Nollywood Filmmakers Panel Discussion
March 23, 2019, 3:00 P.M. - 3:50 P.M.
The Frank Sinatra Hall at the Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre Complex, 3507 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90007
NOLLYWOOD IN HOLLYWOOD
in collaboration with the USC School of Cinematic Arts, O2A Media Inc.,
and the American Cinematheque, invite you to attend the 2nd Annual
Nollywood Filmmakers Panel Discussion
3:00 P.M. - 3:50 P.M. on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019
The Frank Sinatra Hall at the Eileen Norris Cinema Theatre Complex
3507 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90007
FREE ADMISSION. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. RSVPs REQUIRED.
A conversation about the current state of the Nollywood entertainment industry, featuring KEMI ADETIBA (Director, King of Boys), TOPE OSHIN (Director, Up North), and BANKY W (Musician, Actor - Up North, The Wedding Party), moderated by Alessandro Ago, Director of Programming at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
About the Guests
KEMI ADETIBA (Writer, Director, Producer)
Starting her career in the early-2000s as a radio jock on the popular Rhythm 93.7 FM, she quickly became the voice Nigeria heard on the nationally syndicated shows Soul’d Out and Sunday at the Seaside. She soon transitioned to television, appearing across Africa on the lifestyle show Studio 53 and the game show Temptation Nigeria, before becoming a nationwide figure as millions of Nigerians of all stripes welcomed her into their homes as the host of the terrestrial TV smash Maltina Dance All.
At the peak of her popularity as an on-air presence, she stepped away from the spotlight to study filmmaking at the famed New York Film Academy and returned to pursue her true calling as a storyteller, with her first short (her NYFA final project) selected to screen at the All-Africa Film Festival.
Returning to Nigeria, she rose to become one of the most respected directors in the commercial and music video spaces, directing hugely popular videos for everyone from Wizkid, to Tiwa Savage, to Olamide, and racking up numerous awards and nominations in the process.
Then in 2016 Nollywood came knocking, in the form of the ELFIKE Collective production The Wedding Party. Adetiba signed on to direct and co-write the romantic comedy, which premiered opening night at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews and sold-out screenings. It was a sign of things to come, as the movie would go on to shatter not only opening-weekend records, but triple the previous overall Nollywood box-office record.
For her second film, Adetiba reteams with Sola Sobowale and Adesua Etomi, to deliver a decidedly more sinister mother-daughter pair than the characters that made them Nigeria’s sweethearts in The Wedding Party. Written, directed, and produced by Adetiba, King of Boys is her dark love letter to Lagos, the city that raised her.
TOPE OSHIN (Writer, Director, Producer)
Tope Oshin is a multiple award winning filmmaker who has directed about 7,000 hours of TV & film content, including up to 750 episodes of some of Africa’s biggest drama series including MTV Shuga, Tinsel, Nigeria’s first legal drama – Castle & Castle etc and films like New Money, Journey To Self, InLine, Ireti, The Young Smoker, and Up North. Her Producing credits include the box office breaking movies, The Wedding Party 2, Fifty and her revolutionary documentary about female directors in Nigeria – Amaka’s Kin: The Women Of Nollywood.
Tope, trained in Filmmaking from the Colorado Film School, Denver and Cinematography at MetFilm School, London, describes herself as a Film Artist, dedicated to changing the world, one frame at a time. Tope has served twice as Juror for the International Emmy Awards, London Feminist Film Festival, Eko International Film Festival, and AfricaMagic Viewers Choice Awards 2016. Named as one of the OkayAfrica 100 Women in 2018, she is also a member of the MTV Staying Alive Squad. Among the hats Tope wears are Writer, Content Creator, Showrunner, Director, Producer and Casting Director.
BANKY W (Singer, Songwriter, Actor)
Olubankole “Banky W” Wellington is a multitalented and prolific Singer, Songwriter, Actor, Filmmaker, Businessman and Philanthropist, who has evolved over the years into becoming arguably the most versatile Entertainment and Media Mogul on the continent of Africa.
Mr. Wellington grew up in Lagos where he began singing in church at an early age, and upon completion of secondary school, he moved to New York where he earned an Industrial Engineering degree from the very prestigious Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While still in college, he was featured in and won numerous musical competitions and showcases; he created his Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) company while still in University, envisioning it as the platform for his music, the music of artistes he would sign and develop, as well as a launching pad for his various other business interests.
Banky’s Solo Music Catalogue consists of an impressive discography spanning over a decade as one of Africa’s most relevant, successful and in-demand musicians. His debut disc ‘Undeniable: The EP’ was released in 2003, and saw him garner an impressive buzz as an independent musician. Banky followed that up with his first full album release, called “Back In the Building”; it featured the critically acclaimed stand out single “My Regret”, which helped Banky W receive the John Lennon Song Songwriting Award in the R&B Category, as well as multiple wins at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards.
In 2008 he moved back to Nigeria after the completion of the innovative album ‘Mr. Capable’ and the results were impressive. He had successfully blended urban R&B with traditional and urban African music… for the first time singing in a fusion of English and Nigerian dialects. The album spawned hits like ‘Capable’, ‘Ebute Meta’, and ‘Don’t Break My Heart’; this served to establish him on the music scene in Africa and made him a force to reckon with.
2009 saw him release the critically and commercially acclaimed album “The W Experience”. The results were outstanding as Banky W made the Country’s breakthrough R&B album of the decade with hits like “Strong Ting” and “Lagos Party”, garnering multiple nominations and awards in the process. He went on to establish himself as a visionary leader and label executive, discovering and signing 2 teenage artistes: WizKid and Skales; he then launched, developed and molded them into tremendously successful artistes in their own right.
Mr W served as Executive Producer and Lead A&R for some of the continent’s most successful albums, including WizKid’s 2011 Smash hit-filled debut Album “Superstar”, and his 2014 follow up “Ayo”, and the supreme hit-filled Label compilation cd “Empire Mates State of Mind”. Banky followed that up with two tremendously successful solo albums: “R&BW” in 2013, and 2017’s “Songs About U” - each album boasting of non-stop Afro-R&B hits like Yes/No, All I Want is U, Blessing Me, Love U Baby, and many more.
Banky has since then signed and developed other talented artists including Niyola, Shaydee, and the number 1 DJ on the continent, Superstar DJ Xclusive. He was also highly influential in the discovery, introduction and development of the careers of other notable Nigerian Music Business Greats such as the Producer Masterkraft, in-house Sound Engineer Suka Sounds, and many more.
Not to be outdone by his exploits in the music world, Mr W is very accomplished in several other fields: he’s a published writer, as several of his articles and write-ups have been featured in numerous Nigerian Newspapers, blogs, magazines and media platforms. As a philanthropist, he launched the “I am Capable” Scholarship Fund, which has provided tuition, room & board assistance for multiple deserving youth over the years in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria, the US, and Canada. He’s played a crucial key role of many charitable initiatives, including “Enough is Enough” and “LightUpNigeria”; ever the Youth Ambassador, he was one of the most visible and vocal personalities involved in the #OccupyNigeria peaceful protests in 2012; he also jointly spearheaded the #Dream4Naija project with international organizations such as USAid and IRI.
Banky is also an accomplished Motivational Speaker and MC – he has delivered powerful, inspired, motivational speeches at multiple noteworthy events, such as his most recent “Tedx Talk” which went viral in Nigeria, and his “Why We Run” speech at the “Not too Young to Run” Candidates Conference in Abuja; he has anchored some of the most important events on the continent, including the Hip Hop World Awards (aka the Headies), the Channel O Awards, and he has successfully hosted every edition of the globally successful and groundbreaking One Africa Music Fest (with stops in New York, Houston, Dubai and London thus far).
Besides all these accomplishments, Banky has also been extremely successful in numerous Corporate Marketing campaigns, having co-written and co-produced, or been featured prominently in marketing/advertising projects for Samsung, MTN, Ciroc, Coca-cola, TomTom, Airtel, Etisalat, Microsoft, and more. In terms of Endorsement deals, he’s achieved unrivaled success in the Industry, as he as an ambassador for Samsung Mobile for almost 7 years, and an Ambassador for Ciroc Vodka for 4 years, while also securing endorsements with other noteworthy, global companies like Uber.
The multitalented Mr Wellington has broadened his horizons by making fruitful, lucrative forays into the Movie & TV business… taking on Guest Starring roles in the MNet TV Show “Jacob’s Cross” and MTV’s Shuga; he’s also had numerous cameo roles in multiple Nigerian hit movies. He has played lead roles and supporting lead roles in 3 of the most successful Nollywood movies of all time: “The Wedding Party”, “The Wedding Party II”, and “Up North” (he was also a co-executive producer for “Up North”). Banky took things a step further by successfully completing filmmaking and Screenwriting courses at the New York Film Academy, and he’s gone on to build an impressive repertoire as a filmmaker, having written, produced and directed numerous music videos and TV Commercials.
On a personal note, Banky W tied the knot with the love of his life, the supremely talented Nollywood Actress Adesua Etomi-Wellington in 2017; the ceremony, which took place in Lagos, Nigeria and Cape Town, South Africa, was filmed and broadcasted on Africa Magic as “Meet the Wellingtons”; it became one of the highest rated shows on Nigerian Television for the 2017 year, and their wedding was in the top 3 most searched topics on Google.
As Chairman and CEO of EME, he has spearheaded the Company’s success in not only producing multiple award winning albums by various artists, but he has also achieved success in the company’s transition from a record label into a full fledged Media Agency, specializing in Digital Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Advertising, Creative Media Content and Production, while still holding forte in the talent Management business – EME has built a very impressive Corporate Client list which includes companies like Budweiser & Ab In Bev, Oando, Redbull, Haven Homes, Maggi, iFlix & Diamond Bank, while managing talents like Ebuka, DJ Xclusive, Toolz and Adesua Etomi-Wellington. Under his leadership, EME has now become a very accomplished company in the Digital Marketing, Advertising and Media fields, boasting a portfolio that far exceeds most of their contemporaries and predecessors in the Agency space.
Being one of the most in-demand personalities on the continent, he constantly stays in touch with fans and followers through his social media platforms with 2.3 million + followers on Twitter (@BankyW), 4 million followers on Instagram (@BankyWellington), and more.
In 2018, Banky Wellington made an inspiring foray into the world of Nigerian Politics, as a candidate of the Modern Democratic Party, for the House of Representatives in Eti-Osa, Lagos. Banky launched “The Banky Wellington Organization” – a Not-For-Profit Foundation and ran one of the most inspiring campaigns ever seen by a Political Candidate in the country.
No other artist on the continent can boast of a comparable resume – Banky W is an incredibly accomplished Singer, Rapper, Actor, Director, Record Producer, Writer, Speaker, Media Agency Executive, Advertising/Marketing Specialist, MC, and all around Business Man - a true Jack (and Master) of all trades.
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 second edition of our annual exhibition of Nigeria's best films.
The event will include screenings 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.
Learn more about the films at: http://cinema.usc.edu/NollywoodInHollywood
Check-In & Reservations
This event is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring a valid USC 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 2:30 P.M.
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.
Official Airline Sponsor: Air France
Name: Alessandro Ago