Mo Abudu Tackles Mental Health Taboo with Her Directorial Debut
Nigerian media mogul and CEO of EbonyLife Media, Mo Abudu, has announced the launch of her new cinema company, Mo Abudu Films, which aims to produce more personal and intimate films that champion the voices and perspectives of underrepresented communities in Nigeria while elevating the art form.
As part of the new venture, Abudu has directed two short films titled Her Perfect Life and Iyawo Mi, which tackle the taboo subject of mental health in Nigeria. Both films mark Abudu’s directorial debut and will be the first titles on the Mo Abudu Films slate.
In Her Perfect Life, Abudu tells the story of Onajite Johnson Ibrahim (Pearl Thusi), a 30-year-old plus woman who seems to have it all on Instagram: a flourishing career, a loving husband (Ahmed Ibrahim), and two bright and beautiful children. However, she is secretly struggling with depression and contemplating suicide.
Meanwhile, Iyawo Mi explores mental health issues among Nigeria’s poorest. The film follows Kunle (Lateef Adedimeji), a young married man whose wife Eniola (Bolaji Ogunmola) has a mental breakdown and begins to hallucinate, screaming at their children and neighbors and threatening to kill everyone around her.
Abudu hopes to use her films to create a positive impact on society, telling stories that inspire and uplift while also challenging perspectives and making people think deeply about the world around them.
In a statement shared on her Instagram page, Abudu expressed her excitement about the opportunity to explore a wide range of genres and themes that are close to her heart.
She wrote, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to explore a wide range of genres and themes that are close to my heart. From uplifting stories of triumph and resilience to thought-provoking narratives that challenge the status quo.
“I am passionate about exploring themes of social justice, empowerment, and diversity, and I believe that film has the power to create a positive impact on society. Whether it’s a heart-warming drama, an exciting action-packed thriller, or a poignant romantic film, I am excited to explore the many different shades of storytelling through film.”
Iyawo Mi has been selected to screen in the Cannes Short Film Corner later this month, an industry section of the Cannes festival intended to highlight new directing talent. Both short films have also been invited to the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, which runs from August 4-12.