Special Report: 20 Pioneer Directors Still Shaping Nollywood (1)

Tade Ogidan


In this special report for #NOMAREC, Azuh Amatus takes a critical look at 20 pioneer movie directors, who are still relevant and making great movies despite the influx of new and emerging filmmakers in the nation’s daily expanding motion picture industry.

Zeb Ejiro:

Famously called the Sheikh or Presido, this revered and celebrated film director is as old as Nollywood when it comes to filmmaking. Delta state-born Ejiro who was decorated with a national honour by the federal government for his invaluable contributions to Nollywood and the creative industry, is still a force to reckon with in the industry despite the emergence of the new breeds.

Akintade ‘Tade’ Ogidan:

This reserved but hugely cerebral mind is one of the biggest film directors in Nollywood.

The US trained filmmaker who recently turned 60, has continued to dish out quality movies to the admiration of movie buffs, even many years after raising the bar of filmmaking in Nigeria with the monster hit thriller, Hostages.

Andy Amenechi:

This former national president of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), is one of the most sought after directors in the early days of Nollywood and even till date.

He has not lost his Midas touch, when it comes to quality filmmaking as a topnotch director with an enviable track record.

Chico Ejiro:

Fondly called Mr. Prolific due to his prowess when it comes churning out hit movies as a frontline director in Nollywood.

Surprisingly, Ejiro, a trained agriculturist and younger sibling to Zeb, has not looked back since he joined the nation’s motion picture industry over two decades ago.

Teco Benson:

Teco Benson

No doubt, Anambra state-born Benson has maintained an overwhelming strong presence and personality in Nollywood since he began his directorial sojourn in 1997.

With over 50 quality films to his credit as a leading director in Nollywood, Benson, who dumped civil service job for Nollywood is still setting the pace in the industry he loves so much.

Tarila Thompson:

Bayelsa state-born Mr. T, as he’s fondly called, is currently putting finishing touches to his latest big budget film, In The Creek.

The film, which has been in the works for some years now, was shot in both Africa and Europe and equally parades both Nigerian and international stars.

When completed, the film is expected to kick start a new narrative in Nollywood and further help reposition the industry, especially in the eyes of its foreign audience and investors.

Kingsley Ogoro:

This silent achiever who gave us the globally acclaimed comedy hit-Osuofia In London in 2003, among other great works, is still making movie buffs proud till date.

This soft-spoken boss of Klink Studios is to Nollywood, what Steven Spielberg is to Hollywood, when it comes to pushing out classy and classic movies. He has been described by many of his colleagues as creatively restless, when quality filmmaking is at stake.

Fidelis Duker:

Unarguably one of the  most consistent filmmakers in Nollywwod, Duker who is also the founder of the annual Abuja International Film Festival, has not looked back since joining the industry over two decades ago.

Duker, a former national president of the Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), is also the founder of FADFM, a wave making radio station operating from Calabar, Cross River state. He is still a formidable force in Nollywood.

Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen:

Famously called De Guvnor, Mr. Imasuen, from Edo state, is unarguably one of the most widely travelled Nollywood directors.

With over 25 years experience in the industry, Imasuen, who made his directorial debut with the blockbuster, Yesterday, at the youthful age of 26, has continued to expand his frontiers both nationally and internationally.

Imasuen has over 100 quality movies to his credit as a revered director and is still in hot demand as a contemporary and consistent film director.

Bond Emeruwa:

 This former DGN national president is as old as Nollywood. As a respected director, Emeruwa keeps reinventing himself and making bold statements with his numerous creative efforts and initiatives.

Emeruwa, was also a former protem chairman of Coalition of Nollywood Guilds and Associations (CONGA), where he galvanised the industry to speak with one voice on matters affecting them. Mr. Bond as he’s fondly called is also the current chairman of the Audio Visual Rights Society, the CMO for the audio visual and film industry in Nigeria.



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