The creative cash madams of Nollywood – Part 2
Last week, the spotlight was on Emem Isong-Misodi, Mo Abudu and Biola Alabi; three of the few significant women of the arts that now play big in the motion picture club that was hitherto exclusively for men.
This week, the spotlight is on another set of creative ‘cash madams,” at the driving seat of major film projects in Nollywood. In this second of a three part series, celebrity salutes Blessing Effiom-Egbe, Peace Anyiam Osigwe, Chinwe Egwuagu and Bolanle Austen-Peters for their quality contribution to Nollywood.
CLEARLY one of the leading and most prolific and creative women in Nollywood, Blessing Effiom-Egbe is one very strong-willed and determined personality that has made the popular saying, ‘what a man can do, a woman can do and do even better’ real.
Blessing joined Nollywood as an actress over a decade from a thriving career as a top-flight model. The former bank staff later penned scripts and took her career in filmmaking a notch higher when she started to sign productions as executive producer.
Today, the mother and wife and product of the Theatre Arts department of the University of Calabar calls the shot as a writer, producer and executive producer at B’Concept Network Production Company, an outfit she set up to produce quality content and which is behind such hit as Before the Vow, Working the Lane, African Queen, After the Vow, The Rivals, which she produced with Omoni Oboli, the commercially successful Lekki Wives, Two Brides and a Baby, and her most recent effort, The Women, which opens in cinemas from September 29.
Notable for penning and producing works of substance that are mostly laced with inviting and thought-provoking plots, Blessing’s best moment as a motion picture practitioner would perhaps be when Lekki Wives becomes the buzz title for very successful Nollywood movie series.
But beyond scripting and producing, she has also started calling the shots as a director. The busy filmmaker revealled recently that except it is absolutely necessary for her to act or model, working behind the scene has her now and in the future.
Peace Anyiam Osigwe
IF you think that all that is to Peace Anyiam Osigwe and moviedom is her founding of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA), then you may need to read up more about the lawyer, poet, publisher, producer and executive producer.
Her foray into the arts, which has spanned three decades, was as a producer. She has signed a couple of productions before she took the decision to establish AMAA, which is reputed as the premier reward platform for the African and African Diaspora film industry.
Her first Nigerian feature as a producer was Blind Date, directed by Greg Fiberisima. She has since then signed some value-adding productions, including Fear of the Unknown, Sons of Thunder, Laviva, Born in USA, GRA Women, Nwanyi Amaka, among others.
To say that Peace eats, sleeps, drinks and talks Nollywood from Lagos to Berlin to Venice would be stating the obvious. Indeed, the Nkwere, Imo State-born filmmaker is one of the few women in the country passionate about adding value to the creative industry.
CHINWE Egwuagu is one significant creative cash madam working in Nollywood. Flash back to the period between 2011 and 2012. Recall the award-winning human-interest movie, Mr. and Mrs. that got audiences glued to their screens. That was Chinwe’s debut as a producer.
Described by close friends as quietly effective, Chinwe has gone on to produce other works, such as Ayaka Global and the second chapter of her debut movie, which she titled, Mr. and Mrs. Revolution. Directed by Teco Benson, Mr. and Mrs. Revolution features notable actors, such as Rita Dominic, Chidi Mokeme, Tana Adelana, Akin Lewis, Yaw and Munachi Abi
BOLANLE Austen-Peters has only signed one movie, 93 Days, as executive producer, but the impact of the movie has made it look as though she has been around for long.
A lawyer by training, who is today notable as an arts promoter, producer and curator, Bolanle, or BAP for short, is one of the very significant women working in the arts today.
Founder of Terra Kulture, a proudly Nigerian organisation that has been in the forefront of the promotion of Nigerian art and culture, BAP is one of the producers of the critically acclaimed 93 Days, as directed by Steve Gukas and starring the Hollywood actor, Danny Glover, and some notable Nollywood actors, including Keppy Ekpeyong, Bimbo Akintola and Bimbo Manuel.
Bolanle, who is Founder of the wave-making Bolanle Austen Peters Production (BAP), and proprietress of the 400-seater, state-of-the-art theatre, dubbed the Terra Kulture Arena, announced her foray into filmmaking with 93 Days.
And her entrance was grand. Not only did she co-sign a big budget movie as executive producer, she and her co-producers (Michelangelo Productions and Native Filmworks) have not stopped receiving commendation for the effort to tell the important story of how Nigeria battled the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.
With Terra Kulture Arena firmly in place now, and with the numerous accolades and reviews that have saluted the production of her touring musical, Saro, observers believe it would just be a matter of time for BAP to let out something as huge as 93 Days, or even more.
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