Nigerian-American filmmaker Nneka Onuorah inks film and series deal with Amazon MGM

BY Ben Ebuka Oji February 7, 2024 10:26 AM EDT
Nneka Onuorah
Nneka Onuorah. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Nneka Onuorah, an Emmy-winning director renowned for her exceptional storytelling skills, has signed an exclusive agreement with Amazon Studios for a first-look series and film deal. On Tuesday, January 9, the studio officially announced this exclusive collaboration TV and film deal.

The Amazon Studios team is thrilled to further their collaborative efforts with Nneka. This sentiment was echoed by Vernon Sanders, the head of television at the studio, who expressed his excitement for the ongoing partnership with the director.

“Nneka has a track record of crafting stories that excite, intrigue, and inspire,” said Vernon Sanders, who was appointed Amazon MGM Studios’ head of television in 2018. “This is a process we’ve been fortunate to experience firsthand, and we cannot wait to reignite our professional relationship under this formal deal.”

Having recently received the esteemed Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Reality Program, Nneka is poised to expand her artistic expression through this joint endeavor.

The Nigerian-American filmmaker, producer, director, writer, actor, and activist renowned for her works such as documentary The Same Difference (2015) and reality TV Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (2022), is dedicated to the creation of narratively and formally audacious narratives that shed light on and empower marginalized communities.

Nneka expressed her enthusiasm for the new collaboration with Amazon Studios, acknowledging the significance of her contribution to Amazon’s creative ventures. As a director, she eagerly anticipates broadening her artistic boundaries by venturing into scripted series and films, thereby presenting audacious and contemplative narratives to the forefront.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the creative fabric of what Jen and her team are building at Amazon. I’m proud of the groundbreaking stories that we’re already telling together, and excited to continue my artistic journey into scripted series and films with Amazon as well.”

Nneka’s team includes UTA, Mosaic, and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, all of whom have been instrumental in her progress and will continue to provide their unwavering support for her future endeavors.

Her Rich Portfolio

Nneka possesses an extensive directorial portfolio that showcases her ability to tackle socially relevant issues. In her film The Same Difference she delves into the topic of internalized homophobia, while The Legend of the Underground, produced by John Legend, explores the anti-LGBTQ laws in Nigeria. These groundbreaking works have resonated deeply with audiences, shedding light on critical issues that are often overlooked.

In September 2022, Nneka received the prestigious Primetime Emmy award for outstanding directing for a reality program for Prime Video’s Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls. This series also won the Emmy for Outstanding Competition Program. This recognition at the 2022 Emmys marked a significant milestone in Nneka’s directing career, as it was her first nomination and subsequent win.

The Same Difference and The Legend of the Underground were nominated for outstanding documentary at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2017 and 2022, respectively. Additionally, Nneka has contributed to other notable projects such as Netflix’s First and Last, Viceland’s My House, Burn Down the House, and The G Word, produced by Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions.