Yara Shahidi Extends Overall Deal With ABC, Onyx Collective

Yara Shahidi, arguably the face of Freeform, is extending her overall deal with the studio behind Grown-ish and adding Onyx Collective to the pact.

“It is every creative’s dream to be seen and heard and to do so with colleagues who align with your vision and your soul. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to continue to create with our Disney family and be grounded in the work that Onyx Collective is doing to meet the moment,” said Yara Shahidi and her mom/business partner Keri Shahidi.

The duo’s 7th Sun banner will continue to develop and produce scripted and unscripted programming for both studios as part of the exclusive deal that includes working with Freeform and Onyx Collective president Tara Duncan and her various teams.

Shahidi joins the likes of Ryan Coogler, Destin Daniel Cretton, Prentice Penny, Natasha Rothwell and Erika Green Swafford with producing deals with Onyx, which focuses on stories from underrepresented communities.

Ring of Fire: The Life of Annie Mae Aquash, directed by Yvonne Russo, examines the extraordinary life and unravels the decades-old mystery behind the murder of Annie Mae Aquash. A Mi’kmaq woman from Nova Scotia, Canada, Annie Mae is a mother, a teacher and a revolutionary who fought for Indigenous rights and whose death went unsolved for almost 30 years, becoming one of Indian Country’s most infamous cases. Set between the sweeping landscape of American politics in the volatile 1970s and the present‐day quest for answers lead by Annie Mae’s daughter, this is a shocking story of murder, intrigue, love and betrayal that contextualizes Annie Mae’s case within the current day epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Executive produced by Amy Kaufman, Caroline Waterlow, Yvonne Russo, Ezra Edelman and Riva Marker. The docu-series is produced by Laylow Pictures in association with Nine Stories Productions.

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Life is all about drive and the will to succeed despite the odds. Nowhere is this more evident than in the wildly inventive and passionate world of car culture, where enthusiasts show off vastly different vehicles in a display not only of automotive ardor but also of their own personal success. In “The Untitled Swizz Beatz Project,” hip-hop legend and car collector Swizz Beatzvisits car-loving destinations, where he’ll examine the area’s distinctive car culture and bring together two otherwise disparate car clubs over a shared love of all things automotive and an appreciation for what it’s like to beat the odds through sheer drive alone. The series is produced by Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith of Ty Ty and Jay Brown Productions, Raymond Garcia of Major TV, Emmet Dennis of Black Drive Originals, and Christian Sarabia of 51 Minds.

“Searching for Soul Food” follows rock star celebrity chef Alisa Reynoldsas she discovers what soul food looks like around the world. As she seeks out the food, she’ll also explore the stories, the people, and the traditions of each place she visits, bringing her own flavor right along with her. The international journey finds Chef Reynolds exploring the culinary worlds of Mississippi, Oklahoma, Appalachia, South Africa, Italy, Jamaica, Peru and Los Angeles. “Searching for Soul Food”is directed by Rodney Lucas and executive produced by Melina Matsoukas, Jacob Cohen-Holmes and Ali Brown. Traci Curry serves as showrunner. “Searching for Soul Food” is produced by Woodman Park Productions (an All3Media America Company), De La Revolucion and Ventureland.

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