Photo:Unbound Studios\JM Films
New York, NY, February 15, 2023 – Leading African production company Unbound Studios, and its subsidiary company, JM Films, have announced that they have wrapped principal photography on their first feature film WATER AND GARRI, directed by Meji Alabi ( Black Is King) and starring multi award-winning Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage (above left) in her acting debut.
Savage, who is an executive producer on the film via her ‘Everything Savage’ company, also wrote and performed the original soundtrack. Filmed in Cape Coast, Ghana, the drama also stars (above right) Mike Afolarin (Far From Home), Andrew Bunting (Dynamite) and Jemima Osunde (New Money).
WATER AND GARRI tells the story of Aisha (Savage), an ambitious fashion designer. Now with a budding career in the U.S., she returns to her native home after 10 years away following a family bereavement. At home, things have changed. Violence has escalated and tensions have been high. As she reconnects with family, old friends and her past love, she must learn to live with her scars and confront the guilt she left behind.
“Working with Tiwa Savage and the team on Water and Garri filmed on location in Cape Coast, Ghana was an incredible experience,” said Director, Meji Alabi. “We’ve worked together on multiple music projects over the years and this film was a perfect progression of our creative growth & shared vision of exploring beyond boundaries. It’s such an exciting story and Tiwa nailed her debut as a lead actress amongst an incredible supporting cast.
Looking forward to sharing this film with the world.”
“This project was a complete labor of love that has been a dream of mine for a number of years. Performing as Aisha allowed me to be totally vulnerable and pushed me to express myself in a way that I’ve never done before.” said Tiwa Savage. “It was an honor to share my debut as an actress with Meji whilst filming on the African continent with a cast and crew that I have immense admiration and respect for. I’m excited for the world to see this film.”
Tiwa Savage began her career as a backup singer for Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson and Andrea Bocelli and has since become an international superstar and the first African artist to sign a global record deal with the Universal Music Group. Savage has collaborated with the likes of Sam Smith, Coldplay, Nas and more, co-wrote and sang on Beyonce’s soundtrack album “The Lion King: Gift,” wrote for Fantasia’s GRAMMY nominated album, “Back to Me,” performed at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 and Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival and was one of the first African artists to be featured on the cover of Billboard magazine.
She is the first female artist to win an MTV European Music Award for Best African Act, was named to the BBC’s list of 100 inspirational and innovative women in 2017, crowned one of the “Women Changing Modern Music” by British Vogue, received the Women4Africa Award in 2022 and is one of the most-followed African artists on social media.
“Proud to have produced this incredible film with a talented collective from crew to cast. Both Tiwa Savage, as lead actor & Meji Alabi, as film director delivered a powerful debut, alongside our amazing support cast, who truly captured the depth within the story.” said Producer & Unbound Studios Exec., Jimi Adesanya. “Our goal is to produce film and TV projects that will level the playing field to collaborate & build high-quality content with both indigenous and major players in succession.
The Nollywood industry is very exciting right now with a continuing burst of talent and more distribution access, so we look forward to playing our part to move the needle even further.”
Tiwa Savage is repped by UTA agency. Andrew Bunting is repped by Unbound Agency. Mike Afolarin is repped by The Working Talent Agency.
WATER AND GARRI is a co-production between Everything Savage, Unbound Studios & JM Films, directed and edited by Meji Alabi, produced by Jimi Adesanya, written by Comfort Emmanuel and music by Tiwa Savage. The executive producers are Tiwa Savage, Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna, Jimi Adesanya, and Meji Alabi.
About JM Films
JM Films, subsidiary of Unbound Studios, is a Grammy Award winning media production company, specializing in creative visuals, music videos, documentaries, commercials, film and television. The team with a deep sense of African culture, are the regular producers of visual projects by the likes of Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Stormzy, Mr Eazi and more. JM Films also co-produced Beyoncé’s Black Is King film project which earned a Grammy win for the best music video for “Brown Skin Girl ” video and another Grammy nod in 2022 for their production of global hit “Essence” music video by Wizkid ft Tems. With an extensive footprint spanning across Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, UK, USA and the Caribbean, JM Films continue to produce culture shaping campaigns at the highest level of execution.
About Unbound Studios
Unbound Studios is a film studio specialized in motion pictures amongst other art forms through its subsidiaries and affiliates. Unbound was founded in 2019 and is currently developing its debut set of feature films & TV projects.
About Everything Savage
Everything Savage is an award-winning entertainment company based in Lagos, Nigeria. Established in 2017, it’s home to global superstar Tiwa Savage.