Samantha Iwowo is a screenwriter, director and researcher, who commenced her career as a commissioned screenwriter with South Africa’s largest cable network, M-Net. Her research and praxis which lie in Postcolonialism with leanings in Transnational-Cinema Studies, support creative industries, cultural heritage, and challenge marginalisation. The outputs from these studies reflect a fusion of her industry practice, scholarship, and education delivery.


Iwowo’s praxis has birth fifty published screenplays, including episodes of Tinsel (2008 - ongoing), Nigeria’s longest-running daily drama series, as well as Oloibiri (2016), the internationally celebrated feature. The film, made in collaboration with Student Emmy and Academy awards winning director, Curtis Graham, and produced by Rogers Ofime, explores extremities of oil exploitation in Nigeria by multinational corporations. Oloibiri premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2015. Another screenplay, Mugabe (2022), is a biography on Zimbabwe’s Ex-President, Robert Mugabe; commissioned by Theatron Media Inc., Canada, it stars British-Nigerian actor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim.

Iwowo has directed five films including Go Get Milk (2015), a short advocacy piece about the teenage knife-crime incidents in South-East London. Another, Paint Brush (forthcoming), is a gender-related drama also about knife-crime. In 2022, she also directed the AHRC-funded film, Articulations of Politics in Nigeria (2022), exploring how Nigerian artists give expression to the politics of the country.


Iwowo’s doctoral research in film-studies with leanings towards practice, was undertaken at the University of Bristol and part-funded by its Faculty of Arts Research Scholarship. The study is situated in Postcolonialism; using Homi Bhabha’s notions of colonial mimicry, as well as theories of Sly Civility and Orientalism, it unearths problematic vestiges of the Colonial Film Unit in neo-Nollywood. It maintains that these vestiges create problems for contemporary Nigerian filmmakers, particularly apropos to accessing mainstream Anglo-American distribution markets. The study also unearths limitations to Bhabha’s position that mimicry can be used as a 'weapon' to diminish colonial structures and contributes new findings to the fields of Nollywood and African film studies.

Significantly, Iwowo’s doctoral thesis has also instructed the following outputs: With Dr. Vanessa Iwowo and Professor Peter Case, she also co-authored a chapter in the 2nd Edition of the SAGE Handbook of Leadership (2022), thus, initiating the intersection of Leadership Studies with postcolonial African Cinema. Her contribution to this text defines the Nollywood collaborative culture as expressions of the African philosophy, Ubuntu. Beginning in 2019, Iwowo has also been mobilising this Nollywood culture to conceptualise the Ubuntu collaboration model for minimalist filmmaking. Structured to mediate team-tensions in filmmaking on the Ubuntu values of interconnectedness, shared-ownership, reciprocity, collective survival, etc., it has been adopted by the Bournemouth-University MA Framework as a pedagogical approach to fostering collaboration. She is currently working on a Routledge-commissioned monograph on decolonising film directing.


Iwowo is lead-supervisor to three doctoral students:

- Ucheyamere Nkwam-Uwaoma (studying Nollywood horror genre and problematic female representation)

- Francis Thomas (researching Yoruba Neo-Nollywood).

- Rogers Ofime (exploring post-study employability potentials of minimalist filmmaking in UK)

Iwowo welcomes doctoral research applications interested in any of the following: Postcolonialism, Postcolonial cinema, Postcolonial subalternity, Intersectionality, Transnational Cinema, Nollywood, African Cinema, African Studies, Indigenous Knowledge, Decolonisation, as well as filmmaking aspects of screenwriting, directing & mise en scène.



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