said: “I’m super excited to be joining Joi Productions and working with Joy on growing her bold and distinctive slate. Joy has proven herself to an exciting and dynamic producer. And it’s great to be joining the company at such a pivotal moment. We share an ambition to bring subversive, often marginalized, stories to the screen with a playful wit and sense of humour.

Gharoro-Akpojotor said: “I’m thrilled to be part of the Ringside family. This is a great opportunity for Joi Productions to expand and focus on the type of content and talent that we’re currently missing in mainstream media, and to do it with partners who believe in us makes the journey even more exciting.

Both Ringside Media and Ringside Studios were founded by leading British producer and former commissioner Gub Neal (Liaison, The Fall, Queer as Folk) and European production and distribution company Newen Studios.

Kate Bennetts, Ringside’s Managing Director, said: “Joi has a completely unique voice in the industry, and epitomises the multi-hyphenated individuals who are driving the most interesting content being produced right now. We are excited to see how her formidable talent continues to grow and develop with the support of a company infrastructure behind her’.

Philippe Levasseur, Newen’s Head of International, said “We at Newen Studios are passionate about the next generation of talent emerging, and are delighted that the hugely talented and ambitious Joy Gharoro Akpojotor has joined us.

Ringside were advised by the team at Lee & Thompson, and Joi by Grey Seal Media.

Jon Creamer

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