EXCLUSIVE: Ringside Studios, the outfit owned by European media company and distributor Newen, has closed its latest acquisition by taking a minority stake in UK company Joi Productions via its investment arm Ringside Media.
Set up by former BAFTA breakthrough nominee Joy Gharoro-Akpojoto, the company has credits including Rapman’s feature debut hit Blue Story, which was released by Paramount, and Aml Ameen’s Boxing Day, which was released by Warner Bros.
In 2020 Gharoro-Akpojoto received a BFI Vision Award to support growth and the company has now hired Tom Hawkins, formerly Wildgaze’s Head of Development. Joi Productions’ focus is on producing Black, queer and female-led stories. Next up it is producing Champion for the BBC, written by Candice Carty-Williams (Queenie).
Ringside was advised by the team at Lee & Thompson, and Joi by Grey Seal Media, for the deal.
Newen formed Ringside Studios with Gub Neal in 2020 in a bid to further break into the English-speaking market. To date, the company’s investment arm has confirmed stakes in Fictionhouse, Slate Entertainment, Further South Productions, and B Side Film and TV.
Gharoro-Akpojotor said: “I’m thrilled to be part of the Ringside family. This is a great opportunity for Joi Productions to expand and focus on the type of content and talent that we’re currently missing in mainstream media, and to do it with partners who believe in us makes the journey even more exciting.”
Kate Bennetts, Ringside’s Managing Director, said: “Joi has a completely unique voice in the industry, and epitomises the multi-hyphenated individuals who are driving the most interesting content being produced right now. We are excited to see how her formidable talent continues to grow and develop with the support of a company infrastructure behind her.”
Philippe Levasseur, Newen’s Head of International, said “We at Newen are passionate about the next generation of talent emerging, and are delighted that the hugely talented and ambitious Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor has joined us.”
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