Nigerian filmmaker Funke Akindele talks about making her directorial debut with ‘Your Excellency’

Funke Akindele-Bello makes her directorial debut with 'Your Excellency,' scheduled for a December 2019 release. [EbonyLife Films]
  • After years of script writing and producing, Funke Akindele-Bello has made the switch to directing.
  • She makes her directorial debut with Mo Abudu’s upcoming movie “Your Excellency.”
  • The Nigerian filmmaker tells Business Insider SSA all about this big change in the interview below.

Funke Akindele-Bello is a popular actress, scriptwriter, producer and the latest female director in the Nigerian movie industry.

For her first project, she partnered with Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Films to make “Your Excellency,” a social media-driven political comedy coming out in December 2019.

In a recent chat with Business Insider SSA, she reveals why she chose to make her directorial debut with this particular movie.

“Well I wanted to start with my own movie that’s for 2020,” she says, “but she beat me to it, that is aunty Mo Abudu. She is someone I respect so much, she is a go getter. She inspires women. She helps the younger generation to grow. She gives people opportunities and I believe so much in that too. So when I got the call from her saying, ‘you have to direct my movie.’ Despite my tight schedule I just had to put everything aside for two months so I could work on the project.”

The movie is described as a political satire that follows a failed presidential candidate, who becomes a credible contender after his dance moves go viral on social media.

According to Akindele-Bello, this movie highlights the power of social media and the need for people to use it wisely.

In her words, “I must say a lot of people use social media for less important things. Yes, we love to look at beautiful pictures. I love to take pictures but I also use it for my brand and I believe the younger generation will watch this movie and learn a lot from it about being careful about what you put out there. My advice to the younger generation is to use it to promote what you are doing. Use it to promote yourself positively.”

Apart from directing, the filmmaker also stars as the second wife of the presidential aspirant Chief Olalekan Ajadi played by veteran Nollywood actor Akin Lewis.

She describes the experience saying, “It was tedious. I direct some of the episodes of ‘Jennifa’s Diary’ but this is a film, it is different. It is a lot of work, mental work.”

After making her directorial debut, Akindele-Bello plans to create more content in 2020.

“I am going to direct my own movie next year,” she reveals. “Also, we have the SCENEONE TV platform, VOD, we’re churning out more content and I am working on my TV station.”

“Your Excellency” features a star-studded cast including Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, Shaffy Bello, Kunle Coker, Eku Edewor, Osas Ighodaro, Deyemi Okanlawon, Ini Dima-Okojie, Chigul, Ikechukwu, Helen Paul and Toni Tones.

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