OSCARS APPROVES NIGERIAN COMMITTEE FOR SCREENING OF NOLLYWOOD FILMS
Lagos, Nigeria. April 30, 2014
Ahead of the 2015 Oscars, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), has approved a twelve-man committee of Nollywood stakeholders, the Nigerian Oscars Selection Committee (NOSC), paving the way for Nigerian entries to be considered for the world’s most prestigious prizes for films.
Each year, countries with an approved selection committee may submit one film for consideration for the Foreign Language Film Award Oscar; only 5 films are chosen from all international submissions for Academy members to cast their votes and choose a winning foreign language film.
“This is a great opportunity for Nigeria to have a voice in the international film arena”, said Chineze Anyaene, filmmaker and committee chairperson.
The NOSC comprises twelve outstanding professionals who have over time proved their mettle as some of the finest in the movie industry and will select one Nollywood movie each year to be submitted for the Oscars. They include Chineze Anyaene, Ngozi Okafor, Olumide Amure, Ramsey Nouah, Kene Mkparu, Emeka Mba, Chioma Ude, Akin Salami, Mildred Okwo, Biola Alabi, Charles Novia and Shaibu Husseini.
According to Academy rules, the members will consider submissions on seven criteria, which are: story, direction, acting, cinematography, sound, music and universal theme.
Shuiabu Husseini, another member of the board agrees. “The Nollywood film industry needs to play globally so people begin to look towards us.”
Every Nollywood movie selected each year will compete with movies from eighty-five (85) other countries for the coveted Best Foreign Language Film Award. Academy members will then pick a shortlist of five foreign language pictures ahead of the awards ceremony.
The approval of NOSC represents a milestone for the nation’s movie industry which has been recognized as one of the top largest movie industries globally. For years, stakeholders have been trying to further improve its standards and this represents a move in the right direction. Sooner or later, Nollywood movies will win – maybe consecutively even – the Oscar statuette for Best Foreign Language Picture.
ABOUT THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS
CHINEZE ANYAENE – CHAIRPERSON
Chineze Anyaene was born and raised in Abuja, Nigeria. She graduated from Regina Pacis College Abuja and later attended the university of Abuja, Nigeria. In 2005, Chineze immigrated to Los Angeles, California and began a one-year filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy. While at NYFA, she was recognized for creating an outstanding epic folktale, noted as the best “foreign film” of her graduating class.
A first time feature director, her directorial debut IJE: THE JOURNEY has received several awards both locally and internationally including the highest grossing Nigerian film by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and has still remained unbeaten till date. In March 2012, Chineze was part of the panel at a conference in Harvard Business School discussing the entertainment industries in sub-Saharan Africa. She sits as the chairperson of the Nigerian Oscar Committee.
Charles Novia is generally acknowledged as an avant-garde Nollywood filmmaker. Over the years, he has been involved with Nollywood in various capacities as a Scriptwriter, Producer and Director as well as a foremost creative entrepreneur. He’s the first major Nollywood filmmaker to write a book on the workings of the film industry in Nigeria and the book; ‘Nollywood till November: memoirs of a Nollywood Insider’ since its publication in 2012, has been well received by critics and scholars of the film sector in Nigeria.
Born in Lagos Nigeria, she studied at the University of Port Harcourt Nigeria where she obtained a BSc in Mathematics/Computer Science.
With strong and growing knowledge in IT, Administration and Marketing, she was a former Managing partner at Xandria Productions Limited, a media consultancy, production and film distribution company which handled the successful theatrical and DVD release of the multi award winning and highest grossing Nigerian film, IJE: THE JOURNEY. She has since been responsible for the successful distribution of several titles under the Xandria Productions label.
Ngozi’s production credits include Line producer, producer for the Short Film ‘Life’. She is keen to stand out for mastery and excellence.
Emeka Nkem Mba, recently appointed the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) is considered by many of his peers as a leading visionary in the converged fields of media, entertainment and technology, with over 23 years cross functional experiences in the converged fields of media & broadcasting, communications technology, and regulatory policy management. Prior to this appointment by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Emeka had served for seven years between 2005 and July 2012 as Director General of the National Film and Video Censors Board, whilst at the NFVCB he undertook groundbreaking work in restructuring the Nigerian film industry.
Emeka has extensive experience in the media and communications fields, and is currently studying law from the External Programme of the University of London. Mr. Mba holds a B.Sc. Mass Communication, and an Advanced Management Programme (AMP) diploma in Media & Entertainment Management from the IESE Business School of New York.
The enigmatic founder and Executive Director of African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) is an ardent film lover. An avid film watcher and commentator, her passion for the industry grew more intense after her involvement in the production of the 2007 Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) UK Roadshow. The ensuing relationship culminated in Chioma producing the 2008 Africa Movie Academy Awards and the institution of a brainchild of hers called the AMAA Charity Benefit. This novel initiative was designed to be an annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) platform for industry practitioners and stakeholders to give back to society.
In 2009, Chioma went to become the local producer of the ION International Film Festival (IONIFF), held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in Nigeria. She enjoys fund-raising for filmmakers and has produced some premieres for some of the best films in the Nigeria.
Akin Salami is a man on a mission and he is also what you would call a serial entrepreneur. He has successfully launched several businesses across a number of sectors including film production, broadcast media, banking, technology, aviation and distribution.
The Mirror Boy, OH Films’ maiden feature film has gone on to break records and to date is one of the most awarded African movies of all time with over 20 awards across the world.
Akin is also part of international partnership that developed an IPTV film distribution platform called the OHBoX with a focus to promoting Africa and African content globally. The OHBoX platform is fast-becoming the secure Nollywood movie-release platform that is designed to benefit Nigerian and African movie producers.
Akin is a proud Nigerian, an ardent lover of film, an Executive Producer, Distributor and Content Developer. He attended Government College, Ibadan and is also a University of Ife, engineering graduate.
Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah is an actor and Stunt Director, Nouah’s acting career kicked off when he starred in the Nigerian TV soap opera Fortunes. Nouah has since then appeared in numerous films starring as the lead role. In 2010, Nouah won the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in the Best Picture award winning film ‘The Figurine’. Ramsey is considered to be one of the most sought-after actors in Nigeria. To his credit are one hundred and forty five (145)-actor credit and more.
Kene Mkparu is MD/CEO of Filmhouse Cinemas Nigeria, a dynamic cinema company with a combined management experience and a strategic plan to roll-out 25 cinemas over 6 years commencing in December 2012.
He is also MD of FilmOne film distribution limited. With over 20 years experience in cinema business management, Kene was MD, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas (2008-2010) and CEO, Film AFRICA UK (2005-2009). He was also General Manager with Odeon Cinemas UK (1991- 2008).
Kene has received industry achievement awards for entrepreneurship and for film production, in Nigeria and in the UK, Kene’s film production credits includes Line Producer, Producer and Cast for feature films in the UK and Nigeria.
Kene has an MSc degree in Business Systems Analysis & Design (City University, London, 2001), a Post Grad Diploma (King’s College, University of London, 1991) and a BSc Honors degree (University of Nigeria, 1988).
Mildred Okwo is a Theatre Arts graduate of the University of Benin Creative Arts Department (UNIBEN). In 1993, she bagged a Juris Doctor degree from Whittier College School of Law in California and practiced Civil Rights, Employment and Entertainment Law in Los Angeles, California for several years before returning to Nigeria in 2007.
In 2004, Mildred presented family friend and film producer Ego Boyo with the first ten pages of her screenplay “30 Days”. The idea for 30 Days was inspired by conditions Mildred observed in Nigeria, and by December 27, 2003 an article written by popular Nigerian columnist Simon Kolawale motivated Mildred to insist on writing and producing movies that gently prick the conscience of its audience. Further, Mildred
wanted to offer a better quality production to Nollywood viewers. 30 Days became her directorial and producing debut, and it received several accolades.
Her second film titled “The Meeting” is the result of that hiatus. The meeting released in October 2012 has received and continues to receive several accolades which most recently includes Best Nigerian Feature & President Goodluck Jonathan’s award for most authentic Nigerian Feature, African International film Festival (AFRIFF) 2013.
Biola Alabi the Managing Director of MNET Africa was named as one of the 2012 World Economic Forum Young Global leader and has racked up a slew of awards for her progressive and inspiring African vision over the last few years, including a prestigious 2013 AABLA win as West African Business Woman of the Year. She was also named one of the 20 Youngest Power Woman in Africa by Forbes Magazine. Alabi has spent the past five years increasing M-Net’s African portfolio, where she is responsible for driving the strategic growth of African indigenous content at MNET across the continent.
In 2012 Alabi led a restructure of the AfricaMagic channels, expanding the line-up from five general entertainment channels to eight themed channels. She has also overseen 5 editions of the popular reality series Big Brother Africa – Revolution, All Stars, Amplified, StarGame and the Chase. She was the driving force behind the 2013 inaugural Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards and the glittering Face of Africa Finale in Lagos in 2010.
Olumide holds a Bachelors Degree (B.Sc) in Management and Accounting from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. His career has spanned several years as a Consultant with Phillips Consulting Limited before he joined Entertainment Highway Limited as one of three founding staff and later rose to become the Chief Operating Officer of the Group. He is currently the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Entertainment Highway Investment Limited and its subsidiary Highway Distribution Limited.
As a member of the Corporate Finance Team, he has been involved in enterprise development activities. Olumide was one of the founding staff of Entertainment Highway Limited (later known as Hi Media Limited. He resigned from Hi Media in January 2011 to resume as the MD/CEO of Entertainment Highway Investment Limited – a media and entertainment company with a view to invest, own, operate and/or manage media and entertainment businesses throughout Africa. Olumide is also currently the Managing Director of Bloomberg Television Africa Limited.
A widely traveled Culture/film journalist and critic, Shaibu writes for Nigeria’s flagship newspaper-The Guardian. Reputed to be one of the most consistent documentarist of the Nigerian movie industry dubbed Nollywood, Shaibu, an alumnus of the International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) of the United States Department of State is an astute commentator on arts and film development in Nigeria and the continent of Africa. Shaibu has written extensively on the state of the performance arts and runs columns on film/video industry in several newspapers and journals.
The Chair, for five years running now, of the College of Screeners of Africa’s premier film award-the African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) and a member of the prestigious AMAA jury. He is author of Moviedom, the Nollywood Narratives- Clips on the Pioneers. His other books on film and specifically on Nollywood are in publishing.