From the big screen to the red carpet, we take a look at some of the filmmakers whose growth we are super-excited to see over the next few years.
By Opeolu Adeyemi
OYENUGA PETER, Filmmaker, Cinematographer
Peter Oyenuga majors in editing, with over 4 years of experience and work with Filmmaking experts, he looks forward to directing in the nearest future.
He directed, shot and edited his first short film with a smartphone which won BEST NIGERIAN FILM at the first AFRICAN SMARTPHONE FILM FESTIVAL in 2017.
“The film industry in Nigeria has evolved tremendously over the years but I think we are at a point now where everyone is relaxed. This has led to the recycling of stories with no intention of growth apart from the financial incentive. The audience around the world is getting used to what we show them. It’s time to take it up a notch.”
Business Name: PETRELII FILMS
Bukola Gbemi, Filmmaker, Interactive Media Producer
Bukola Gbemi is the CEO of Reel Media and an independent filmmaker, a historian, and interactive media producer who specializes in the storytelling process. She has been producing video content for over five years, including a short Film titled “Soiled” and participated in the Canon Filmmaking workshop. Bukola also enjoys creating documentary films, adverts and also does wedding film production, helping couples preserve their precious memories at different stages of their relationship.
“Filmmaking for me is an expression of the stories, I have within. I fell in love with the art when I was a teenager and sought to find a way to express my opinion of the world through filming. We all have a story to tell if we look within. The filmmaking industry in Nigeria has a lot of challenges, and as an independent filmmaker, breaking into the industry can be a lot of work but it’s worth it at the long run.”
Business name: ReelMedia
Facebook: ReelMedia, Gbemi Bukola
Gbolahan Akintunde (Nawab), Screenwriter, Director
Gbolahan Akitunde also known as Nawab is a lawyer by qualification, but a rapper and screenwriter by practice. His discovery of Quentin Tarantino, Kim Ki Duk and Oren Peli’s ‘Paranormal Activity’ were instrumental in his decision to pursue a career in the film industry. His first movie ‘Once Upon a Night’, a psychological thriller is an official selection at this year’s Chelsea Film Festival in New York, and is set to be released in theatres across Nigeria very soon.
“I’ve come to believe ‘rushing is the enemy of filmmaking.’ Sadly, the lot of us only acknowledge this in theory but dispense with it in practice. While this isn’t entirely our fault as there are inhibiting factors to contend with; chief amongst them is budgetary. It is also not outside the realm of possibility, that with great diligence, we can still weave a masterpiece on a shoestring.”
Instagram: @nawwwab, @watchuwatchin, @onceuponanight.movie.
Facebook: ‘Gbolahan Akitunde.’
Agah Alexandra, Costume designer, Stage manager, and Production planner
Agah Alexandra has worked with a very wide variety of professionals in the Nigerian Fashion Industry. Her creativity, thoughts, and depth of insight leap off the screens for each film project she works on, from the costumes she creatively puts together for each movie production, bringing to life each unique project.
Agah believes that the Nollywood industry has grown in leaps and improved tremendously. She has always had a childhood dream of being part of the film industry. Today she is elated to be a proud Nollywood costumier.
“Yes, there are challenges, which is expected, but thankfully we see efforts being made by filmmakers to advance the course. The Nigerian film industry in the nearest future will definitely be the envy of Hollywood. I believe that!”
Delphine Okobah, Content Creator, Film Critique
Creative, whimsical, playful. Overtly curious, soaks up information like a sponge. Once something piques her interest, she never lets go (like a dog with a bone, this one).
Movie buff, people person, extroverted introvert and above all else, lover of Coke (not the narcotic).
With a background in Architecture, it’s no surprise that she’s been exposed to various forms of lifestyle, art, and human interaction. This potent mixture has influenced her interest in Content Creation (YouTubing) TV and Red Carpet Hosting, Event Compering and Film Critiquing. And her journey so far is fueled by her desire to find creative expression where all three interests are in harmony.
She has evolved into a multi-layered media mogul and intends to go one up on Pinky and the Brain by (ACTUALLY) taking over the world.
On the Nigerian film industry – “Growing in quality albeit at snail pace but bursting with so much promise.”
Instagram – @thedelphinator
Fiyin Gambo, CEO of Cliq Media and Co-Founder of white space
Fiyin Gambo is the 20-year-old Nigerian Filmmaker with a passion less-told stories.
Cliq Media specializes in telling African stories differently using technologies and dreams of making movies like Avengers and the Fast and Furious. His films, including the sensational ‘Pursuit’ have been recognized nationally and internationally with features on BBC, Ebony Life TV, Channels, Punch Newspaper and many more.
He has also delivered a private screening of his feature film ‘Pursuit’ to former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
“I see potential in Nollywood, we are growing, and with growth would come scars. However, if we are tenacious enough, sooner or later the world would queue for our films. The world is hungry for new stories from a fresh and untapped background. Here’s is an opportunity for us to let the world hear our voice. My name is Fiyin Gambo and I am here to change the status quo.”
Personal Instagram: @Fiyin.gambo
Personal Twitter: @fiyin_josh
Companies Instagram: @cliqng, @whitespaceng
Bolanle Olusunde-Jenrola, CEO, BON (Bolanle Olosunde Network)
Bolanle Olosunde is a filmmaker, TV producer, and fiction writer. she serves as the project manager of the Accelerate Filmmaker Project and the producer of several web series with Accelerate TV, including Corper Shun. She is currently on the set of her second independent production, a television family drama series ‘Christmas to Valentine’. Her first being an adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘The danger of a Single Story’
“We are in the renaissance period of filmmaking in Nigeria, and I am so excited to be part of this movement. Nollywood has moved from a phase of “just doing it” to actually doing it well. Yes, we still have a long way to go, but we are going in the right direction and paying attention to the artistic value of our stories and picture quality that draws attention from people all over the world.”
Instagram: @bolanleolosunde, @christmastovalentine
Oludara Egerton Shyngle, Actor, Producer
From quitting a job in one of Nigeria’s top commercial banks to follow her “crazy” dream, the graduate of the New York Film Academy has starred in hit web series that include Assorted Meat, Rumor Has It, Inspector K, all available on YouTube.
Oludara has also starred in feature films that include the award-winning Isoken, Tatu, Obsession, Lara and the Beat, and the soon to be released Ghost and the House of Truth.
She played Bukky in the well-received stage play at the Muson center- “Still Single in Gidi”, which was part of the Lagos Film Festival in 2017.
Oludara was one of the producers of Lala Akindoju’s ‘NAKED’ and has also worked with AFRIFF for the past three years.
“I’m excited about where the Nigerian Film Industry is, I’m excited about where it’s going. I’m aware that there is a long way to go and we can get better but the growth over the years is clear and I’m looking forward to it.”
Instagram – @oludara_es
Abolaji Zealet Rasaq, President and CEO of Zealet Multimedia
He is a multimedia professional and independent filmmaker with over 20 years of experience. A generalist filmmaker who is passionate about documentaries. He is also a professional 3d artist, compositor, visual effect artist and a topmost drone pilot in the country. At Zealet Multimedia, he directs, writes and produces documentaries, corporate videos, film support etc.
Some of his film project and collaborations with other professionals in the industry has cut across projects such as: Airtel TV commercials, Wazobia TV, Nollywood movies like “When Love Is Not Enough” and his most recent production feature film, “Complete Dosage (Sa Ko Pe).”
“We started shooting on DV tapes. Our filmmaking journey bridge the gap between the analog and digital filmmaking revolution. It was a Victorian period of filmmaking for us. No teacher, no mentor. We learned the hard way. Now filmmaking has been democratized. The entry requirement is now simple.”
Business Name: ZEALET MULTIMEDIA.
Uyoyou Adia, Scriptwriter, Actor, Director
From an acting debut in 2013’s ‘Child Not Bride’ directed by Toba Tegbe, she wrote her first feature film titled ‘Unbroken’ in 2014.
She co-wrote the Best Nigerian Film at the African Smartphone Film Festival 2017, ‘Broken’ Directed by Peter Petrelii, and ‘Wild Thoughts’ screened at the New York Mobile Film Festival 2018.
She was among the 30 writers trained at Homevida workshop, where she met Micheal ‘AMA Psalmist’ Akinrogunde, and went on to star as the leading actress in his short film Gana Street League.
Her 2018 short film – ‘Lost’ was shot on a phone and she is currently shooting another due for a November release.
“The Nigerian film industry (Nollywood) has grown massively. Some years ago I didn’t think I wanted to be part of the industry but Nollywood has gotten better over the years and I am proud to be part of it. There is definitely a lot of work to be done regarding funding, storytelling, a well-planned pre-production, and distribution, I am optimistic that we would get there.”
Full name: UYOYOU SHALOM ADIA
Business name: XOXO PRODUCTION
Instagram & Twitter: missy_uyi
Facebook: Adia Uyoyou Shalom