Newen’s Ringside Media Buys Stake in ‘Blue Story’ Producer Joi Productions
Joi Productions, the banner founded by Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, who produced Rapman’s directorial debut Blue Story, has become the latest indie production company to be bought as consolidation ramps up across the industry.
Ringside Media, the investment arm of Ringside Studios, backed by TF1’s Newen Studios, has acquired a minority stake in the company, which focuses on Black, queer and female-led stories and in 2020 received a BFI Vision award.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Ringside family,” said Gharoro-Akpojotor. “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.”
Joining Gharoro-Akpojotor, who alongside Blue Story also produced Boxing Day and is currently producing Champion for the BBC, is Wildgaze’s head of development, Tom Hawkins.
“I’m super excited to be joining Joi Productions and working with Joy on growing her bold and distinctive slate,” said Hawkins. “Joy has proven herself to be an exciting and dynamic producer. And it’s great to be joining the company at such a pivotal moment. We share an ambition to bring subversive, often marginalized, stories to the screen with a playful wit and sense of humor.”
The deal marks the fifth investment by Ringside Media, which alongside Ringside Studios was founded by British producer and former commissioner Gub Neal (Liaison, The Fall, Queer as Folk) as part of parent company Newen Studio’s strategy to expand into the English-language scripted market. Other investments include Fictionhouse, Slate Entertainment and Further South Productions in 2021, followed recently by B Side Film and TV. All the companies will work closely with Newen Connect, Newen’s distribution arm.