Viola Davis and her husband and producing partner, Julius Tennon, are making a move into the world of anime.
In an exclusive report from The Hollywood Reporter, it has been announced that Davis and Tennon’s production banner, JuVee Productions, is partnering with N LITE, a Black and Japanese-led media company and anime studio.
Under their partnership with N LITE, JuVee Productions will produce a slate of Black and Indigenous anime films. Kicking off their new deal is Mfinda, an epic fantasy film by Congolese-American Patience Leiken and N LITE founder Christiano Terry.
“We are honored to partner with JuVee Productions’ on our slate of afro-anime films. Through this collaboration we hope to spark cultural conversations and ignite the imaginations of audiences around the world, whether they are anime fans or simply fans of timeless storytelling in film,” Terry said in a statement. “With our flagship title, Mfinda, audiences will journey into Congolese culture, and an enchanting world of spirits and ancestors.”
Terry and Leiken co-wrote the script for Mfinda alongside Donald H. Hewitt. Shtajio’s Arthell Isom is set to co-direct, while Mika Abe is attached to write the Japanese adaptation of the screenplay.
Outside of their film slate, the partnership between JuVee Productions and N LITE will also include graphic novels, merchandise and manga.
“We are excited to be in business with NLITE bringing the first afro-anime MFINDA to global audiences,” Tennon and Clark said in an official statement. “This collaboration is a special and timely one and is aligned with JuVee’s continued commitment to produce content and support talent from underrepresented communities.”