Outstanding Nigerian Filmmakers and Actors In Foreign Lands


Hello folks and welcome to our special team up post between Sodas & Popcorn’s @abbybells and film maker @oludascribe. This post is based off a post on Olu’s blog here. But we decided to make a more comprehensive list and add to his. So what we have below is the list of top Nigerian Film Makers, Actors, Actresses who are in foreign lands doing us proud. Please feel free to drop your comments below and let us know what you think about it.



Akin Omotoso is a Nigerian Born South African actor, known for roles in SA show Generations and films like Blood Diamonds and Lord of War. He’s also a director with 8 credits to his name including short films, documentaries and his feature film Man on Ground, starring Fabian Ladoje and Hakeem Kae Kazim.  I’ve seen the film and it’s certainly unique, I was mostly impressed by the cinematography and sound design. His narrative was quite different in it’s very non-linear unconventional approach. The film won the Special Jury Prize at AAMA and also Best Actor in a Supporting role for Fano Mokoena.  He’s certainly someone who next film I’ll be anticipating.




Andrew dosunmu is a photographer turned film maker. He started his career in the design department of Yves Saint Laurent and soon switched gears directing music videos starting with Issac Hayes and going on to craft videos for Aaron Neville, Youssou N Dour and Common. He went on to direct documentaries and tv show, winning accolades such as Reel Award at Toronto International Film Festival, Best Documentary at FESPACO. Both his feature debut Restless City and his follow up, Mother of George premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Now he’s been selected by Focus Features to helm the Fela Biopic,, previously attached to Steve McQueen, it will be interesting to  see how that turns out.




Biyi bandele is a novelist and playwright turned motion picture director , helmed the much touted Half of a Yellow Sun adaptation. The film based on the Chimamanda Adichie novel received a lot of attention and tirade due to the casting of Thandie Newton in the role of Olanna.  He had previously made a name for himself adapting Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart for the British Stage and has been involved in journalism, television and radio. Not ,long after wrapping from HoaYS set, he went on to direct the MTV Shuga series the Nigerian adaptation. It would be interesting to see what else he touches and if he’ll stick around Nigeria to do some more film work.




Thomas ikimi impressed with his second student feature LIMBO  made for $9,000 on his credit cards, it was an official selection at the Taorinma Film Festival in Sicily, and played at the Cannes Film Market.  He wrote and wrote the script for third feature LEGACY: Black Ops while working shifts at his local London electronic store, raised the $500,000 budget and cast The Wire star and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba as his lead, also scoring Eamon Walker on his cast list . The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Film at the American Black Film Festival. It got nominations at the Raindance Film Festival and won Best Director at the London Screen Nation Awards 2011. Specializing in existential and psychological thrilllers , this is mos def a director to watch out for.




Hakeem Kae-Kazim is a British Nigerian actor born 1 October 1962. He is best known for his portrayal of Georges Rutaganda in the 2004 motion picture Hotel Rwanda. He also starred as Colonel Iké Dubaku in season 7 of the Fox television series 24 and the TV film tie-in 24: Redemption.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Hakeem both produced and starred in Black November with Mickey Rourke and Kim Bassinger, as well as the award winning film Man on Ground and Last Flight to Abuja. I love his distinctive voice which has also been shared in many popular video games including Halo, Call of Duty and The Bourne Conspiracy. His latest films Half of a Yellow Sun and A Chance of Rain, are set to be released soon and his role as Mr Scott in Michael Bay’s exciting and much awaited new series Black Sails with be premiering in 2014.




David Oyelowo was born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, to Nigerian parents. Oyelowo is best known for playing MI5 officer Danny Hunter in the British TV drama series Spooks. He was also seen recently in Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed drama Lincoln, with Daniel Day-Lewis. Lincoln has already been the recipient of many awards which include being named one of the top films of the year by the National Board of Review and AFI Awards.

This past winter, he starred opposite Tom Cruise in Jack Reacher. Oyelowo first impressed audiences on the stage when he starred in The Suppliants at the Gate Theatre playing King Palasgus, for which he received the Ian Charleson award commendation. In addition, he won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor and was also nominated for a BAFTA for the same role for his work on Small Island.




Sophie Okonedo, OBE was born in 1968. She is a British actress, who has starred in successful British and American productions. She made her acting debut in the British critically acclaimed coming-of-age drama, Young Soul Rebels. She has received an Academy Award nomination for her critically acclaimed role in Hotel Rwanda, a Golden Globe nomination for Tsunami: The Aftermath, and BAFTA nominations for Criminal Justice and Mrs. Mandela. In 2005, Okonedo became the first black actress since Angela Bassett in 1994 to receive an NAACP Image Award nomination for the same role in which she was nominated for an Oscar.




Chiwetel Ejiofor born 10 July 1977 is a British actor. Ejiofor was born in London’s Forest Gate, to Igbo Nigerian parents. He has received numerous acting awards and nominations, including the 2006 BAFTA Awards Rising Star, three Golden Globe Awards’ nominations, and the 2008 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor for his performance in Othello. In 1996 Ejiofor caught the attention of Steven Spielberg who cast him in the critically acclaimed Amistad (1997) alongside Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins.

Ejiofor also appeared in such notable films as Endgame, Roland Emmerich’s action feature 2012, opposite John Cusack, Danny Glover, and Thandie Newton; and Salt (2010), opposite Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber. In 2013 he is starring in Half of a Yellow Sun and 12 Years a Slave (2013)

So there you have it. If you have got any thoughts, please drop them in the box below. Thanks.

Credits – IMBD and Wikipedia