7 female filmmakers with impact on Nigeria’s movie industry

Posted on Mar 8 2019 - 3:38pm by admin

In celebration of Women’s International Day, here are 7 women working as directors and producers in Nollywood.

While breaking new frontiers, the contributions of these female filmmakers are no less significant in the industry as they continue to push, set records, inspire, and tell refreshing kinds of stories.

Pulse Movies highlight some of the most inspiring female directors and producers in Nollywood in no particular order in this list.

Mo Abudu

Ever since Mo Abudu ventured into filmmaking, she has turned herself into a reputable auteur and a force on both the big screen.

Mo Abudu is the Chief Executive Officer of EbonyLife TV and films. [Instagram/MoAbudu]

Her magic wand produced top Nollywood blockbusters like ‘The Wedding Party’ franchise, ‘Fifty,’ ‘The Royal Hotel Hibiscus.’ Abudu was also responsible for some TV production that includes ‘The Governor,’ ‘Desperate Housewives Africa,’ ‘Sons of the Caliphate,’ and ‘Fifty the Series.’

‘The Wedding Party’ and ‘The Wedding Party: Destination Dubai,’ which grossed hundreds of millions of Naira, are huge success currently ranking as the top two highest grossing Nollywood movies.

In 2017, Abudu was mentioned in The Hollywood Reporter’s annual list of the ‘25 Most Powerful Women in Global Television alongside Angelica Guerra (Latin America), Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner(United Kingdom).

In 2018, Abudu made headlines again with ‘Chief Daddy’ after which she got herself a seat as one of the academy directors for the prestigious Emmys.

Biola Alabi

Biola Alabi is notable for spearheading the berth of one of Africa’s biggest movie awards, Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, while she worked with Multichoice Nigeria.

Managing partner at Biola Alabi Media Consulting Firm, Biola Alabi

After her exit from the cable TV company, Alabi began working on her production house, Biola Alabi Media. The company delved into movie production and have successfully found space as a major player in the industry.

With the production of ‘Banana Island Ghost’ and ‘Lara & the beat,’ the company has made an impactful contribution to Nollywood.

Alabi went a step further to host a TV show on Arise Network. She has since been a host of the TV station coverage of the Academy Awards, Oscars since 2017. 

Kemi Adetiba

Kemi Adetiba carved a niche for herself after shot series of music videos for top Nigerian musicians that included Olamide and Niyola.

Kemi Adetiba has become a leading light for several female filmmakers with her success.

A graduate of the New York Film Academy, Adetiba has worked as an On-Air Presenter, TV show host before she started shooting music videos.

A filmmaker, and television director whose works have appeared on Channel O, MTV Base, Soundcity TV, and BET, Kemi Adetiba made her entry into Nollywood when she worked on ‘Wedding Party 1’ for EbonyLife films.

Adetiba was also responsible for some issue based series and documentaries that include ‘Brotherhood’ and ‘King Women.’ 

The success of the feature film saw her making her second feature film, ‘King Of Boys,’ a political thriller that ruled 2018.

Aside from breaking her own record with ‘The Wedding Party 1,’ Adetiba was listed as a game changer in 2019.

According to a Nigerian economist, Bismarck Rewane, Kemi Adetiba amongst the 15 people who he believes will shape the country’s economy.

Tope Oshin

Tope Oshin was the only female director on M-Net’s hit soap opera ‘Tinsel’ in its first five seasons – she shot about 350 episodes of the show.

Tope Oshin’s movies in 2018 got several movie awards nominations.

She has produced and directed several acclaimed movies such as ‘Fifty,’ ‘Journey to Self,’ ‘In Line’ among others.

She is also known for directing series such as ‘Hush,’ ‘Hotel Majestic,’ ‘The Apprentice Africa,’ ‘Shuga’ (Season 3 and 6).

Oshin has also directed several short films including ‘The Young Smoker’, ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ and ‘New Horizons.’

In 2016, she directed the documentary, “Amaka’s Kin: The Women Of Nollywood,” a memorial to influential filmmaker Amaka Igwe, who died in 2014, and had before her death, paved the way for most female filmmakers.

In 2017, she shot the critically acclaimed movie, ‘We don’t live here anymore’ and in 2018, she returned to the cinemas with ‘Up North.’

Genevieve Nnaji

Genevieve Nnaji is one of the accomplished Nigerian movie stars with mentions in international media. 

Genevieve Nnaji made a first with her movie, ‘Lionheart,’ which was released in 2018.[YouTube/MPM Premium]

The actress has featured in over 200 movies since her career kicked off 20 years ago. She also featured in the film ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ based on Chimamanda Ngozi’s book of the same name about the Nigerian-Biafran War from 1967-70.

In 2015, Nnaji made her debut as a producer when she co-produced ‘Road to yesterday’ which she also featured in.

In 2018, she made her directorial debut with the movie, ‘Lionheart.’ The movie became the first Nollywood movie to be acquired by Netflix before release. It was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and got good reviews.

Nnaji has since signed a management deal with a top US talent management firm and has been working on new grounds to break into Hollywood.  

Bolanle Austen-Peters

The managing director and founder of renowned Arts and Cultural organisation, Terra Culture, Bolanle Austen-Peters ventured into filmmaking with “93 Days,” a stirring depiction of how the deadly Ebola virus was contained in Lagos.

Bolanle Austen-Peters’ directorial debut, ‘The Blings Lagosians’ features top Nollywood actors. [Instagram/TheBlingsLagosians]

Bolanle Austen-Peters Production is popular for producing critically acclaimed musicals such as “SARO the Musical,” “WAKAA!” and “FELA and the Kalakuta Queens.”

In 2018, Bolanle Austen-Peters took it a notch higher as she made her directorial debut by shooting her second feature film, ‘The Blings Lagosians.’

Biodun Stephens

Biodun Stephens resigned her job as an On-Air Presenter to study filmmaking and scriptwriting at the London film academy. 

Biodun Stephens is a filmmaker and writer that has been impacting the Nigerian movie industry. [Biodun Stephens]

Upon her return, she immersed herself into making a change in Nollywood and partnered with Koga Entertainment to make the movie, ‘The Visit,’ which went on to open doors for her.

Working with several individuals, Stephens made headlines again with the interesting drama, ‘Picture Perfect’ in 2017.

In 2018, Stephens joins Tope Oshin as one of the female filmmakers working with M-Net and Multichoice Nigeria to create content for Africa Magic.

Stephens is billed to released a faith-based feature film, ‘Joba’ in 2019.

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