2019 is a year of big sequels and some adrenaline-filled films in Nollywood.
Appreciatively, the directors, who helm these films took charge of their sets and made sure that every component of these Nollywood films ran smoothly.
While it remains a fact that Nollywood produced hugely talented directors – and some not so competent ones – the directors who made this list showed brilliance in controlling their film’s artistic and dramatic aspects.
These sets of directors also visualised the screenplay – or script as the case might be – while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of their set out vision.
It should be noted that some directors’ efforts can’t be ignored just because we limited this to only 5. Their contributions to the total output of films produced this year are worthy of mention. These include Imoh Umoren, Abdulrasheed Bello, Funke Akindele-Bello, Uche Jombo, Okiki Afolayan, Muyiwa Ademola, andVincent D Anointed.
Here is a list of the five best directors for 2019
5. Kunle Afolayan
Kunle Afolayan is not new in the industry but his return to the scene after a brief hiatus was a blessing to 2019. Before 2019, Afolayan had worked on several films but with ‘Mokalik’ he took his versatility to a whole new height. Afolayan takes on ‘Mokalik’ like a director that has a point to prove. The story revolves around 11-year-old Ponmile, whose life changes when he is sent to work as an apprentice at a mechanic workshop after getting bad grades in school and he must make a tough decision about his future in just one day. Afolayan tells the story with all sincerity mixing and blending good picture quality with unmatched acting from the cast that includes BBNaija star, Tobi Bakre, music sensation, Simi, Lateef Adedimeji, and Toni Afolayan who plays the lead character of Ponmile.
4. Mike-Steve Adeleye
Mike-Steve Adeleye is one of the industry heads known for producing, directing, writing, and editing. However, in 2019, Mike-Steve made a grand mark with ‘Code Wilo’. The political thriller mirrors the Nigerian polity with relatable dialogues and role interpretations. One of the highlights of Mike-Steve’s brilliance with ‘Code Wilo’ is making the Gabriel Afolayan take on the role of an unassuming villain. Taking viewers on a journey of a dark twisted plot filled with gasps, surprise and side-eye moments, Mike-Steve tells the story of ‘Code Wilo’ in the most compelling way for audience delight. The aim was to reveal the dirty secrets and activities of some Nigerian politicians and that was what the political thriller did with Mike-Steve Adeleye’s direction.
3. Ishaya Bako
One of the films that stood Kate Henshaw out from her peers in 2019 is without a doubt ‘4th Republic’. If the film was released in 2020, viewers might believe the scenes were from real political violence that occurred in February 2019. However, the film had been shot before the last general election and like the creative mind that he is, Ishaya Bako predicted happenings with the film. Bako had contributed to the industry this decade with his writing abilities and directorial skills but none can be compared with his achievement in the ‘4th Republic’. From detailed scenes to intentional gestures and sounds in the film all on his watch, Bako sits on the list of top directors in 2019
2. Niyi Akinmolayan.
When Inkblot productions decided to work again with Niyi Akinmolayan in 2019 after the success of ‘The Wedding Party 2,’ production crew knew something unique was set for 2019. And when Akinmolayan’s directorial efforts on ‘The Set Up’ was released, it was greeted with a warm reception. From Tina Mba’s incredible role interpretation to Adesua Etomi-Wellington’s dedication to bringing out the best of her character, it’s obvious Ankinmolayan has gotten it right with Nollywood big-budget films and blockbusters.
1. Ramsey Nouah
Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah makes his directorial debut taking on ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free,’ the sequel to 1992 blockbuster, ‘Living in Bondage’. The veteran actor, who now wears the toga of a director has become the new poster boy to the combination of an actor and director. Nouah didn’t just let the buck of his work stop after directing actors role interpretations on the movie set, he remained hands-on even at the post-production level, which led to the overall outcome of the good picture. He’s currently enjoying good reviews, commendations, and accolades for his directorial debut, which was co-produced by Charles Okpaleke and Steve Gukas. Nouah directed and took on the role of the powerful yet flamboyant villain, Richard Williams, in ‘Living in Bondage: Breaking Free’. Not only did Nouah worked perfectly on the film, but he also exhibited his ability to bring out the best in his actor, which was seen in Swanky JKA, who takes on the role of Nnamdi Okeke.