September 21, 2023

Iyawo Mi will screen at the Short Film Corner of the Cannes Film Festival which spotlights new talents in directing.

By Helena Olori

Mo Abudu’s foray into filmmaking takes an unprecedented leap as her directorial debut short films, Iyawo Mi, and Her Perfect Life have been selected for the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival slated for August 4-12, 2023. Iyawo Mi will also screen at the Short Film Corner during the Cannes Film Festival in France later this month.

Both films, written and directed by Abudu, shed light on prevalent mental health challenges in Nigeria.

(Read also: Four African Films Selected For La Fabrique Cinema 2023)

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Reacting to the news, the EbonyLife Group CEO, Mo Abudu said, “I am thrilled and honoured to have both of my short films selected to screen at the prestigious Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, an important festival for Black film and Black perspective, which is also an Oscar-qualifying festival. This recognition means a lot to me as a filmmaker and as a storyteller.”

The pan-African filmmaker has been vocal about black stories and their representation on the global stage.

(Read also: 5 Festivals For African Filmmakers To Look Out For)

Her Perfect Life, starring South African actress, Pearl Thusi, and MTN’s Project Fame co-host, Joseph Benjamin, tells the story of Onajite Johnson- Ibrahim, who’s envied her perfect life yet wants to end it all. Iyawo Mi, a Yoruba film, follows the heart-wrenching story of Kunle (Adedimeji Lateef), a young married man whose wife battles mental breakdowns and hallucinations.

The films, produced by Josh Olaoluwa in 2022, marked the first films from Mo Abudu’s recently launched studio label, Mo Abudu Films where she intends to take a more personal approach to filmmaking.

Mo Abudu has a long and successful career in media production, having led several critically acclaimed productions, including Africa’s first syndicated talk show, Moments with Mo, Blood Sisters, Eleshin Oba, Your Excellency, etc.

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