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Personal profile


Obi Emelonye is a passionate, self-taught writer, director and producer with a multi-disciplinary approach to filmmaking. He is a member of the premier guild of UK film directors- Directors UK, as well as a member ofthe British Film Institute and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants. Obi has brought his pragmatism and adroitness as a lawyer into the chaotic world of film productions and his exploits today bear testimony to his broad experience. 

Since early the 2000s this visionary British-based Nigerian has quickly gained an enviable reputation as one of the brightest creative minds working within Nigeria's burgeoning film industry commonly known as Nollywood. Over the last few years, his relentless drive and sense of cinematic style has marked him out as a global pioneer for a bold, commercial cinematic identity for Africa.  


Obi Emelonye, a former professional footballer and law professional graduated from Department of Dramatic Arts, University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1990 with BA (Hons). He went on to study for an LLB Law degree from the University of Wolverhampton (1998). Later he completed a Post Graduate Degree in Legal Practice from the London Metropolitan University (2003) in which he obtained a Distinction. Obi then practiced Law for a few years before focusing on his first love: films. Presently Obi Emelonye is a PhD candidate in film at Goldsmiths University of London. 

Industry Impact  

Although mostly known for his work in the cinema, (The Mirror Boy, Last Flight to Abuja, Onye Ozi and Oxford Gardens) Obi’s work experience includes many years as Head of Production at BEN TV, the UK's first African Caribbean satellite TV channel, where he led the production department to many award-winning projects. His TV production work encompassed cutting-edge magazine, current affairs and continuous drama shows.  

It didn’t take long for corporate entities to notice Obi’s creative talents. His eclectic clientele has included major international corporates like MTN, Zinox Computers, Iroko TV, Mnet Africa Magic, Technology Distributions, Yudala, Cool FM, Trace TV, top Nigerian music companies and Nigerian government departments such as Independent National Electoral Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria.  

Obi Emelonye has also been an integral part of the Nollywood phenomenon for more than a decade. During that time, he has written, directed and produced 10 feature length films, all receiving consistently positive critical review and outstanding commercial success. In fact, Obi is officially one of the most awarded filmmakers in contemporary African cinema.  

Many filmmakers would have been content with having their films released in Nigerian cinemas but Obi is no ordinary filmmaker and has succeeded where many others have struggled. He has secured international distribution for most of his films and set himself apart as a truly international, commercial filmmaker. He has been profiled by CNN as 'the future of Nollywood' in a series of interviews including the iconic African Voices programme. 

Uniquely it was Obi that first released a Nollywood film theatrically on UK screens in 2004. That film, Echoes of War was the touch paper that launched the now common notion of premiering Nollywood films in UK cinemas. He has gone on to commercially release two more films in UK cinemas (The Mirror Boy and Last Flight to Abuja) 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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