Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, popularly known as De Guvnor is a Nigerian film producer, director, and scriptwriter with almost 25 years of experience. He is the CEO of Lancelot Imasuen Media Network (LIMN), a public speaker, and a founding member of the Directors’ Guild of Nigeria (DGN).
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Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen Background
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen was born on the 20th of June 1971, to the family of Chief and Mrs Godwin Imasuen. He hails from Urhokuosa town of Uhunmwonde Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria. He had his primary education at Oguola Primary School, while his Secondary education was at Eghosa Grammar School, Benin City, Nigeria.
After his Secondary education, Lancelot proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), where he studied Theatre Arts. As a child, Lancelot already had passion for the arts, and this was evident in his involvement in his secondary school’s drama society, and the literary and debating society.
He was also involved in the productions of his church drama group. Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen is married to Aimua Imasuen, and they are blessed with three lovely children.
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen Career
Lancelot joined a professional theatre company called Earthpot Kulture in Benin at a young age. His career as a director started with Evangel Theatre, a TV Gospel Drama Series, at age 19.
From 1988-1991 when Lancelot relocated to Lagos, he worked as a casual staff of the Bendel Broadcasting Service (BBS). In 1994, he got a job as the Production Assistant of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
Lancelot rose to the limelight at the age of 26, with the film Yesterday. Thus far, Lancelot has been featured and interviewed by CNN, BBC, America Public Radio, South Korean Broadcasting Service, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Service, Nigerian Television Authority, African Independent Television, Channels Television, Silver Bird Television, African Journal Online, Washington Post, Guardian of Ottawa and several other International Broadcasting Network. He was the first African filmmaker to be a guest on CNN (Screening Room) in 2009.
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuwen is currently the Honorary Academic Chair on Filmmaking, Theatre and Mass Communication of the Department of Mass Communication, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Nigeria.
- Yesterday – 1997
- The Soul That Sinneth – 1999
- The Last Burial – 2000
- Issakaba – 2000
- Private Sin – 2003
- Enslaved – 2004
- Moment of Truth – 2005
- Family Battle – 2005
- Games Women Play – 2005
- Behind Closed Doors – 2005
- Games Men Play – 2006
- Yahoo Millionaire – 2007
- Sister’s Love – 2008
- Nollywood Babylon – 2008
- Entanglement – 2009
- Reloaded – 2009
- Home in Exile – 2010
- Bent Arrows – 2010
- A Private Storm – 2010
- Adesuwa – 2012
- Udeme Mmi – 2012
- Lonely Heart – 2013
- Invasion 1897 – 2014
- ABC’s of Death 2 – 2014
- The Insider – 2015
- Enslaved – 2015
- ATM (Authentic Tentative Marriage) – 2016
- Darima’s Dilemma – 2017
- Love Upon the Hills – 2017
- Based on Principle – 2017
- Idahosa – 2017
- Shadows in the Dark – 2017
- Crushed – 2018
- Love Birds – 2018
- Benin Fruit Seller (Documentary) – 2018
- Wede – 2018
- Rant Queens – 2019
- The Wrong One – 2019
- Sacrosanct – 2019
- The Fall of Nekighidi (Stage Play) – 2019
- Love or Quest – 2019
As A Public Speaker
- He delivered a lecture at Howard University Washington DC.
- Lancelot delivered lectures at the Igbinedion University Okada, Nigeria, Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, Nigeria, Benson Idahosa University, and Kwara State University.
- He delivered a seminar paper on Piracy in Nollywood on the 27th of March 2011. The seminar was organized by the African students of Columbia University, Washington DC.
- Guest speaker at the African series of African/Caribbean Society of the St. Andrews University, Scotland during the African student’s event.
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen Awards And Nominations
- Recipient of the Prestigious University of Port Harcourt Alumnus Award
- Africa Movie Academy Award nominee for Best Director – 2006
- Nominee for Best Feature Film at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) – 2010
- Nominated at the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Director – 2012
- Nollywood Movie Award nominee for Best Director – 2012
- Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Nigerian Film – 2012
- Nominated at the Nollywood Movie Award for Best Director – 2013
- Audience Choice Award nominee at the Chicago International Film Festival – 2014
- City People Movie Award for Movie Director of the Year (English) – 2015
- Best Comedy Film at the Abuja International Film Festival – 2016
- City People Movie Special Recognition Award – 2018
- Award of Excellence at the Edo Talent Awards – 2018
- Best Film Award at the Lekki International Film Festival – 2019
- National Council for Arts and Culture Awards for propagating the Benin Cultural Heritage – 2019.
- The Creative Industry Group’s Distinguished Veterans Recognition Award – 2019
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen Quotes
“Greatness does not hide and cannot be hidden…”
“Do not fear the bigness of the challenge or situation. Pray for a heart big enough to confront it, and sure victory will be yours at the end…”
“Spread your inner beauty. Speak good to life and spread goodness all around.”
“I always compete against myself. I’m very passionate about what is happening in Africa. I believe it can change. I believe we can get the right leaders on board. I believe that things can go well. I believe that my films will be reference points for the future building of Africa.”
“Nollywood is a major and essential force in the fight against American media imperialism.”
“Once you are not satisfied, you hunger for more effort, not minding the income but the positive outcome.”
“One movie production can travel the world and change Nigeria’s perception in the world.”
“If you get an undeserving award it can kill you. Receiving an award can kill you or make you.”
“Locate your dream, then light up your passion, let the light burn as you keep doing what is right that you believe in and trust in your efforts. I tell you, one day, your candle will light up the world and time will celebrate you”.
Recognize Your Passion And Stay Focused
Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen recognized he had passion for the arts from his childhood. As such, he worked towards making his passion a reality. He studied theatre arts at the University to hone his passion and become a skilled expert in his field.
As an entrepreneur, being passionate isn’t enough. You need to hone your passion and become a skilled expert at it. Then, your passion and skill would eventually make you stand out.
Also, his focus was on changing the African narrative and exhibiting the Nigerian cultural heritage through movies. So, even when he wasn’t recognized or awarded, he didn’t stop. All he wanted was to ensure the Nigerian cultural heritage was upheld.
As an entrepreneur, you need to have a goal you’re focused on, and nothing should stop you from being the best you can be. Because, regardless of the challenge you face, your focus would be on your goal until you breakthrough.
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Image Credit: @lancelotimasuen – Instagram
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