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Grace Edwin-Okon, nee Oboba, has been in the entertainment industry since 1999. A graduate of English Language from Delta State University, Grace studied at Watermark Business School and has attended writing and film making workshops with BBC and Ford Foundation. She is the CEO of Derwin Productions, an organization dedicated to the production of educational and entertaining audio visual productions for children and adults alike. A volunteer for Green Light Movies (an initiative that teaches secondary school students about film making), Grace has also been an ambassador for Hands Up For Her since 2012, working for the welfare of the girl-child. Her love for children also influenced her first four audio visual productions titled Kids & Praise 1, Kids & Praise 2, Fruit of the Spirit, and Numberland (an animated children’s series she produced for 3s Dali Ltd.) She talks to Joy Ehonwa about running her media production business. CN: What were you doing prior to this? Before I became a film producer I was a beauty queen, model and actor. I started out as winner of the Miss Face of DELSU pageant as an undergraduate, and was later second runner up in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant in 1999. I’ve featured in several movies and soap operas including Tears in Heaven, Extreme Measures, My Dream, Prodigal Brother, Candle Light, Doctors’ Quarters, and Heavy Beauty, which I produced as my first feature length movie. I also published Heavy Beauty as a play/book which I hope can be acted out on stage by teenagers. Through this play a lot of young people will learn about the perils of unplanned/unwanted pregnancies.
Grace on set
CN: What does the movie making process require of you in your role as a producer? It requires my skills in management of finance and human resource, creativity and the ability to market the content. CN: What do you like most about your work? The ability to impact lives positively through my work. Most of my movies are movies with social messages that touch lives and send out positive messages. The central themes include teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, pensioners, older citizens, autism, rape, HIV and tourism to name a few. I’ve set up an initiative called “DERWIN FIRST SHOT INITIATIVE”. It is a platform which gives young aspiring film makers the opportunity to shoot their very first “feature film”, because film making in Nigeria is a very expensive venture which a lot of young people cannot afford to finance on their own. I help raise funds for the young film makers from investors, and guide them from the script to the pre-production and all through to the shooting, post-production and sales of their first film. I also ensure that the young film maker is able to make enough money to shoot their second film independently. I also love producing content for children. I hope to own a children’s television station in the future and I’ve started working towards it by producing content for the station.
Grace With Crew
CN: Which aspects of it do you find most challenging? Raising funds for projects, getting suitable noiseless locations, and distribution. CN: What do you consider to be the best career decision you’ve ever made? Making my first movie, Heavy Beauty, as it opened doors to greater opportunities. CN: How can a young person prepare for a career as a movie producer? You can learn on the job by working under an established producer or go to film school. CN: What have been your biggest career milestones? Each and every nomination and award my films have won, local and international, as well as screenings: The Deadwood: Made it to the top 10 finalist in the Afrinolly short film competition 2013 (Documentary Category), won the Cross River State Merit Awards (Best Documentary), AMVCA 2014 (Best Documentary) and 7th position/screening film Black International Film Festival, Birmingham. Sting: Opening film/screened at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, and screened at the Eko International Film Festival. Oblivious: Screened at the Eko International Film Festival, was nominated (Best Short Film) at the Africa International Film Festival 2014 “Afriff” and won (Best Short Film) Africa magic viewer’s choice awards 2015 AMVCAs Deluded: BON (Best of Nollywood Awards) Best short film 2015 Deluded: Inshort Film Festival, Best Director and Best Actress Demystifying Autism: Nominee best animation Afriff 2015 Funsie Fast Fingers: Nominee best animation Afriff 2015 Demystifying Autism: Nominee best documentary AMVCA 2016 Also, winning the City People Award for “Producer of the Year” in 2016 was one of my major milestones. CN: What advice do you wish someone had given you as an undergraduate? Learn a skill as it can come in handy in life. CN: Which books have really made a difference in the way you think and live? God’s Got My Business by Tam Anderson Links to some of Grace’s movies: The Deadwood Oblivious The Maid Trailers of some of Grace’s movies: Heavy Beauty Sting Kpians: Feast of Souls Twitter: @graceoboba Instagram: Graceobobaedwinokon Facebook: Graceobobaedwinokon Linkedin: Grace Edwin-Okon Website: Click here to contact Derwin Productions directly

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This article was first published on 21st July 2017 and updated on November 6th, 2017 at 12:29 pm


Joy Ehonwa is an editor and a writer who is passionate about relationships and personal development. She runs Pinpoint Creatives, a proofreading, editing, transcription and ghostwriting service. Email: pinpointcreatives [at]

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