Sony Pictures Television, EbonyLife African Writers Initiative Alo selects Mary Waireri’s ‘Exiles’ for development (EXCLUSIVE)

Mary Waireri’s “Exiles” series has been selected for development through EbonyLife Media and Sony Pictures Television’s Alo, an initiative that provides a platform for writers of African descent.

Nairobi-born, London-raised screenwriter Waireri’s screenplay follows a Kenyan-born British doctor who returns to the country she fled as a child to find her twin brother who goes missing while investigating a government cover-up. She soon finds herself embroiled in a dark conspiracy.

Waireri originally wrote “Exiles” as a feature film project while completing a screenwriting certificate at the UK’s National Film and Television School. The script won the 2020 FilmarketHub Screenwriting Competition and was shortlisted for the 2020 BBC Scriptworks and Thousand Films Screenwriting Competition.

The writer is an alumnus of the inaugural Realness Institute and the Netflix Africa Episodic Lab, where she developed a concept of popular horror in Swahili and has also worked on treatment commissions for Studiocanal UK. She was recently selected for the Royal Court Theater’s Playwriting Workshop for Beginning Playwrights. .

Waireri will now work with the global script development team at Sony Pictures Television and EbonyLife to develop “Exiles” and bring the series to market.

EbonyLife has an existing first look deal with SPT for scripted television projects.

Waireri said: “As a lover of thrillers, horror and science fiction, I am interested in exploring the many dimensions of the African diaspora and diaspora experiences through an entrenched gender lens. I am excited to be working with the teams at Sony Pictures Television and EbonyLife to bring Exiles to life.”

Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife Media, added: “I am excited and delighted with the progress we have made with the Alo initiative. Create an opportunity for another story to be told from our continent, for another voice to be heard. Congratulations to Mary on introducing and selecting her and we look forward to bringing ‘Exiles’ to the world in association with Sony Pictures Television.”

Nina Lederman, Executive Vice President of Global Script Development for Sony Pictures Television, said: “We launched the Alo initiative with the EbonyLife team to discover unique stories and great talent – we wanted presentations that honored the cultures, heritage and people of Africa”. in a way that would resonate with audiences around the world. ‘Exiles’ is a fantastic and exciting project and the entire team is looking forward to working with Mary on the next step of her journey.”

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