Filmmaking business is a man’s world it seems, but there exists a subtle but no less powerful bloc of female filmmakers who are bucking the trends and making movies that audiences are responding to. Then there are those who provide momentum for more to be achieved and have succeeded in building capacity. Influenced by the pioneering efforts of the late Amaka Igwe, these women – whether beloved actresses or former lawyers, home grown or returnees – have refused to accept the status quo and are putting out an enviable body of work. We present the 10 women in film in alphabetical order.
1. Ugoma Adegoke
Adegoke is the producer/director of the four year old Lights Camera Africa film festival which recently wrapped up five days of film screenings, discussions and exhibitions at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos. Films screened at the festival this year include Half of a Yellow Sun and Kunle Afolayan’s October 1. An alumnus of the Manchester Business School, Adegoke remains committed to the development of the film industry and attracts filmmakers across the country with LCA.
2. Chineze Anyaene
Fresh off her studies at the prestigious New York Film Academy, Anyaene brought the duo of Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde together to star in Ije: The Journey, Nigeria’s biggest movie, by box-office returns. She was recently announced the chairperson of the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee and her role involves the important task of choosing what movies will fly Nigeria’s flag for the Best Foreign Language during Oscar season.
3. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe
After guiding the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) from an uncertain beginning to an impressive ten year installment, Anyiam-Osigwe has announced plans to step down from the day to day running of Africa’s biggest film institution. But her contributions to the development of the film industry and commitment in celebrating film talent can never be erased from history. Apart from reward, AMAA through the Africa Film Academy organises capacity building workshops for filmmakers.
4. Michelle Bello
Nigerian-British Bello runs Blu Star entertainment, her own production outfit and has produced and directed two feature films; Small Boy (2007) and Flower Girl (2013). She has done behind the scenes work for Mo Abudu on Moments with ‘Mo and TY Bello for her ‘Greenland’ video. A Masters degree holder in Communications, Bello’s Blu Star in 2007, published The Film Directory, a comprehensive listing of industry practitioners.
Story: Wilfred Okiche
Read the full story in November 2014 edition of Nolly Silver Screen (Issue 10) here.
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