Bolanle Austen-Peters is one of the most productive movie producers and directors in the Nigerian movie scene. Over the years, she has been able to bring back to life the spark of the Nigerian theatre industry had once lost.
Bolanle Austen-Peters have been able to take the world by surprise with some of her works. These works include the award-winning ’93 days (which was screened at several international film festivals), Bling Lagosians (which was one of the highest-grossing 2019 films), Man enough (which was nominated for several awards, and even Wàkàà to name a few.
Bolanle Austen-Peters is a lawyer, movie and theatre director, art collector, and successful entrepreneur. She began her carrier in law while working for her father at his law firm. But even while occupying that role, she wanted more. And so she never stopped sending out job applications until she secured a job as a lawyer at the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights in Switzerland.
After working for the United Nations for several years, BAP broke free to take active steps towards building her dreams. And so, in 2003, she founded Terra Kulture Arts and Studios limited which was set up to promote Nigerian languages, culture, and art. Terra Kulture is also Nigeria’s first privately owned ultra-modern theatre, making it one of its kind in the country.
Bolanle Austen-Peters Production (BAP)
After 10 years of successfully managing Terra Kulture, she proceeded to establish her own production company called Bolanle Austen-Peters (BAP) Production. Through her company, Bolanle has shown her phenomenal storytelling skills, creativity, and adept employment of imagination. Her productions have earned her recognition both in Nigeria and in international media houses like BBC.
BAP has pioneered the production of several ground-breaking theatre plays. The first play she produced and directed after establishing the company is titled “SARO The Musical”, in 2016. The show was performed in Lagos and in London, and it was received in a positive light in both places.
In December 2017, she went on to direct the “Fela and The Kalakuta Queens Musical”, which was based on the life story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti and the women who were with him through his journey of fame.
Bolanle did not stop there but proceeded to produce “Moremi The Musical” one year later. “Moremi The Musical,” tells the story of the 12th century Yoruba queen who was instrumental in the liberation of the people of Ile-Ife from those who held their peace captive.
These were not all, because the Queen of Theatre directed and produced several other masterpieces which further contributed to the expansion of Nigeria’s art and told her stories to the world. Some of these other works include:
Wakaa is a story that tells the experience of 6 friends from different backgrounds who made a bet to one another to see who would be the most successful in their various fields after graduation. This project went on to show the struggles that Nigerian youths face trying to be successful at home and in the diaspora.
Death and The Kings Horseman
This production is based on a real-life event that happened during the Second World War while Nigeria was still a British colony. As a result of Bolanle’s unmatched storytelling and production skills, she was able to re-enact the story that happened several years ago and made it come alive with action, lighting, and costume.
“Man Enough” is the story of the average man who is expected to be perfect and do superhuman feats. But like every human being, men are also made of blood and bone and that was part of the message Bolanle passed with the production of “Man Enough”.
The first movie that was produced by Bolanle Austen-Peters Production was titled ‘93 Days’. Produced in 2016, it is a Nigerian drama thriller film that was based on the Ebola virus disease in Nigeria. The movie was dedicated to Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh for the role she played in curbing the spread of the deadly virus.
“93 Days” was selected for viewing and premiering at several cities and film festivals in the world. It was also nominated for several internationally recognized awards
In 2019, BAP released “The Bling Lagosians”, a movie about the lifestyle of Lagos’ high-class residents. This movie was one of the highest-grossing movies of 2019 and was nominated in two categories of the African magic viewers choice awards.
Bolanle Austen-Peters’ touch in these movies elicited positive testimonies of her brilliance and skills. This is why it isn’t surprising that both of these movies are currently streaming on Netflix.
Certifications, Awards, And Nominations
Bolanle Austen-Peters is the gift that keeps on giving. And we are not the only ones who recognize her efforts, excellence, creativity, and productivity. BAP has produced some very high valued works which have achieved undeniable success both locally and internationally. She is a hard worker and she has several awards to show for it. These awards include:
- The Forbes Africa 100 most influential women in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
- The British Council Education Ambassador Award was given to her in recognition of her personal and professional achievements and contribution.
- African Magic Viewer’s Choice Award for Best Director – Bling Lagosians in 2019.
- Pan African Film + Arts Festival where Bling Lagosian was featured.
- 13 nominations in The Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award “93 Days”
- Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, 2017 and 2018
- Society Of Nigerian Artists Award of Excellence
- Naija Growing Green Award
- The 4th Glam & Essence special honor as Outstanding Female Achiever
- Beeta Universal Arts Foundation Appreciation Award, 2016
A wise man once said, “Talent is nothing without dedication and discipline, and dedication and discipline is a talent in itself”. This quote encompasses a fraction of who Bolanle Austen-Peters is. Even though she is a talented storyteller, avid art collector, and a lover of good theatre, she is only able to make so much impact today because of her dedication to the cause and her discipline to wade through the waters until she achieves untainted success.