AMAZON STUDIOS ENTERS FIRST LOOK DEAL WITH SIGNIFICANT PRODUCTIONS, CO-FOUNDED BY FOREST WHITAKER AND NINA YANG BONGIOVI
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 27, 2019 - Amazon Studios today announced it has closed a first look deal with Significant Productions and the company's co-founders and producing partners, Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi. As part of the deal, Significant Productions will work with Amazon Studios to develop television series to premiere globally on Amazon Prime Video in over 200 countries and territories.
"Significant Productions, fueled by the vision of Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi, has given a platform to emerging talent and created brilliant, critically acclaimed, and commercially successful projects across film and television," said Albert Cheng, COO and Co-Head of Television, Amazon Studios. "We are looking forward to working with Significant Productions as they continue to develop fresh voices to tell even more important, inclusive stories."
"Teaming up with Amazon Studios for our producing endeavors in television empowers us to amplify what we've been building these last nine years. Championing inclusive stories as wells as diverse talent and creators is in our DNA, and creating cultural impact is our brand. Having Albert Cheng, Vernon Sanders and Jennifer Salke in our corner is truly remarkable. We're thrilled to join the extraordinary roster of talent at the studio," said Whitaker and Yang Bongiovi in a joint statement.
Since its inception in 2010, Significant Productions' mission has been to develop and produce high quality content with a focus on diversity and inclusivity in front of and behind the camera. Helmed by producing partners Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi, Significant Productions' projects include feature films, documentaries, television and digital ventures, which all strive to be at the forefront of discovering emerging talent, like that of director Ryan Coogler whose first film, Fruitvale Station, was produced by Whitaker and Yang Bongiovi and released in 2013, creating immense cultural impact in the entertainment community.
Together, Whitaker and Yang Bongiovi have championed a number of critically acclaimed and monetarily successful films, including Dope (2015) by Rick Famuyiwa, Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) by Chloe Zhao, Roxanne Roxanne (2018) by Michael Larnell, and Sorry To Bother You (2018) by Boots Riley, all of which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in U.S. Dramatic Competition over the past five years. Fruitvale Station, Dope, and Songs My Brothers Taught Me also premiered internationally in Cannes. Currently, Yang Bongiovi and Whitaker are executive producing, and Whitaker is also starring in, the premium series Godfather of Harlem, which will premiere on EPIX this fall.
Yang Bongiovi is a board member of Film Independent, The Oscar Grant Foundation, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE), The Producers Guild of America (PGA), as well as a member of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences' (AMPAS) Producers Branch. She is fluent in Mandarin, Chinese and received her graduate degree in Entertainment Management from the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.
Whitaker is an Academy Award winner and one of Hollywood's most accomplished figures. He is respected globally as an actor, producer, director and humanitarian. He founded the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, which works with youths in global conflict zones alongside the United Nations. He is also a UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, and a mentor to filmmakers and storytellers.