WhatsApp made a movie with Giannis Antetokounmpo


Giannis Antetokounmpo stands in front of a window.  The WhatsApp logo is superimposed in front of his face.
His new short features NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo. | Image: Meta

Meta’s WhatsApp has just released a trailer for its new short film about the story of NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, titled Naija Odyssey. The film is a short film (12 minutes, according to Variety) focusing on the life story of Antetokounmpo.

The film appears to be mostly branded content, given that Antetokounmpo signed an endorsement deal with WhatsApp in February that made him the social media platform’s first brand spokesperson. So while it’s not exactly the same as Apple getting into film and TV with things like Coda and Ted Lasso, Naija Odyssey could be a sign that WhatsApp is exploring original content in some form, even if only for future branding opportunities.

Here is the fuller description of the film, from the description of the YouTube trailer: “The true story of a basketball star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was born in Greece to Nigerian parents. All his life people tried to tell him who he was. Today, Giannis tells his “multiple origin story” by reconciling his roots, his birthplace and his sense of belonging between cross-cultural worlds.”

While the Naija Odyssey the trailer indicates that the film will be released on September 21 on Amazon Prime Video, Variety reports that WhatsApp will also share the film on its social networks and on YouTube.

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