EbonyLife and Sony Pictures Television have launched ÀLÓ, a writers’ initiative offering a platform for writers of African heritage.

The word “ÀLÓ” is from the Yoruba language and translates as ‘once upon a time’. The initiative aims to discover the best authentic African story ideas.

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to enter into a series pilot development agreement with SPT and EbonyLife, to create and write a pilot script. Once completed, the projects will be pitched to major international broadcasters for their consideration.

Mo Abudu, Chief Executive Officer, EbonyLife Media, says, “I am really excited about our growing partnership with Sony Pictures Television; from our deal for three scripted series, to our first-look agreement, and now the ÀLÓ Writers’ Initiative. …I am particularly thrilled about the Writers’ Initiative because it is in line with our continent-wide vision to harness and grow our creative economy.”

The ÀLÓ Initiative website will open for fixed periods beginning this Friday (24th September) when writers can submit their television scripts and story documents, which will then be reviewed and shortlisted by the ÀLÓ team which is comprised of creative executives from both EbonyLife and SPT.

Entrants can reside outside Africa but must be of African heritage, born in any of the continent’s fifty-four countries or have proven citizenship as a native of the country, or be first generation children.

The initiative is open to professionals, freelancers as well as up-and-coming writers, and there are no limitations to the story ideas or scripts. Any theme or story is welcome, but submissions must pay homage to Africa’s cultures, diversity, heritage and people.

Nina Lederman, EVP Global Scripted Development for Sony Pictures Television, says “We know from our many, many conversations developing this initiative with Mo and her team at EbonyLife that there are countless stories from across the African continent yet to be told. We hope that this provides a unique platform to writers of African heritage with a story they want to bring to the world”

The ÀLÓ Initiative will first open for submissions between September 24th and November 5th 2021, with a further six-week period to be confirmed at a later date. Internationally, the initiative it is open to submissions from the US, Canada, the UK and EU, Australia and New Zealand, and Africa. It hopes to expand to include further regions for future submission periods.



Jon Creamer

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