TOP NOLLYWOOD FEMALE PRODUCERS
Currently, in Nollywood, women are beginning to take center stage in the movie industry and with this opportunity been able to tell amazing stories, break records and take the industry to the next level.
In no particular order, here are our top 10 Nollywood female producers that have done exceptionally well, and smashed box offices, with their movies grossing in millions.
This list was collated based on their work and achivements this year.
Genevieve started her acting career at the age of 8 in the then popular television soap opera ”Ripples”.
In 1998 at the age of 19, she was re-introduced into the Nigerian film industry with the movie “Most Wanted” where she displayed her acting talent and skills. Her talent also came through in subsequent movies such as “Last Party”, “Mark of the Beast” and “Ijele”. In 2010 she starred in the award-winning film “Ijé: The Journey” which starred Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Clem Ohamezie, and several others. She has starred in over 80 Nollywood movies and has been referred to as the Julia Roberts of Africa by Oprah Winfrey.
In November 2015, Genevieve produced her first movie called Road to Yesterday, which won the Best Movie Overall – West Africa at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (“AMVCA”). Her recent movie which launched her directorial debut “Lionheart” was acquired by online streaming service Netflix marking it the first Netflix original film from Nigeria, The Movie also had its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (“TIFF”).
Emem Isong’s career began in 1994 when she wrote and co-produced the movie “Jezebel.” Her first solo production was the 1996 Breaking Point. She then went on to work with Remmy Jez, for eight years, as a producer on his movies such on as “Private Sin,” “Promise Me Forever,” “Masterstroke,” “Critical Decision,” “Games Women Play” and “Behind Closed Doors”. This relationship lasted till 2008. Thereafter, she co-produced the movie “Reloaded” starring Nse-Ikpe Etim, Ramsey Nouah, and Ini Edo among others.
In 2014 Emem directed her first feature film “Champagne”, which had its premiere at the Silverbird Galleria in Victoria Island, Lagos. In August 2015 she released the film “Code of Silence”, which was not only her second directed feature film but also a movie which she produced, working with the Royal Arts Academy and Nollywood Workshop, an international NGO which aims to encourage change in the society through the use of movies. “Code of Silence” addresses the issue of rape in Nigeria, and features stars like Makida Moka, Patience Ozokwor, Ini Edo, and Omoni Oboli.
Emem’s expertise in the movie industry has also allowed her to be chosen as a speaker in the Afrinolly masterclass series and also as a judge for the MTN Afrinolly short film completion in 2013. Emem Isong has not only thrilled audiences with her movies, but she has also paved the way for several female filmmakers, proving that ladies can direct, produce and write scripts.
Omoni Oboli began her movie career in 1996 with the movie ”Bitter Encounter” where she played the role of a secretary.
She made her directorial debut in 2014 with “Being Mrs. Elliot” and has since produced and directed movies such as “Wives on strike” and “Wives on strike: The revolution”, “Okafor’s Law”, “First Lady” and her recent movie, “Moms at war”.
Her Movie ”wives on Strike” was a hit at the box office, and grossed over N70 million. Her 2016 movie ”Okafor’s law” was premiered at TIFF as part of its city to city programme which eventually grossed 90 million in cinemas nationwide.
Dolapo ‘LowlaDee’ Adeleke.
Dolapo Adeleke, also known as LowlaDee is a Nigerian filmmaker who founded Doreen Media Africa in 2014, a company that initiates and popularize multimedia content. In 2016, she launched LowlaDee TV and started her web series,” This is It” which garnered over 300,000 views and got rave reviews upon release.
In 2012, she was included in Vanguard list of young Nigerians making a significant impact and was noted to have won Best teen writer of the year award by Angles Magazine for writing “Flesh and Blood” and “The Little White Hen”.
In 2015, her short film “Brave” was nominated at the AMVCA, this nomination aided in putting her on the map as a filmmaker.
She went on to create projects such as “A Place Called Happy” and “This is It”, a critically acclaimed web series, which delves into an exposition of married life at a young age and the truths that loiter behind closed doors. Her other movies are “Entangled,” “The Call” and “Be My Guest.”
Bolanle Austen Peters.
Bolanle Austen-Peters worked with her father’s law firm before working with the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Switzerland and later moved to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the United Nations Development Program. She founded the Nigerian arts, education and cultural organization, Terra Kulture in 2003.
With the creation of Bolanle Austen-Peters Productions (BAP) in 2013, the theater production of “SARO the Musical” received a number of accolades and reviews from the BBC and Sky news and has since produced five additional commissioned plays.
In December 2014 and April 2015 BAP Productions produced “SARO the Musical 2” at the Muson Centre involving music, drama and dance. Austen-Peters further produced a Broadway-style musical production titled ”Wakaa The Musical” which ran from 30 December 2015 to 3 January 2016 at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. Wakaa the Musical was the first Nigerian musical to be staged in London’s West End, playing at Shaw Theatre from 21 to 25 July 2016.
In 2015, she commenced production of the film “93 Days”, a feature film on the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria which premiered on 13 September 2016 in Lagos. It was selected for premiering and viewing at TIFF, The Chicago Film Festival, The Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, The Johannesburg Film Festival, The Africa Film Festival in Cologne/Germany, and was nominated for a RapidLion Award.
It also received a total of thirteen nominations in the 2017 AMVCA, being the highest nominations ever, and received an award for best lighting design. 93 days was nominated in 7 categories for the 2017 African Movie Academy Awards (“AMAA”), and was the highest nominated film in 2017 AMAA.
In 2016 she conceived a plan to build the first purpose-built private theater in Nigeria, Terra Kulture Arena, which opened on 25 and 26 March 2017.
Mosunmola Abudu popularly known as Mo Abudu is a media mogul who was described by Forbes ”Africa’s most successful woman” and was recently listed on the 2018 UK Powerlist.
In the years since she ventured into filmmaking, Mo has turned herself into a reputable force in the movie industry with her movies like “The Wedding Party 1 &2”, “Fifty”, “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel” and tv series including The Governor, Desperate Housewives Africa, Sons of the Caliphate and Fifty the Series.
“The Wedding Party” and “The Wedding Party: Destination Dubai” have been a huge success, grossing N453 million naira and N500 million, respectively.
They are currently the top two highest grossing Nollywood movies currently.
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).
Funke Akindele came into limelight after featuring in the popular United Nations population fund (UNFPA) sponsored tv series ”I need to know” which ran from 1998-2002.
Funke played the lead role in her comedy movie ”Jenifa”, which tells the story of Suliat a.k.a Jenifa, a secondary school dropout who lives in a backwater town called Aiyetoro. Due to several accolades received for this movie from both local and International platforms, Funke followed through on the commercial and critical success of the movie with a sequel titled ”The return of Jenifa’.”
In 2015, Akindele started a TV series titled ”Jenifa’s diary” which has gone on to create several household stars and win several awards, including the AMVCA.
In 2017, Akindele released a music-oriented TV series titled “Industreet,” giving most upcoming actors an opportunity to showcase and grow their talent.
Blessing Effiom Egbe is a director and actress, known for her movies like “Two brides and a baby” in 2011, “This Thing Called Marriage” in 2016 and “Amaka’s Kin: The Women of Nollywood” in 2016, her tv series “Lekki Wives”, One Room and her recent movie “The Women”.
Blessing Egbe has established herself as a filmmaker with a flair for creating realistic characters and stories likely to resonate with the Nigerian audience.
She has also been an inspiration to other young female filmmakers.
Tope Oshin was an actor for 12 years featuring in films like Relentless in 2010 before diving into directing by working as an assistant director for ”The Apprentice Africa” and had since become known for directing popular Africa TV dramas like Hush, Hotel Majestic, and Season 6 of MTV Shuga.
She has also directed several films like ”The young smoker”, ”Till death do us part”, ”New horizons”, her recent movie ”New money” and the Ebonylife Tv legal drama series ”Castle and Castle.”
In 2016, She produced and directed the documentary ”Amaka’s kin: The women of Nollywood”, as a memorial to prominent filmmaker Amaka Igwe, who died in 2014, the documentary addressed issues facing Nigerian female directors working in a male-dominated industry.
Kemi Adetiba has won the hearts of so many through her music and movie productions.
No doubt she is one of the most talented people in the industry as she is said to see her production not as mere production but as an art.
Born in Lagos on January 8, 1980, Kemi Adetiba started her journey into the media as a young child where she headlined two national television commercials for the iconic detergent brand OMO, following the path of her father, Dele Adetiba, a veteran in the advertising and broadcast industries who played a pivotal role in the development in Nigeria. Kemi is also a graduate of law.
In 2007, after years of success in front of the camera, her love of storytelling drew her to enroll in the New York Film Academy.
Today, Kemi is an award-winning director, producer, and cinematographer. Her body of work includes music videos, commercials, television content, and films.
Shortly after its release, her short movie ‘Across a Bloodied Ocean’ was screened at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles and the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta that same year.
Another brilliant work by Kemi is the King Women series, which was done in partnership with Accelerate TV. The series seeks to tell exclusive chronicles of inspiring women celebrating their trials and triumphs with life lessons for all.
Her recent movie King of Boys has been getting amazing reviews and has so far been named the best Nollywood movie in 2018.
There is no doubt that Kemi Adetiba is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian Movie industry.