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Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu and Jade Osiberu make Hollywood reporter’s powerful women in film list

Mo Abudu (CEO, EbonyLife Media) (L) - Jade Osiberu (Founder, Greoh Studios) (M) - Funke Akindele (Producer, Film One Entertainment) (R)

Nollywood filmmakers, Mo Abudu, Funke Akindele, and Jade Osiberu have earned a spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s list of the 40 Most Powerful Women in International Film.

This list recognises women who are bringing stories to a global stage and nurturing new voices despite a disrupted film market.

Here’s how The Hollywood Reporter describes these filmmakers these three powerful African film-makers who have for the past years graced our cinemas with captivating stories and productions.

Mo Abudu (CEO, EbonyLife Media)

Africa’s production industry faced a setback when Amazon Prime Video left the African originals business. Yet, Abudu, a pioneer in African media, continues to thrive. Her recent project, the short film “Dust to Dreams” directed by Idris Elba, received funding from the African Export-Import Bank’s US$1 billion Creative Africa film fund.

Abudu emphasises the need for the international industry to embrace diverse stories. “We need a systemic shift towards inclusion,” she says. “Diverse storytelling isn’t just about representation; it’s about unlocking a wealth of untapped creative potential.”

Funke Akindele (Producer, Film One Entertainment)

Akindele added politician to her roles as actor, writer, director, and producer when she ran for the 2023 Lagos state gubernatorial elections. Though her party lost, her career flourished. Her latest comedy, “A Tribe Called Judah,” which she wrote, directed, produced, and starred in, became the highest-grossing Nigerian movie ever, earning US$1.2 million.

Jade Osiberu (Founder, Greoh Studios)

Osiberu, a leading figure among Nigerian producer-directors, created the crime thriller “Gangs of Lagos” for Amazon. Her next film, “Everything Scatter,” follows five young people during a day of protests in Lagos.

Reacting to the recognition, Mo Abudu expressed her pride, saying, “This recognition is a massive win for Nigeria! Seeing our nation celebrated for its incredible storytelling potential is so inspiring.”

“I’m incredibly proud to be part of a movement pushing for a more inclusive film industry that embraces the power of diverse stories.”

Other film-makers who also made it to the list are Maren Ade, Janine Jankowski – Co-founders, Komplizen Film (Germany), Lila Avilés Producer- Limerencia Films (Mexico), Farhana Bhula -Head of Creative, Film4 (U.K.), Clémence de Lampugnano – Artistic Adviser, TF1 Film Production (France).

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