Obinna Udenwe’s Short Story, “It Has to Do With Emilia”, Optioned for Film and Television by BUMP Films

It Has to Do With Emilia“, a short story by Obinna Udenwe, which was published online by AFREADA three years ago, has been optioned for film and television by Johannesburg Film Producer Bridget Pickering at BUMP Films. “It Has to Do With Emilia” has been described as “a moody and sophisticated exploration of a forbidden love affair between an older very religious woman and a lonely man.” According to Bridget Pickering, who is part of a film collective known as “Collecting Treasures”, the short story captured her the very first time she read it, and left her “wanting to see and visually experience complex, multilayered yet very normal African characters on screen.”

The Press Release:

The creative sector has been one of the hardest hit economic clusters during the global COVID19 pandemic due to the communal nature of how most artistic disciplines manifest. Most writers rely on speaking engagements at conferences and festivals and some commissioned writing gigs to generate an income. With publications closing shop and no end in sight to lockdown restrictions for literary conferences and festivals; news about rare development in the African literary sphere, like a story going to the screen, which not only puts money in the hands of the author, but repositions the literary industry to both artistic and economic growth is cheering. 

It is in line with this that we are excited to announce that an existing short story by the Nigerian writer, Obinna Udenwe – initially published by an online literary magazine, AFREADA has just been optioned by Johannesburg film producer Bridget Pickering at BUMP Films.

Obinna Udenwe, who is the author of Satans & Shaitans, the church erotica Holy Sex, and most recently, Colours of Hatred, which was published this year by Paressia Publishers, also received an award from Prairie Schooner this year for a short story that appeared in the magazine. On the news of “It Has to Do With Emilia” being optioned for film, Obinna writes: “Outside of the very welcome economic boost to me during these trying times, I hope this collaboration inspires African filmmakers, especially Nollywood to see the serious value of having experienced writers on their production teams. Ultimately, good stories mean bigger audiences, industry recognition and seeing more of ourselves through our own lens.”

The script-writing, with Obinna Udenwe being a script-consultant, is in progress. According to BUMP Films, principal photography on “It Has to Do With Emilia” will begin in 2021. 

Congratulations to Obinna Udenwe. We can’t wait for this to be out. 

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