Netflix has won a four-way bidding battle for Tunga, an original animated family adventure musical from Godwin Jabangwe, for a mid-six figure guarantee.
This is the first deal to close out of the 22 projects developed in Impact 1, a program initiated by Imagine Entertainment cofounders Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. The program was initiated to open a door to new voices by paying unknowns to develop film and TV projects that were pitched to the industry late last year. Jabangwe graduated the UCLA screenwriting MFA program.
Jabangwe will continue to write on the project for Netflix. Tunga is inspired by the mythology of the Shona culture of Zimbabwe. It tells the tale of a young African girl named Tunga, who, after the death of her father, must venture to a mythical lost city where her people’s spiritual elders can teach her how to summon the rain and save her village from a long-enduring drought. Accompanying Tunga is her animal totem Zuze, a wooden figurine that comes to life as a trouble-making honey badger, who Tunga must learn to trust and work with in order to complete her journey.