On June 28, 2023, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences extended invitations to 398 movie stars and executives who’ve “distinguished themselves by their contributions to motion pictures.”
Thanks to this invitation, five Nigerians have now joined Nollywood’s Ramsey Nouah, Newton Aduaka, Tunde Kelani, Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, Daniel K. Daniel, Andrew Dosunmu, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Femi Odugbemi, Akin Omotoso and Genevieve Nnaji, as members of the Academy. Meet your Oscars’ class of 2023: the Nigerian league.
Source: Instagram (@kunleafolayan)
The thoroughbred movie producer ranks high as one of the coolest Nollywood movie makers of our time. Afolayan, through productions like October 1, The CEO, and most recently, Anikulapo, has redefined African cinema. His flair for telling authentic African stories have earned him global acclaim, with Anikulapo stirring the conversation for Nigeria’s Oscar win in 2023. Afolayan joins the academy under the writers category.
Source: Instagram (@jadeosiberu)
Another leading force in Nigerian cinema, Osiberu’s work has redefined the face of Nollywood and given viewers seeking action-packed blockbusters a new experience. The Trade, Gangs of Lagos and Brotherhood shattered Nigerian box office records and topped the chart on movie streaming platforms. She joins the Academy in the producer category.
Richard Mofe Damijo
Source: Instagram (@mofedamijo)
With a career spanning over four decades, RMD has cemented his place as an icon in Nigerian cinema. There’s no touching the level of depth and versatility he brings to the screen. Whether he’s the hip father-in-law in Ebonylife’s The Wedding Party or a leading political figure in 2004 action-flick, Critical Assignment, he holds ground as a master of his craft. Of course, he joins the academy in the actors category.
Source: Instagram (@fierycj)
Currently enjoying a rousing ovation from the global community for Mami Wata, Obasi is a filmmaker on a mission to reshape Nigerian cinema. The director’s daring approach to storytelling in movies like Ojuju, Juju Stories and Hello, Rain has gained him critical acclaim in Nollywood. He joins the academy in the directors category.
Source: Instagram (@sholadadamusic)
Shola Dada completes the list of Nigeria’s newly inducted Oscar Academy members, as she takes her place under the screenwriters category. Dada takes writing credit for Nollywood masterpieces, Anikulapo and Man of God.
What does the membership mean for them?
As members of the Academy, all five individuals will have automatic rights to vote for which film professionals and what films get nominated for the Oscars.
How were they selected?
Members who’ve been nominated for an Academy award are automatically considered for membership. Members who’ve never been nominated — including all the current Nigerian members — have to be sponsored by existing Academy members. Every year, the academy’s board of governors reviews the names submitted by sponsors and extends invitations to prospective members.