Nollywood in Hollywood Filmmaker Panel Discussion

March 24, 2018, 5:00 P.M. - 5:45 P.M.

The Frank Sinatra Hall at the Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre Complex, 3507 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90007


in collaboration with the USC School of Cinematic Arts, O2A Media Inc., American Cinematheque,
USC African American Cinema Society (AACS), and USC Black Alumni Association (USC BAA),
invite you and a guest to attend



KUNLE AFOLAYAN, Director of The Bridge
DAKORE AKANDE, Lead Actress of Isoken
DEREK BAUM, Executive Producer, TradeWind Films
STEVE GUKAS, Producer/Director of 93 Days
WALE OJO, Actor (Phone Swap, The CEO)

5:00 - 5:45 P.M. on Saturday, March 24th, 2018

The Frank Sinatra Hall at the Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre Complex
3507 Trousdale Parkway, USC Campus, Los Angeles, CA 90007


For more information about Nollywood in Hollywood, visit:

About the Panelists

KUNLE AFOLAYAN - Director of The Bridge

Kunle Afolayan is a Nigerian film director, producer and actor. He is the son of the highly regarded theatre artist and filmmaker Adeyemi Afolayan (Ade Love).

In 2006, he directed the culturally conscious film Irapada (REDEMPTION), which showcased his refined sensibilities for the aesthetics of storytelling, which hadn’t been duly represented in his country’s filmmaking landscape. Afolayan received universal acclaim for this work. It became the first Nigerian film screened at the Pan African Film Festival in 2007.

His work Figurine (ARAROMIRE) is regarded as the film that ushered in a new wave of conscious filmmaking in Nigeria’s Nollywood, and arguably beyond its ecosystem. He has since released more critically acclaimed films such as, Phone Swap, October 1 and his latest installment The C.E.O.

Afolayan’s films have been screened at FESPACO, International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), the BFI, New York Africa Film Festival amongst others. He was also invited in 2010 as an expert to the Berlinale Talent Campus, where he discussed the future of African Cinema, and most recently for the
"In Conversation with Kunle Afolayan and Genevieve Nnaji" at the revered Toronto International Film Festival, where he discussed the current leaps within Nigerian cinema (Nollywood) and its effect on the global sphere and changing perception.

He is presently the brand ambassador for aviation giants, AIR FRANCE.

DAKORE AKANDE - Lead Actress, Isoken

Dakore Akande is a veteran of the Nollywood film industry, staring in over eighty films. She made her debut in 1999 with the Nollywood classic, SILENT TEARS. Her recent films include the blockbuster, FIFTY, which premiered at the British Film Institute in London and was picked up by Netflix. She can be seen in the new film, NEW MONEY, debuting this weekend in Nigeria. Her films have played in several film festivals, including the Pan African Film Festival and the Pan-Africain Cannes in France.

Known for her depth and versatility, Dakore’s career is not only limited to film and television. She’s a star of the critically acclaimed stage production, HEAR WORD monologues, Nigeria’s version of the Vagina monologues that has played in several parts of the world, including at Harvard University. She is the lead actress in ISOKEN, the movie in the showcase.

Outside the creative arts, Dakore is a humanitarian activist who lends her time and energy to social causes. She is the current ambassador of ActionAid Nigeria. She was a former Ambassador for Amnesty International and OxFam America in the campaign for the control of arms and ammunition. She partnered with the United Nations in the campaign for girl-child education and violence against women.

DEREK BAUM - Executive Producer, TradeWind Films

Derek Baum is a true creative who believes the motion picture camera is the greatest tool developed to entertain and inspire audiences with every medium at our disposal, digital, TV and Film. Uninhibited by genre, he's written, produced and directed TV, short films, music videos, and commercials. Uniquely qualified, he is one of the only producers in the world actively involved in both the Hollywood and Nollywood markets. In 2018 he will make his feature film writing and directorial debut with International Affairs, starring Bovi, Adesua Etomi, and Chris Attoh. Derek has produced over 500 TV adverts (domestically and internationally) but he is most well known for creating and producing the critically acclaimed docu-series, Hoops Academy. Further, he directed the pilots for Champagne Travel on a White Wine Budget (Venture Channel) and TK's World (Sobe Films.) Additionally, Derek served as producer on the hit series Swamp Wars (Discovery) and numerous other music videos, live events, and web based original content. Overall, Derek's productions have been seen on Silverbird, WE, Travel Channel, ION, Oxygen, The Africa Channel (USA and UK), Fox Sports, Venture Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.

Derek has spent much of the last 5 years as an international production consultant in the African market, producing in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa. Primarily, he provided business and market analysis to one of the most successful TV network and multimedia companies in West Africa. Further, he handled Nigerian production services for The Africa Channel and for the documentary film CODEGIRL, which can be seen on Netflix. He also oversaw production for the Sensodyne Commercial campaign in Nigeria. Most recently, Derek produced a short film for Schneider Electric and the 2017 UNICEF campaign for Garage Films, both shot in South Africa. Derek is a firm believer in the power of African Storytelling and is known for his uncompromising belief in top quality production, as well as a firm grasp of the latest in television and commercial trends. It is his strongly held belief that the future of African content is brighter than ever. Combining his unique work experiences in both markets, Derek is a leading proponent of fusing African stories with Hollywood production techniques and business practices. This will pay dividends two ways. First it will help the Nollywood market by opening Nollywood films more to global audiences and distribution, which will also allow films to have bigger budgets and better salaries, growing the domestic industry. Secondly, Hollywood style business practices and a greater emphasis on infrastructure and pre-production will encourage more international production to come to Nigeria, pumping valuable money into the industry,economy, and providing priceless work experiences for Nigerian talent and crew. At heart though, whether it’s Hollywood or Nollywood, Derek is a consummate storyteller whose goal is to tell stories of value that both entertain and inspire.

STEVE GUKAS - Producer, Executive Producer, Director of 93 Days

Steve is a Producer/Director with experience spanning Television, Theatre, Advertising and Film. He obtained a Diploma in TV Production from the NTA Television College in Jos, then went on to study Theatre Arts at the University of Jos, from where he graduated with a BA. He is also an alumnus of the Prestigious London Film School. Steve's latest film A Place In The Stars won Best Movie Drama at the AMVCA's 2015. He is the producer of Africa's biggest film to date: Namibia – The Struggle For Liberation, starring Danny Glover and Carl Lumbly, which premiered at the 2006 Pan Africa Film Festival in LA and has gone on to win many awards. His other credits include, Keeping Faith, Katanga, Three Scores and Ten, A Life To View, Soweto, and Mr. Johnson, just to mention a few. He has also produced and directed several commercials and documentaries. As a director, Steve's strong suit lies in coaxing great performances out of actors as well as a strong sense of story and character. These he combines with a collaborative approach to film making that allows each picture he makes to benefit from the creative vent of all the key creative crew members on the project.

WALE OJO - Actor, Phone Swap, The CEO

Born in London, England on the 9th September Wale Ojo started acting at an early age. He became a child star working mainly on drama series and television soaps. He took to the stage as a very young Othello in the east end of London in his late teens. He is well known for his role as Bayo in the comedy television soap Meet the Adebanjos (2012-2014) which won a Nigeria Lite Entertainment Award in 2006 and an Amvca nomination in 2015. His feature film debut was in the movie Rage (1999) in which he played a schizophrenic gangster and a cameo in Guy Ritchie's first short film The Hard Case (1995).

Since then he has appeared in feature films Johnny English Reborn (2011) and The Guard (2011). He has appeared in the popular television BBC series Grange Hill and the Heartburn Hotel as well as supporting roles in the Number One Ladies Detective Agency (2009) and The Philantropist (2009) His first feature in his native country, Nigeria, was Phone Swap (2012) which bagged him an NEA award for Best Actor and other films include The Ceo (2016), Ojukokoro (2016), and White Colour Black (2016).

He has acted in most theatre companies in the United Kingdom from the Bristol Old Vic, the National theatre, where he played an upper class toff in George Barnard Shaw's Widower's Houses (1999) to the Royal Exchange theatre, the Young Vic, Nottingham Playhouse Theatre, the Birmingham Repertory theatre, Riverside Studios and the Royal Court Upstairs. He is the pioneer and founder of the New Nigeria Cinema movement and owns a production company of the same name, New Nigeria Cinema Ltd.

About Nollywood in Hollywood

Nollywood in Hollywood is a celebration of Nigeria’s growing cinema. From very inauspicious beginnings about twenty-five years ago, the industry grew to be the second largest in the world in terms of output. It is estimated that over 1,000 films are produced in Nollywood every year, most of them direct to video. In recent years, Nollywood films have garnered critical acclaim and have been exhibited at top film festivals. NOLLYWOOD IN HOLLYWOOD is the inaugural edition of what is planned as an annual exhibition of Nigeria's best films.

The event will include screenings, seminars and networking events. It is co-presented by the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian and O2A Media Inc.

Official Airline Sponsor: Air France

About the African American Cinema Society (AACS)

The mission of the African American Cinema Society is to highlight and promote art and artists who are invested in showcasing complex and sophisticated representations of blackness and the black diaspora.

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About the USC Black Alumni Association (USC BAA)

Founded in 1976 by Rev. Dr. Thomas Kilgore Jr., the USC Black Alumni Association (USC BAA) is a leadership network established to strengthen the legacy of educational attainment and excellence of USC’s Black students. The USC BAA provides scholarship assistance, career mentoring and cultural advocacy through alumni networking, volunteer involvement, philanthropy and social enterprise. Our vision is to enable the most ethnically diverse and inclusive experience for all students, alumni and the community, given the rich legacy, contributions and participation of Black Trojans in the global success of USC.

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Check-In & Reservations

This event is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC or Government ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 30 minutes prior to showtime.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $12.00 at the USC Royal Street Entrance, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & Royal Street. We recommend the USC Royal Street Structure, at the far end of 34th Street.

Contact Information

Name: Ose Oyamendan