Niyi Akinmolayan – Biography, Awards And Early Career Of A Filmmaker

Niyi Akinmolayan

Niyi Akinmolayan is a Nigerian film-maker, director and media consultant. He is the founder and creative director of Anthill Studios, a media production facility. 

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Niyi started learning editing, designing, and animation production right from higher institution. Later on, he worked closely with pioneer Nigerian film-makers and honed his skills.

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Today, Niyi has become one of the most sought-after director and filmmaker in Nigeria.

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Niyi Akinmolayan

Niyi Akinmolayan Background

He was born Omoniyi Akinmolayan on November 3, 1982, and hail from Ondo State. His father was a chartered chief Broker, and his late mother, a fashion designer until her death. 

Niyi attended the Yaba College of Technology from 2002 -2004, where he studied Electrical/Electronics Engineering.

He is married to Victoria Akujobi, a post-production supervisor at Anthill Studios.

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Niyi Akinmolayan Early Career

Niyi started getting involved with art and media from his early years, and was also passionate about problem solving. As a result, his interest in problem solving made him attend Yaba College of Technology to study and train in Engineering. 

However, he soon realised the chaos in the Nigerian educational system. He discovered there were no practical sessions to aid full learning. So, he felt he was not getting the kind of training he needed and soon decided not to take the course too serious again. 

In the process, Niyi began to visit the school library to read up and learn other things. He started reading books on journalism, film art, film production, and media.

Also, he started using his friend’s laptop to learn graphics designing on CorelDraw, and Photoshop. Basically, Akinmolayan was using every opportunity to practice and learn filmmaking, and in the process, he came across an animation software.

Eventually, Niyi focused more on learning film making and paid less attention to school.

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By 2005, Niyi had fully honed his film editing, visual effects and music video editing skills. Later, he worked with Ehiz Ojesebholo to produce his first film, Smoke and Mirrors (2008). The film starred actors like Olu Jacobs, Kepi Ekpeyoung, Bimbo Akintola e.t.c.

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Next, he teamed up with Desmond Elliot to produce the film Kajola (2010). Kajola placed him on the world map, the same thing telling your story on Entrepreneurs.ng will do for you. According to him, working with Desmond gave him insights into what the Nigerian audience need. The insights gained helped him begin to take a better approach to movie production, animation and editing.

Today, Akinmolayan has directed several award winning Nigerian movies. He is mostly known as the directors of the highest grossing Nigerian film of all time, The Wedding Party 2. Some of his other popular works include: Chief Daddy, and The Set Up

In addition, he has worked with A-list thespians like; Banky Wellington, Adesua Etomi, Beverly Naya, Ireti Doyle, RMD, Sola Sobowale, Toyin Abraham, Timini Egbuson, Linda Ejiofor, Jide Kosoko, O C Ukeje, e.t.c 

He has also worked with Kemi Adetiba and the media mogul, Mosunmola Abudu.

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Some Of His Works 

  • Kajola, 2010
  • Make A Move, 2014
  • Ordinary People, 2014
  • Falling, 2015
  • Out of Luck, 2015
  • The Arbitration, 2016
  • Room 315, 2016
  • Chief Daddy, 2018
  • The Set Up, 2019
  • Elevator Baby, 2019

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  • Plaything, 2016
  • Adventures of Lola and Chuchu, 2017 
  • Malika: Warrior Queen, 2019

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Anthill Studios

Akinmolayan is the founder and creative director of Nigeria’s foremost 3D animation company, Anthill Studios. Anthill Studios is a media production facility. He established the company in 2008, and produced the visual effects for his movie Kajola (2010). Next, in 2016, the company broke the internet with the release of its first animated short film titled Plaything.

Anthill Studios’ services include film making, editing, animation, visual media production e.t.c. Besides, the team has worked with FG, Inkblot, FrieslandCampina, AXA Mansard, UKAID, Sesame, Blue Water, Airtel and many others. 

Anthill launched Anthill Business, a web application. The application is designed for potential users to create personalised videos at reasonable prices. Also, it helps Nigerian youths to put their creative mind to work. According to Niyi, the platform is designed to help people create video contents by themselves at very affordable rates.

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Awards and Nomination

  • Best Movie ‘Make a Move’, Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, 2015
  • Best Director ‘Falling’, Nigeria Entertainment Awards, 2016
  • Director of the Year, City People Movie Award (Win), 2018
  • Director of the Year, City People Movie Award (Nominee), 2019
  • Best Animation ‘Malika: Warrior Queen’, African International Film Festival AFRIFF, 2019
  • Best Animated Short, Independent Film Festival Awards, 2019

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Niyi Akinmolayan Quotes

“If you can’t afford established people, get young hungry ones and train them. It pays off eventually”.

“To move forward as a continent, as Africans, we need to teach people to question things”.

“The African culture is built on stories”.

“You only make good films by making films at all”.

“Failure is an essential part of film making, but you will never understand that if you don’t get started”.

“If we have to go forward, then we have to learn to share”.

“Regardless of the size of your film. Plan out your intentions to make people see it ahead of time”. 

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Entrepreneurial Lessons From Niyi Akinmolayan

Train People

In entrepreneurship, you need a strong team. A team can become strong and go overboard when they buy into the vision of the business. It is the job of the vision bearer, the entrepreneur to constantly communicate the vision of the business to the team. You have to endlessly do this until they embrace the vision as theirs.

Anthill Studios is a success because Akin has an incredible team. Recently, some of his team members were nominated for awards in the Africa Magic Viewers Choice. That’s to tell you that they know their onion.

Also, Niyi organizes series of training for young minds, and is passionate about helping others develop. To build a legacy in life, you have to invest in other people.

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Start Small

Most business ideas die because we are waiting for things to align before we can start. At Entrepreneurs.ng, we advocate that you start small. By starting small, you can learn fast and also fail fast. Also, by starting, you make yourself ready for opportunities.

Learn form Niyi’s experience. He started with things available to him; books from the school library and working with other filmmakers. Eventually, his big break came. It wouldn’t have come if he folded his arms and waited.

Let’s create visibility for your brand today and put your business on the world map. Contact us today to make your brand the preferred choice among our audience of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

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