WhatsApp commissions 1st leisure undertaking, a movie featuring Nigerian NBA star

WhatsApp, the well known messaging app owned by tech huge Meta, is bowing its initially primary leisure task afterwards this thirty day period — a short movie showcasing NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Antetokounmpo, born in Greece to Nigerian parents, was named the 2021 NBA All-Star MVP and led the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA Finals title that 12 months. In the 12-moment movie, titled “Naija Odyssey,” the pro basketballer “tells his origin tale of many origins as he reconciles his roots, birthplace and perception of belonging among cross-cultural worlds,” according to WhatsApp’s description. The athlete inked an endorsement deal with WhatsApp in February of this year.

Narrated by Antetokounmpo and his mom, Veronica, “Naija Odyssey” is loosely primarily based on the traditional Greek epic poem “The Odyssey,” depicting distinct times in his daily life. “In Greece, my instructors explained to stories of tourists battling the sea, combating to locate their way home — to obtain them selves,” Antetokounmpo claims in the voiceover for the film’s trailer (watch under). “I was on that same journey.”

“Naija Odyssey” is directed by filmmakers Nono Ayuso and Rodrigo Inada and edited by Mikkel E.G. Nielsen, who gained the 2021 Oscar for movie editing for Amazon Studios’ “Sound of Metal.” WhatsApp will release the movie on Sept. 21 on its social media channels, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video clip.

Why did WhatsApp commission the movie? The venture is seriously a piece of branded information searching for to capitalize on Antetokounmpo’s all over the world fame and converse the message that WhatsApp can deliver individuals collectively. “‘Naija Odyssey’ is a tale that reinforces how WhatsApp helps us embrace our multifaceted lives,” stated Vivian Odior, WhatsApp’s global head of promoting. “In navigating relationships, id, and even adversity, WhatsApp is there — enabling you to embrace all sides of you by connecting you to those people who make a difference most.”

The uplifting concept of “Naija Odyssey” seems in portion built to counter the narrative that WhatsApp has assisted fuel the spread of misinformation and furthered societal divisions — which in some scenarios has led to serious-entire world violence.

Meta (formerly Fb) acquired cellular messaging application WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. WhatsApp now has a lot more than 2 billion month to month people. The WhatsApp offer is cited in the FTC’s pending antitrust lawsuit towards its parent company, with the company alleging that the acquisition was component of Facebook’s anticompetitive modus operandi to invest in up possible competition. Meta has stated the FTC’s claims are “an energy to rewrite antitrust regulations and upend settled anticipations of merger evaluation.”