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6 Inspiring African Women Filmmakers On The Rise 

Black screenwriters, directors, producers, and actors have more global visibility than ever before, and as audiences continue to demand stories from diverse voices, filmmakers from Africa and across the African diaspora are sharing their work for the world to enjoy.

Women with roots in Africa are among the most dynamic storytellers working in the film industry today, and these six filmmakers are letting their films speak for themselves.

RELATED: Demand Africa Celebrates African Women In Film

Nuotama Bodomo

Born in Ghana and raised in Norway and Hong Kong, Nuotama Bodomo got her start in New York at Columbia University and NYU: Tisch School of Arts. As a filmmaker, her work is challenging, thought-provoking, and expository, and she harnesses the power of film to transcend language and cultural barriers. Her 2014 film Afronauts, a short she is currently turning into a feature, is experimental and avant-garde, and Bodomo uses her work to explore genres through deeply emotional, personal films.

Frances Bodomo

Akosua Adoma Owusu

Akosua Adoma Owusu’s short films like Drexciya and Reluctantly Queer have been celebrated for being daring and provocative, and it’s Owusu’s willingness to subvert cultural and cinematic expectations that have made her a true artist. The Ghanaian filmmaker’s work often highlights the joys and struggles of being a person born into many different worlds. She positions her Ghanaian-American identity in a positive light, crediting her multiculturalism as a source of strength for her stories. Owusu’s work is bold and inspirational, and her vision is original in every way.

Akosua Adoma Owusu

Chika Anadu

Chika Anadu is the definition of a self-made filmmaker.  Her 2013 film about a woman who is desperate to have a male child, B for Boy, was a film treatment she created for a screenwriting course. She then went on to bring the film to life by raising money to fund the film with the help of her production partner. The film went on to receive many of Nigeria’s highest film accolades, which Anadu used as a springboard for her career as a film director, producer, and writer. Not bad for a lawyer who never went to film school!

chika anadu

Michaela Coel

Born in London to Ghanaian parents, Michaela Coel’s journey into film and TV began from a more performative corner of the creative world. Formally trained in music and drama, Coel also studied literature and poetry. After winning several awards for her work as a playwright, her celebrated thesis piece, Chewing Gum Dreams, was the inspiration for a TV series called Chewing Gum. Coel nabbed a prestigious BAFTA for her work on Chewing Gum, and though Coel is already an accomplished writer and actress, she’s just getting started.

Genevieve Nnaji

It was only a matter of time until Nollywood superstar Genevieve Nnaji caught Hollywood’s attention. Born in Mbaise, Nigeria, Nnaji got her start in films as a child actress and eventually launched a successful music career. Nnaji made history in 2019 when Lionheart, a film starring and directed by Nnaji about a woman that must run her father’s company, became Netflix’s first original film from Nigeria.

Genevieve Nnaji

Tope Oshin Ogun

Tope Oshin Ogun, a daughter of Nigeria, was an actor for 12 years, but eventually transitioned into roles as a TV director, casting director, and producer. Many of her productions have exceeded expectations and broken box office records in Nollywood, and her experience as a visual artist can be seen in her films like Up North and New Money.


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