Like the late Amaka Igwe of blessed memory, female directors and producers aren’t about to take the backseat in the Nigerian film industry. These passionate trail blazers churn out blockbusters year in year out, giving male directors a run for their money. Among the many cineastes taking on the ever-growing business of film-production, find marshaled below the top seven female filmmakers to keep an eye on this year.
7. Blessing Egbe
Blessing Egbe is a writer, producer, director and actress known for Lekki Wives, Two Brides & A Baby, Busted, The Women, Before The Vow and One Room to name a few. Formerly a model, Blessing has featured in several television commercials in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Ireland and South Africa for big time products like Investec Bank, America Next Top Model, and Smart Car. She’s the C.E.O of B’Concept Network Productions.
6. Grace Edwin Okon
Formerly a beauty queen and model, Grace Edwin-Okon is a multi-talented actor, script writer, film producer and author. She’s known for Heavy Beauty (her first feature film), Deadwood, Oblivious, The Maid, Deluded, Little Drops Of Happy, Entreat, Mrs. & Mrs. Johnson, and Kpians: The Feast Of Souls. In 2016 she won the City People Award for Producer of the Year. Grace is the CEO of Derwin Productions, an organization dedicated to educational and entertaining audio visuals.
5. Uduak Oguamanam
Uduak Isong Oguamanam is a writer, producer and director with international awards (like the Commonwealth Short Story Competition) to her name. Her writing credits include the award-winning Bursting Out, Knocking On Heaven’s Door, It’s About Your Husband, and Kokomma to name a few. She’s known for producing Back-Up Wife and the Okon installments, i.e. Okon Lagos, Okon Goes to School, and Lost in London. She also produced The Department, Put A Ring On It, and Desperate Housegirls. Her latest project, Getting Over Him, will be in cinemas on the 26th of January.
4. Dolapo ‘LowlaDee’ Adeleke
Dolapo Adeleke was born on September 6, 1990 in Kano State and began writing at an early age, publishing two books before entering the university. The professional actress, director and producer is known for This Is It (web series), You Me Maybe, Brave, and A Place Called Happy. She began directing films at the age of 21, and in 2014 she won the Best Short Film at the Best of Nollywood Awards. In the same year she founded Doreen Media Africa, a Pan African television production company specializing in the art and distribution of films and series.
3. Tope Oshin Ogun
Tope Oshin is a director and producer known for TV dramas and soap operas including (over 300 episodes of) Tinsel, MTV’s Shuga, Hush, and Hotel Majestic. In 2015, she produced Fifty, a romantic drama that broke box office records upon release. Other feature-length films she takes credit for include Journey to Self and In-Line, a movie with rave reviews. Her documentary on female filmmakers in Nollywood, Amaka’s Kin: The Women Of Nollywood, was a beauty at the Real Time Film Festival last year. She’s also set to release a comedy drama, New Money, come the 23rd of March, 2018.
2. Omoni Oboli
Omoni Oboli is a multi-award winning actress, scriptwriter, director and producer. Screenplays to her credit include Being Mrs Elliot, The First Lady, Okafor’s Law, The Duplex, and Brother’s Keeper to name a few. In 2010 she won the Best Actress at the Harlem International Film Festival and also the Best Actress in a Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Movie Awards. In 2014 she won the Big Screen Actress of the Year at the ELOY Awards and was renominated in 2017 for the Best Female Movie Director. In 2016 she directed Wives on Strike, and then later in 2017 released the star-studded sequel, Wives On Strike: The Revolution. Omoni currently stars in Fifty: The Series.
1. Kemi Adetiba
Kemi Adetiba was born in Lagos on 8 January 1980. She’s an award-winning director, producer and cinematographer known for Across A Bloodied Ocean, the King Woman series, and the much anticipated King Of Boys. Her first feature film, The Wedding Party, premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) as the opening film of the City-to-City Spotlight. Her body of work includes music videos, commercials, television content and films that have appeared on Channel O, MTV Base, Soundcity, BET and Netflix. She has stated that she expects to win an Oscar within the next two to three years. We wish her Godspeed.