Studiocanal has boarded the epic action drama “Agoodjie,” an English language series based on the extraordinary true story of a fearsome female army in 19th-century Africa.
The eight-part series, commissioned by Canal+ International and co-developed with Studiocanal, is created by Didier Lacoste (“Guyane,” “Spin”) and Joy Fleury (“Tristesse et beauté”), along with Nigerian screenwriters Ukamaka Olisakwe, Jude Idada and Adachioma Ezeano.
The story is based on the sprawling true story of a fearsome female army in 19th century Africa called the Agoodjies of Dahomey. An elite corps of 4,000 fearsome female warriors, the Agoodjes confronted the most powerful French army of the time in a four-year war.
The show will weave the points of view of a young female villager destined for greater things, and an enlightened monarch leading a once wealthy kingdom. Opening in 1889, the series will follow the journey of the female protagonist, Tiwa, a teenager on the verge of adulthood from the Yoruba Kingdom. As war rips Tiwa away from the love of her life, family and home, her moral compass is pushed to the brink. Initiated into the Agoodjie army, Tiwa soon proves she has special fighting capabilities and we begin to question the role of sanctuary and divergence her new family provides.
“Agoodjie,” which is set to shoot in South Africa, Nigeria and Benin, will also also shed light on how these warriors became caught up in the ambitions of their feuding royal families.
“This incredible story of the past of the Agoodjies is in deep connection with our modern world which seeks to restore its link with nature but also to build a new relationship between men and women and new connections between cultures,” said Joy Fleury, Future Production. “A sincere search for balance by our young generation in quest of humanity,” Fleury added.
Nathalie Folloroux, SVP of Canal+ Channels at Canal+ International, said the company was “immediately conquered by the project held by Joy Fleury and Didier Lacoste, given its authentic rooting in Africa.”
Folloroux said the project reflected the banner’s “investment in African production, and (its) dedication to promote African culture, legends and heroes.”
Françoise Guyonnet, Studiocanal’s executive managing director, TV, described the series as a “fascinating and intriguing story of female empowerment.” “Set in Africa, it’s a universal story of love, loss, revenge and justice, with strong appeal to viewers throughout the world,” Guyonnet continued.