From Nollywood to Oscars: Naija list of academy members swell
The Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Science or Oscars for short has once again turned the spotlight on Nigeria and its massive movie industry—Nollywood. The Academy has extended an invitation to three notable motion picture practitioners of Nigerian descent to be part of the Academy, which includes being a major part of deciding nominees and winners of the Oscars.
One of Nigeria’s best-known actors Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah Jnr, the busy motion picture producer Mo Abudu and Nigerian born but United States-based photographer and director Andrew Dosumu are among the 395 new members admitted into the Academy class of 2021.
This year’s members include notable Hollywood figures such as Janet Jackson, Laverne Cox and Kenya Barris. While Mo Abudu was deservedly chosen as a producer, Ramsey and Dosumu got their invitation as actors and directors respectively.
Abudu, Ramsey and Dosumu will join fellow compatriots, actress Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Nigerian born British actress Wunmi Mosaku, filmmaker Femi Odugbemi, British-Nigerian film director Ngozi Onwurah, veteran filmmaker Tunde Kelani, actress Genevieve Nnaji, movie director, writer and actor Akin Omotoso and British actress and singer Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo, who was appointed Academy members in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The appointment of filmmakers around the world started in 2015 and it followed the determination of the Academy to swell and double the number of women and people of colour in its membership by 2020. Moviedom salutes Abudu, Ramsey and Dosumu whose membership of the Academy represents a new career height and recognition of their immense talent and outstanding abilities as motion picture practitioners
HAILED as a producer with the most blockbuster movies and the Amazon of the Nigerian motion picture space, Mosunmola Abudu, popularly known as Mo Abudu, rightly deserves the invitation into the world’s pre-eminent movie award body. Show Hostess, Media Personality, Human Resource Management Consultant, Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist, Mo is in the business of broadcast and film production as well as humanitarian work for life.
She revealed once that she sleeps, eats, drinks and wakes up thinking of the next content to let out. The production force behind highly successful and critically acclaimed movie productions such as The Wedding Party, Fifty and Royal Hibiscus Hotel, which screened at the 2017 edition of the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), all the movies that Mo Abudu has signed as an executive producer have raised the stakes cinematically and box office wise.
In fact, it is widely believed that any movie that Mo signs as executive producer, turns gold. The Chairman of the foremost TV channel, EbonyLife TV, Abudu was listed by New African magazine as one of the 100 most influential Africans of 2013. The magazine stated that the pretty and humane broadcast and film personality was listed for her influence in African media. Currently working on a huge movie project, Mo Abudu’s invitation is not only well deserved, but it is recognition of her outstanding abilities as a motion picture practitioner.
Ramsey Nouah, Jnr
A LONG standing first-rate actor, those who have followed Ramsey Nouah’s career from his ‘Mega Fortunes’ days on television and to his present sustained reign in the movies say they are not surprised that the actor was invited to join the world’s pre-eminent movie award body.
They noted that the actor of vast credit has paid his dues and so deserves a place on such a prestigious body. Unarguably one show biz personality who projects an aura of stardom and success and who enjoys mass appeal both within and outside Nigeria, Ramsey has through hard work and determination gained prominence as a motion picture director of outstanding ability.
Ramsey’s career kicked off professionally when he got the opportunity to star in the celebrated Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) soap Mega-Fortune. As Jeff Akin Thomas, son of the stupendously wealthy Akin Thomas, Ramsey not only found fame with that, he got fortune as long as the soap lasted on television. The fame and fortune was to multiply soon as he joined the home movie turf.
A screen personality who enjoys the privilege of playing the lead always and who has earned a few credits as a director, movies that have had the benefit of his expert portrayal include Silent Night, Blind Trust, My Love, Emotional Crack, Lost Confidence, Real Love, Figurine, 30 Days in Atlanta and several others. Indeed, Ramsey’s invitation is well-deserved recognition not just for him but also for Nollywood, which is clearly Africa’s undisputable movie-making factory.
AN accomplished filmmaker and photographer, Andrew Dosumu was raised and educated in Nigeria. The tall, dark and very busy creative began his career as a design assistant at the fashion house of Yves Saint-Laurent. He has subsequently worked as a Creative Director and fashion photographer, whose images have appeared in a variety of international magazines.
Director of award-winning films such as Hot Irons and Mother of George, Dosumu is widely acknowledged as a filmmaker in the professional class, a reason his invitation to the Academy class of 2021 did not come as a surprise to many. Dosumu’s debut film, a documentary titled Hot Irons won the best documentary at the Festival of Pan African Cinema of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) and the Reel Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Director of several episodes of the widely acclaimed South African television series Yizo Yizo, Dosunmu has also served as creative director for album covers and also directed a number of music videos, including his first for Isaac Hayes, Angie Stone, Common, Wyclef Jean, Aaron Neville and Tracy Chapman. Dosumu’s first feature film endeavour ‘Restless City’ was released in 2010.
He followed it up in 2013 by Mother of George, listed as a USA National Board of Review Top Ten Independent Film in 2013 and winner of the Cinematography Award for Bradford Young at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.