August 12, 1962
|Alma mater||Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife|
Heroes and Zeros
The Narrow Path
Akanni received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dramatic Arts from Obafemi Awolowo University and a master's degree in Film Studies from the University of Ibadan as well as a professional master's degree (MFA) in Screenplay Writing and Film Directing from the Film and Television Institute of India.
He has scripted, co-scripted and directed several notable Nigerian films and reality shows.
As one of Nigeria's official three theatrical presentations at the 2012 Cultural Olympiad in London, he directed The Lion and the Jewel, a play by Nigerian writer, Professor Wole Soyinka that was first performed in 1959. In 2005, he was Assistant Director of the first season of Amstel Malta Box Office, a Nigerian reality Television Show.
In 2006, he was Content Director on Big Brother Nigeria, the same year he co-scripted, The Narrow Path, a 95 minutes film produced by Mainframe Films and Television Productions and directed by Tunde Kelani. The film, which featured Sola Asedeko and Khabirat Kafidipe was adapted from The Virgin, a debut novel of Bayo Adebowale. In 2008, he directed Abobaku, a short film in Super-16mm gauge, produced by Femi Odugbemi on the MNET's New Directions project. Abobaku won several awards, including the Most Outstanding Short Film award at the 2010 ZUMA Film Festival in Abuja, Nigeria; Best Costume at the 6th Africa Movie Academy Awards held on 10 April 2010 at the Gloryland Cultural Center in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria; and was also judged Best Short Film at the 2010 TERRACOTA Awards in Lagos, Nigeria.
In 2010, he wrote and directed Aramotu, a Nigerian drama digital film that stars Gabriel Afolayan. The film received 7 nominations at the 7th Africa Movie Academy Awards and won the awards for Best Nigerian Film and Best Costume Design. It also emerged as the Best Feature Film at Africa International Film Festival, held in Calabar in May 2013. Aramotu screened at various film festivals across the world, including the 2012 Samsung Women's International Film Festival (SWIFF) in Chennai, India; 2012 Africa In The Picture (AITP)film festival, Amsterdam; 2013 Arusha African International Film Festival (AIFF), Tanzania; and 2013 International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), India.
He scripted and directed Heroes and Zeros, a Nigerian drama film that stars Nadia Buari, Bimbo Manuel, Gabriel Afolayan, Linda Ejiofor and Olu Jacobs. The film was released on September 7, 2012 and premiered in the UK on March 15, 2013 at Odeon Cinema. The film won the Most Outstanding Film and Audience Choice awards at the 2013 EKO International Film Festival and competed in the digital film category of the 2013 Pan African Film and Television Festival, FESPACO, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It was invited to the 2013 International Film Festival of Kerala, IFFK, in India, and was also screened at the 2014 Afrikamera Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland. It received 6 nominations at the 9th Africa Movie Academy Awards and won the awards for Best Editing, Best Screenplay and Best Director
|The Narrow Path||Tunde Kelani and Niji Akanni||Tunde Kelani||Mainframe Films and Television Productions||2006|
|Abobaku||Femi Odugbemi||Niji Akanni||Femi Odugbemi||2008|
|Aramotu||Niji Akanni||Niji Akanni||Yinka Kolapo||2010|
|Heroes and Zeros||Niji Akanni||Niji Akanni||Christopher Jeyibo||2012|
The table below highlight the awards and nominations received by Niji Akanji and his films.
|Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Yoruba Movie Academy
(3rd Yoruba Movie Academy Awards)
|Best Cultural Movie||Niji Akanni||Won|
|Achievement in Directing||Niji Akanni||Won|
|Best Picture||Niji Akanni||Won|
|Africa Film Academy
(7th Africa Movie Academy Awards)
|Best Nigerian Film||Niji Akanni||Won|
|Best Film||Niji Akanni||Nominated|
|Best Best Director||Niji Akanni||Nominated|
|Best Film in an African Language||Niji Akanni||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Niji Akanni||Won|
|Africa Film Academy |
(9th Africa Movie Academy Awards)
|Best Screenplay||Niji Akanni||Won|
|Best Director||Niji Akanni||Won|
|Best Nigerian Film||Niji Akanni||Nominated|
|Best Sound||Niji Akanni||Nominated|
- "Judith Audu: Actress is excited about working with Niji Akanni". Nigeria CommunicationsWeek.
- Hjort, M. (31 July 2013). The Education of the Filmmaker in Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. google.co.uk. ISBN 9781137032690.
- "Niji Akanni: Solid Intelligent Filmmaker, Hardly known..." naijarules.com.
- Ekenyerengozi, Michael Chima (2013). NOLLYWOOD MIRROR®. google.co.uk. ISBN 9781304729538.
- Olawale Adegbuyi. "Aramotu directed by Niji Akanni". The Movietainment Magazine.
- "$200m entertainment fund not a grant — BoI". The Punch - Nigeria's Most Widely Read Newspaper.
- Kerr, David; Banham, Martin; Gibbs, James; Plastow, Jane; Osofisan, Femi (2011). Media and Performance. google.co.uk. ISBN 9781847010384.
- "Africultures - Fiche film : Abobaku". africultures.com.
- "Aramotu is living it up". tribune.com.ng.
- "Afrff 2013 before the African movie showcase in calabar". tribune.com.ng.
- Adeola Adeyemo. "Nadia Buari, Olu Jacobs, Gabriel Afolayan & Bimbo Manuel Star in Heroes & Zeros – View Behind the Scenes Shots and Trailer". BellaNaija.
- "Niji Akanni-directed 'Heroes and Zeros' for DVD release". News Nigeria. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
- Manager2. "Nollywood steps up assault on UK film market with Heroes and Zeroes screening in Greenwich". nigerianwatch.com. Archived from the original on 2015-04-14.
- "Nigeria HomePage - Breaking News, Business, Sports, Entertainment and Video News". thenigerianvoice.com.
- "Winning films from African Movie Awards 2013". africainwords.com.
- "Fathia Balogun, Odunlade Adekola shine @ Yoruba Movie Academy Awards 2014". vanguardngr.com. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "AMAA Nominations 2011". Africa Film Academy. Africa Movie Academy Awards. 26 February 2011. Archived from the original on March 2, 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2014.