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Toronto: Netflix Buys Nigerian Comedy Movie ‘Lionheart’

Netflix has bought worldwide rights to Genevieve Nnaji’s comedy “Lionheart” on the eve of its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Netflix announced the deal Friday. The film will premiere at TIFF on Saturday. “Lionheart” marks the first Netflix original film from Nigeria.

Nnaji stars with Nkem Owoh, Pete Edochie, and Onyeka Onwenu. The story follows a daughter who’s forced to work with her feckless uncle in order to save her father’s ailing bus company. Nnaji plays Adaeze, a level-headed executive in her father’s bus company, Lionheart Transport. When her father (played by Edochie) falls ill, both she and her rival (Kalu Egbui Ikeagwu) are passed over in favor of the uncle, played by Owoh.

Complications arise when they discover that the family business is in dire financial straits — leading to absurd results as they try to save the company. The film also touches on everyday sexism that saturates the workplace, as well as the delicate balance between honoring one’s family while finding the courage to strike out on one’s own.

Nnaji also wrote the script with Chinny Onwugbenu, Ishaya Bako, Emil Garuba, and C.J. Obasi. “Lionheart” is produced by T.E.N. — The Entertainment Network. MPM Premium handled the sale.

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