Netflix International Original Films Director Funa Maduka to Leave

Funa Maduka - H Getty - 2019
Credit: Pier Marco Tacca / Getty

She had been at the streaming giant for six years and helped it acquire both Oscar and Golden Globe nominees.

Funa Maduka, director of international original films at Netflix, will leave the streaming giant after six years. 

Netflix confirmed the departure to The Hollywood Reporter. It is believed Maduka will leave the SVOD giant Friday.

In an email to external partners, the executive announced that she was "ready to embrace a new challenge." No further details were provided at this time.

Maduka was responsible for much of Netflix's growing international slate of prestige, awards-worthy features, including the acquisitions of Oscar nominee On Body and Soul, Golden Globe nominee Divines, Cannes winner and Spirit Awards nominee Happy as Lazzaro, Sundance winner The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind and BAFTA Scotland nominee Calibre; she also oversaw the French production I Am Not an Easy Man.

"It was great building out the international film business over the past several years at Netflix both with prestige films and audience pleasers," said Maduka in a statement. "Language isn’t a barrier in cinema, it’s a portal. It was an experience that allowed me to discover and collaborate with some of the most dynamic filmmakers around the world, helping to bring their stories to millions across the globe. It’s been a great run and I learned volumes about our ever-global film landscape. I’m now ready to embrace my next challenge."

Maduka — who was recently inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences as a full voting member — covered approximately 20 markets/labs/festivals around the world each year, serving on juries and leading workshops, including the Atlas Workshops in Marrakech, where she helped pioneer a new space for emerging filmmakers from Africa and the Middle East.

She recently was announced as part of a new international film team at Netflix’s London office, working alongside David Kosse, who moved to the streamer from STX in March.

"Funa has been integral to building our international film catalog," said Scott Stuber, head of Netflix film. "She has a great creative eye and the ability to connect deeply with filmmakers. We're excited to see what challenge she takes on next -- and know that whatever Funa does, she'll continue helping storytellers from around the world have their voices heard."