African Film Directors: Nigerian Film Directors Robert Peters and Tope Oshin Ogun
Robert Peters is a Nigerian film director renowned for his 2014 film, ’30 Days in Atlanta’. Before his directing debut, Robert Peters was an actor until 2004, when he relocated to the USA to undertake training in Visual Storytelling. He received hands-on training on several Hollywood sets and later worked as a cinematographer and editor in small sets in Hollywood.
Robert made his directing debut in 2014 with his feature film, ’30 Days in Atlanta’, a romantic comedy film about a Nigerian man who wins a trip for two to Atlanta and decides to take his cousin along. The film broke the record in 2015 as the highest grossing Nigerian film of all time. The film was also featured in 2017 in the Guinness Book of Records as one of the films with the highest domestic gross in the territories of Bollywood, Nollywood and Hollywood. ’30 Days in Atlanta’ also won an Africa Movie Academy Award and a Golden Icons Academy Movie Award
He has directed other films including ‘Affairs of The Heart’, ‘Boxing Day’, ‘The Dowry Man’, and ‘A Trip To Jamaica’ (2016), which is listed as the 3rd highest grossing Nigerian film since 2000, with ’30 Days in Atlanta’ following closely behind at 4th position.
Based in Atlanta, Robert Peters is also a cinematographer and producer.
“It’s (filmmaking) about trust, there is an exercise we do before we start shooting, I put people behind the actors; the actor may fall on a padded ground or somebody catching him. It’s an exercise to make them feel from each other’s energy, because film is not a one man’s project, that’s why you never hear me say, I make films instead we make films.”
Tope Oshin Ogun
Tope Oshin Ogun is a film director, named in 2015 as one of “9 Nigerian Female Movie Directors You Should Know”, by Nigeria’s Pulse Magazine. Tope studied to become an economist but later changed her mind and went on to study Theatre Arts, TV and Film production at Lagos State University. She has a Masters in Directing from Colorado Film School.
Tope was an actor for 12 years before moving on to directing. She started off as an assistant director for the show, ‘The Apprentice Africa’. After this she made her directing debut with TV shows ‘Hotel Majestic’, ‘Tinsel’ and ‘Hush’, and short films, ‘New Horizons’, ‘The Young Smoker’ and ‘Till Death Do Us Part’. She made her feature film directing debut in 2012 with her film, ‘Journey To Self’ which brought her imminent recognition in Africa.
‘Journey To Self’ tells a story of 5 childhood friends who converge at the home of one of them who just died, she leaves a series of letters that explains her struggles through life and eventually leading to their “self-discovery”. The film received a nomination 9th Africa Movie Academy Awards and won an Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award. She has also directed a documentary, ‘Amaka’s Kin; The Women of Nollywood’, a tribute to the late filmmaker, Amaka Igwe.
As a producer, Tope Oshin produced the romantic drama film ‘Fifty’ in 2015. The film broke box office records on its first weekend upon release. As a casting director she has scouted talent for major films and TV shows including MTV’s Shuga.
“(Directing) gives me the opportunity to be different and break boundaries, which is what I like to do. I like to do the extraordinary, challenge norms and achieve the seemingly unachievable.”- Tope Oshin
To laud the great contribution by African film directors, Film Link Africa will be highlighting film directors from around the world in a series we are calling; African Film Directors.
In this series, we will list African Film Directors in no particular order. This series is not about comparison. It’s not about who has made more films or won more awards. It is about celebrating African Film Directors by highlighting their work and contribution to the African film industry, irrespective of their age, race, number of films and/or awards.