Women have played very important roles in bringing Nigeria’s film industry to where it is now, many of them have been in front of the cameras as actresses. But only a few have dared to work behind the scene, directing and producing.
Here are some of the women who are setting new records in the Nigerian film industry.
Kemi Adetiba excelled in the production of catchy music videos before venturing into film directing videos but achieved prominence after “The Wedding Party”.
This New York Film Academy alumni hit instant success of a phenomenal proportion with the release of her first feature film “The Wedding Party”. Her film shook the industry, grossing over a million dollars from ticket sales.
Next, she wrote and co-produced one of the most successful movies of 2018. The three hours long Nollywood cult classic “King of Boys“. It was the number one film in Cinemas for seven weeks consecutively and grossed an excess of ₦300 million, becoming one of the most successful Nollywood movies of all time.
Not very many actresses have made such a seemingly seamless transition from acting to producing and directing as Omoni Oboli has done. Her first film as a director was “Being Mrs. Elliot” released in 2014, and since then she has produced and directed a number of films including “First Lady,” “Okafor’s Law,” “Wives on Strike,”, “Wives on Strike: The Revolution”, and “Moms at War”.
“Wives on Strike” grossed over ₦15 million Naira in three days of showing in cinemas, and closed its cinema run at over ₦71 million. “Okafor’s Law”, apart from premiering at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) also grossed 90 million Naira, earning a place as one of the highest ever grossing Nollywood movie.
Netflix’s acquisition of Genevieve’s directorial debut, “Lionheart“, once more put Nigeria more conspicuously on the world motion picture map.
Distribution rights to the film were bought by the streaming giant for $3.8million, which is nearly ₦1.4 billion.
The film, which the actress co-wrote, produced and even starred in, was not just a favorite at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, but was nominated for the prestigious Grolsch Peoples’ Choice Award! Then came Netflix’s announcement of its acquisition of the film.
Mo Abudu can be said to be the leader of the pack. Since joining the film industry from her “Moments with Mo” set, she has been an inspiration to other women since joining the industry.
Mo Abudu has been behind four of the highest grossing Nollywood films ever, beginning with “Fifty” in 2015 to “The Wedding Party”, which grossed ₦453 million. “The Wedding Party: Destination Dubai” grossed ₦500 million, and just recently “Chief Daddy” grossed an excess of ₦300 million.
Only last year, she was elected a director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the organization that awards international Emmy Awards. In January 2019, she was awarded Business Woman Of The Year at the 2019 DAAR Awards.
This visionary media-entrepreneur completes our list of female movers and shakers of Nigeria’s film industry; Nigerian Women front liners who are holding up the torch not just for other women in Nollywood, but for women all over the continent in the business of filmmaking. Their achievements thus far have been resounding, but we can’t wait to see how they will shape the industry in 2019.
Featured image source: thisdaylive.com