Nigeria’s number one lifestyle and entertainment channel, EbonyLife TV, co-sponsored a two-day Diversity Programme at MIPCOM, the world’s largest market for entertainment content, where industry professionals converge to connect with like-minded colleagues and find out the latest in programming. This year’s gathering took place from October 16-19. The Programme included the inaugural Diversify TV Excellence Awards 2017, which took place on the 17th.
The Diversify TV Awards highlights international programming that provides a fair, accurate representation of ethnic populations, disabled communities and other minority groups.
Mo Abudu, the CEO of EbonyLife TV presented the award for ‘Representation of Race & Ethnicity, Scripted’ to the film Damilola, Our Beloved Boy – a movie based on the true story of the heinous murder of ten-year-old Damilola Taylor, a Nigerian boy who lived in Peckham, London.
It was gratifying for her to present this award, especially as it has been her mission to celebrate and tell stories about Africa and the diaspora that are authentic.
According to Abudu, “Although there is a tragedy at the heart of this film, it’s not about being a victim. It is important to keep creating and paying tribute to content that tells a different story about Africans. Doing so makes Africans in the diaspora proud and compels global audiences to examine stereotypes. That is our mission at EbonyLife and Damilola, Our Beloved Boy did this powerfully.”
Other notable highlights of the Diversity Programme at MIPCOM 2017 were the keynote address by Sir Lenny Henry, a renowned British comedian and one of the most respected advocates for diversity in television, and a panel discussion titled ‘Breaking Stereotypes to Connect Global Audiences’. The panelists were Alex Okosi, EVP and MD of Viacom International Media Networks Africa; Tanya Lopez, SVP Original Movies and Lifetime Original Movies at A+E Networks; and Pat Younge, MD of Sugar Films.
EbonyLife joined global TV giants, A&E Networks, Viacom International Media Networks, and award-winning PR agency Franklin Rae, in sponsoring the MIPCOM Diversity Programme, which included the panel discussion, lunch and the Diversify TV International Excellence Awards 2017.