Deadline Announces 10 Female African Creators & Projects Unveiled by Topic & Statement Films

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10 selections announced

March 16, 2022 – (NEW YORK) – Topic, in partnership with Statement Films, announced their ten-project slate created by African and diaspora female filmmakers and creators with the goal of supporting, developing, and obtaining financing for production on features and episodic projects

The African-women-led startup Statement Films and the growing streaming service Topic (from First Look Media) formed their partnership in June 2021, focusing on thriller, sci-fi, suspense, mystery and crime stories. With both episodic series and feature projects considered, the organizations are excited to announce their slate that amplifies an incredible set of voices as they seek to tell their own stories.

The initiative prompted submissions across 27 African countries, from which 34 projects were shortlisted and 10 were selected. The slate consists of stories from Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Uganda, and common themes across submissions included Afro-futurism, revenge, flipped crime narratives, megachurch mysteries, cautionary tales, lore, and ritual.

The selected projects and filmmakers are Big Fish (Victoria Thomas), Brace Yourself (Thati Pele & Cait Pansegrouw), Eziko (Jenna Bass & Babalwa Baartman), The Legend of Madam Koi-Koi (Melissa O. Adeyemo & Chioma Onyenwe), Nexus (Mary Waireri), The Rain Queen (Nonzi Bogatsu), The Stone That Was Moved (Patience Nitumwesiga), 2065 (Carmen Sangion & Carol Kioko), Sister Nancy (Amirah Tajdin & Wafa Tajdin), and You Never See It Coming (Nelisa Ngcobo).

“The Statement Films X Topic slate represents this generation’s most promising African auteurs and creators” said Areej Noor, Founder & CEO of Statement Films. “This selection of premium projects attests to our belief in the explosive talent of women writers and directors from the continent.”

We’re thrilled by the incredible submissions we received and the passion each creative team brings to their project” said Ryan Chanatry, General Manager of Topic. “Each story is masterfully grounded in a relatable human truth, built from the personal experiences of our amazing group of filmmakers”.

About Statement Films

Statement Films is an African-women-led startup that was founded with two primary goals in mind — to source, develop, and produce content for films and television created, written, and directed by African and diaspora women, and to create an inclusive community and global sphere of influence around African and diaspora women creatives. Areej and her team believe in the immense, under-tapped potential and global appeal of African content and hope to elevate such stories for years to come.


Topic is the boundary-pushing streaming service from First Look Entertainment for thrillers, mysteries, dramas and documentaries from around the world, serving viewers who crave entertainment beyond the mainstream. Whether it’s a Nordic-noir crime thriller (The Killing), an Italian supernatural political drama (The Miracle), or a haunting true crime docu-series from the UK (The Missing Children), Topic expands your view of the world.

Featuring North American premieres, exclusive TV series and film, and programming from more than 40 countries, Topic showcases an unparalleled collection of creators, perspectives and experiences. Complemented by our Topic Originals, we prioritize bold storytelling and champion underrepresented voices. Topic Originals and exclusives include Oscar® nominee The Letter Room (starring Oscar Isaac), Lambs of God (starring Ann Dowd), BAFTA® nominee The Virtues (starring Stephen Graham), Emmy® nominee The Accidental Wolf (starring Kelli O’Hara), Dark Woods, Gotham Award winning Philly D.A., and Soul City (directed by Coodie & Chike).

Topic is available to US and Canadian audiences on, AppleTV & iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android & Android TV, Samsung, Apple TV Channels, Roku Premium Channels, Bell Fibe, Amazon Prime Video Channels, and Comcast (Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex and XClass TV). Topic is part of First Look Entertainment which also includes Topic Studios, the award-winning entertainment studio which develops, finances, and produces content for all platforms.

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