The Ladima Foundation is proud to announce the appointment of a high-profile Advisory Board made up of a host of well-respected film and TV industry professionals from across the globe.
The Advisory Board of the Ladima Foundation will provide critical guidance on the policy, direction, and priorities of the organization and lend their reputational and network support in order to ensure the success of the organization. The combined expertise, networks and passionate commitment to the development of women in the film industry across Africa of the members of the Ladima Foundation’s Advisory Board is truly awe-inspiring.
The Ladima Foundation co-founder Edima Otuokon has this to say of the newly appointed board, “We are overwhelmed with the enthusiastic and unanimously positive response from all of the professionals invited to be on the Ladima Foundation Advisory Board. We have only the utmost respect for all of the individuals on the Board and we are excited ahead of our first meeting with the new Board. We believe that with the support of this talented group of industry professionals, The Ladima Foundation will be able to achieve our goals of empowering and developing women in the industry.”
The Ladima Foundation Advisory Board is made up of the following professionals;
Biola Alabi: (Nigeria) Biola Alabi is an award-winning filmmaker, entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, and television anchor. The media icon heads Biola Alabi Media, a fast growing media company dedicated to telling authentic African stories to the world.
Biola Alabi is the Executive Producer of the award winning films: Lara and the Beat (2018), a coming of age film; as well as 2017 Nollywood blockbuster, Banana Island Ghost (B.I.G). She is also the Executive producer of Nigeria’s no.1 food travel documentary-series “Bukas and Joints” currently airing across Africa and in the UK. As part of her dream in evolving Biola Alabi Media into a 360-degree entertainment company, she delved into book publishing with the release of a young adult novella titled The Adventures of Lara and Dara.
She is also the founder of “Grooming for Greatness”a leadership development and mentorship program for a new generation for African leaders and a Non- Executive Director of Unilever Nigeria. Named one of the 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa by Forbes Magazine, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and CNBC Africa’s AABLA West African Business Woman of the Year (2013). For over five highly successful years, Biola Alabi held the high-profile position of Managing Director for M-Net Africa, part of the globally renowned Naspers Group. Prior to this, she was based in the United States where she was part of the executive team at the influential children’s television brand Sesame Street.
Themba Bhebhe: (South Africa / Germany) After working for almost a decade in international film sales, Themba has been in charge of Diversity & Inclusion at the last two editions of the European Film Market (Berlinale). Themba is also one of the founding members of the Programmers of Colour Collective (POC2) that aims at creating a conversation around and working towards a more diverse and inclusive programming pool at international film festivals through research, awareness events, networking, profile raising, mentoring and shadowing. Themba has shown incredible support for the Ladima Foundation throughout his extensive work and travels to film events and festivals around the world.
Catherine Gitahi: (Kenya) Catherine is an integrated marketing communication specialist with a background in journalism & community work and a bias towards implementing issue campaigns and advocacy with many years of experience in East Africa. She is currently the Corporate Affairs Manager at the Kenya Film Commission where she plays a pivotal role in supporting the Kenyan film industry. Progressively, she has executed advocacy and development work while establishing a background in grant management. Catherine brings a wealth of experience and her strong East African network to her role on the Advisory Board.
Bikiya Graham-Douglas: (Nigeria) Bikiya is an award-winning actress, singer and producer who is committed to telling stories through different art mediums, stage, film, and radio. Bikiya is a winner of Winner Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards and a Nominee in the Nigeria Entertainment Awards and the Nominee Nollywood Movie Awards. She is also the founder and CEO of Beeta Productions and the Beeta Universal Arts Foundation, both of which work to produce and support quality Nigerian productions. Bikiya has also served as International Jury member at FESPACO and as a Trainer /Resource Person at The Zanzibar International Film Festival and is also a board member of Lagos Fringe Festival.
Bikiya has taken part in a number of Ladima Foundation initiatives and will be a powerful ally in the important West African market and explains her motivation this way, “I’m truly honored by this appointment and look forward to working with such great minds across the continent to propel female presence in African Film. Ladima Foundation is creating an enabling environment for all of us to tell our stories and I commend their commitment.”
Charlotte Giese: (Denmark) Charlotte is a Senior Advisor at Danish Film Institute and also works as Strategic Consultant for organisations i.e. in Middle East and Africa. She is passionately committed to the development of the film industry across the world. As a leader, who is concerned about the synergy between growth and development & between commercial and non-commercial areas, her vision is to strengthen the next generation through talent development, media literacy, cinema culture and production of high quality artistic and engaging content.
Charlotte has this to say of her role on the Ladima Foundation Advisory Board, “Working with LADIMA for women and film – all over Africa + connecting to Scandinavia – is engaging and challenging: What is not to like?”
Nse Ikpe-Etim (Nigeria): Nse is a multi-award-winning actress from Nigeria. A recipient of the IARA Awards in the UK, the AMVCAs as well as nominations for several other awards both local and international, she has served as juror on international organizations such as the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), Cape Town International Film Market & Festival (CTIFMF), etc. Nse is a veteran who is well known as one of the most influential personalities on the African creative scene. Known for her humanitarian and mentoring efforts, Nse is a TEDx speaker, and she recently received an award from the Cyprus International University in recognition of her contribution to youth development. Nse brings her wealth of experience as a consummate filmmaker, and avid mentor to young girls and women spread across different disciplines.
Fibby Kioria: (Kenya) Fibby is Kenyan born and raised and is the Program Director at Maisha Film Lab and has for the last 8 years worked in film education management. She has sat on numerous film festival juries around the world and founded two short film festivals in East Africa that she curates. She is passionate about African cinema, particularly the archiving the history of African Cinema.
Fibby’s work at Maisha Lab has been well respected for a number of years and she has made a significant impact on the East African film industry. She is also the Associate Producer for the ‘Sembene Across Africa’ screenings, which, to date, have shown Ousmane Sembene’s work in over 35 countries in Sub Saharan Africa through dozens of community screening over the last three years.
Fibby’s vision and commitment is summed up here, “We are most probably living in the most exciting times for African Cinema, it is an honour and privilege to have a front row seat in being a part of the change we want to see in our narrative. There is more access and opportunity for visionary filmmakers today than there was a decade ago; we may not have all the resources we need but we are seeing more heart and grit with the films coming out of the continent today, and that in and of itself is very clearly the voice of us moving forward in a loud roar!”
Elias Ribeiro: (South Africa) Elias Ribeiro is a Brazilian born film producer who has lived and worked in over 10 countries. He has now been based in South Africa for a decade, where he founded Urucu Media. His award-winning body of work spans a wide range of documentary and fiction projects that have premiered in Competition at Sundance, Berlinale, Festival do Rio, Beijing and Durban, to name a few. In 2017 he had two of his films in the running for the Best Foreign Language Oscar, representing South Africa and Mozambique. He is the founder of Realness, a Pan African Screenwriters Residency, Creative Producer Indaba and most recently Realness Institute. In 2018, he headed up the Market and Industry Programme of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival as the Market Director. Lately he has enjoyed being a jury member for film funds such as Hubert Bals, mentoring producers in labs in Locarno, Addis Ababa, Kampala and offering consultancy services to different production companies and film related businesses on International co-productions and distribution.
Elias has this to say of his participation on the Ladima Foundation Advisory Board, “In my work as a producer it has been a real priority to shine light into darkness, give voice to the voiceless and challenge the status quo. I hope to add that rebellious spirit to the DNA of Ladima through my contribution as an advisory board member.”
Monica Rorvik: (South Africa) As Head of Film and Media Promotion at Wesgro, Monica’s mission is to inspire. She travels the globe representing Cape Town and the Western Cape. She has worked in the film industry in South Africa for many years, always with a strong focus on promotion, development, and collaboration. Monica is well known and respected around the world as she works tirelessly promoting the film industry of the Western Cape. A consummate networker, Monica has already added significant value as an ally of the Ladima Foundation and will continue to do so as a member of the Advisory Board.
Debra Zimmerman: (USA) Debra is the Executive Director of Women Make Movies based in New York City. She has worked for many years to support women in the film industry, not just in the USA, but around the world. She is the recipient of New York Women in Film and Television’s Loreen Arbus Award and the Hot Doc’s Doc Mogul Award, given to those who “over the course of their career has made an essential contribution to the creative vitality of the documentary industry, both in his or her country or abroad.”
Debra brings a unique perspective to the Ladima Foundation as she explains, “I am thrilled to be invited to be part of the Ladima Foundation’s Advisory Board. After working with them at the Zanzibar Intl Film Festival, I have the upmost respect for their work and, on behalf of Women Make Movies, look forward to collaborating again.”