Source: JM Films

(clockwise from left) Jimi Adesanya, Tiwa Savage, Meji Alabi

African production company Unbound Studios and its subsidiary JM Films have wrapped principal photography on their first feature Water and Garri, with Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage making her acting debut. 

Savage (whose Water and Garri music EP was released in 2021) also wrote and performs the film’s original soundtrack and is an executive producer through her Everything Savage company.

Shot in the city of Cape Coast in Ghana, the film casts Savage as a fashion designer with a budding career in the US who returns to her home in Africa to confront the guilt she left behind. 

Meji Alabi directed from a script by Comfort Emmanuel, with Unbound’s Jimi Adesanya producing. Alabi and Adesanya also serve as executive producers, along with Vannessa Amadi-Ogbonna. Mike Afolarin, Andrew Bunting and Jemima Osunde star with Savage. 

Savage commented: “This project was a complete labour of love that has been a dream of mine for a number of years. Performing as Aisha allowed me to be totally vulnerable and pushed me to express myself in a way that I’ve never done before. It was an honour to share my debut as an actress with Meji whilst filming on the African continent with a cast and crew that I have immense admiration and respect for. I’m excited for the world to see this film.”

Alabi added: “Working with Tiwa Savage and the team on Water and Garri was an incredible experience. We’ve worked together on multiple music projects over the years and this film was a perfect progression of our creative growth and shared vision of exploring beyond boundaries. It’s such an exciting story and Tiwa nailed her debut as a lead actress amongst an incredible supporting cast. Looking forward to sharing this film with the world.” 

Adesanya said: “Proud to have produced this incredible film with a talented collective from crew to cast. Both Tiwa Savage, as lead actor, and Meji Alabi, as film director, delivered a powerful debut, alongside our amazing support cast, who truly captured the depth within the story. Our goal is to produce film and TV projects that will level the playing field to collaborate and build high-quality content with both indigenous and major players in succession. The Nollywood industry is very exciting right now with a continuing burst of talent and more distribution access, so we look forward to playing our part to move the needle even further.”