Nollywood Icons Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, and Jade Osiberu Featured on Hollywood Reporter’s Powerful Women in Film List

Nollywood Icons Funke Akindele
Funke Akindele (Producer, Film One Entertainment) (R) -

Nollywood Icons Funke Akindele:  A trio of resilient women from Nigeria’s thriving film industry, Nollywood, have just secured slots on The Hollywood Reporter’s esteemed list of the 40 Most Powerful Women in International Film. Not only have Mo Abudu, Funke Akindele, and Jade Osiberu established themselves in the international film industry, but they also represent innovation and perseverance in the face of constant change.

 In recognition of these directors’ critical contributions to elevating underrepresented voices globally, the Hollywood Reporter has acknowledged them. This is especially true in light of the recent turbulent changes in the film industry. Their revolutionary effort has not only broken down boundaries but also given a powerful voice to those from marginalized communities who were previously unheard.

 Mo Abudu, the CEO of EbonyLife Media, is at the forefront of this triumphant trio. Her unbridled passion has propelled African storytelling to unprecedented heights. Despite the setback of Amazon Prime Video’s departure from the African originals market, Abudu continues to forge ahead. Her collaboration with the esteemed actor-director Idris Elba on the Creative Africa film fund–supported short film ‘Dust to Dreams’ is a testament to her commitment to fostering collaboration and innovation in the industry. Recognizing that diverse storytelling enriches cultural discourse and unlocks a wealth of untapped creative potential, Abudu is championing a shift towards inclusivity.

 Funke Akindele is a political candidate in addition to being an actress, producer, writer, and director in Nigeria’s film industry. Rather than letting her artistic pursuits take a back seat, her venture into politics during the 2023 Lagos state governorship elections demonstrated her adaptability and determination. Critically acclaimed and the highest-grossing Nigerian film to date, “A Tribe Called Judah,” Akindele’s most recent comedic masterwork, is proof of her storytelling talent. The incredible impact of unwavering determination and creative vision on molding cultural narratives is exemplified by her ascent to fame.

 In Nigeria’s thriving film industry, Jade Osiberu stands out as a trailblazer thanks to her daring narrative choices and emotionally resonant storytelling. Osiberu founded Greoh Studios. As seen in her work on Amazon’s crime thriller “Gangs of Lagos” and her upcoming film “Everything Scatter,” Osiberu skillfully blends art and activism, illuminating important social issues through captivating storytelling. She shows how narrative can be a force for positive social change through her inventiveness, which is an inspiration to budding filmmakers.

 In his reaction to the praise, Mo Abudu spoke passionately about Nigeria’s film history, highlighting how important it is for the country to be recognized internationally for its storytelling talent. She speaks for many in the industry who are working to make movies that reflect society more broadly and show the diversity of human experience.

 In addition to Abudu, Akindele, and Osiberu, The Hollywood Reporter boasts an impressive roster of groundbreaking filmmakers from around the world, including Maren Ade and Janine Jankowski from Germany’s Komplizen Film, Lila Avilés from Mexico’s Limerencia Films, Farhana Bhula from the United Kingdom’s Film4, and Clémence de Lampugnano from France’s TF1 Film Production. When seen as a whole, these trailblazers, including our very own Nigerian filmmakers, demonstrate how cinema can overcome barriers of all kinds and create a more welcoming environment for all audiences.


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