The cinema industry is relatively new in Nigeria. But it is one that hit the ground running from day one. Now, many Nigerians have imbibed the cinema culture and fill up cinema houses on the opening weekends of blockbuster movies.
One of the cinema companies that made this possible is Filmhouse Cinemas, which was established in 2012 and has since grown to have cinemas located in big cities across the country.
Meet the founder…
On Nairametrics‘ founder’s profile this week, we bring to you Moses Babatope, the co-founder of Filmhouse Cinemas and FilmOne Distribution and Production Company. Babatope is one of the leading stakeholders in Nigeria’s cinema and film distribution industries. He is also a known writer and movie producer. With his business ventures, Babatope is not just addressing the needs of movie enthusiasts, he is also committed to delivering returns for filmmakers in the country.
Co-founding Filmhouse and FilmOne
Both FilmOne and Filmhouse Cinema were co-founded by Babatope in December 2012. Ever since then, the companies have been major players in the Nigerian film industry. Filmhouse Cinema specialises in cinema operations. It manages and owns cinema locations all over the country (about 10 of them). It also designs, and consults for cinema projects.
The cinema company is big on technology and takes pride in its digital projection systems across all its cinemas, including its High Frame Rate cinemas.
On the other hand, FilmOne Distribution and Production Company is an independent distributor and producer of filmed entertainment which provides top-end film release services, mainly in Nigeria.
FilmOne’s debut project “Half Of a Yellow Sun” was released in 2014. It is pertinent to note that the company also distributed “30 Days In Atlanta,” a movie which was declared the highest grossing film of all time in Nigerian cinemas in 2015.
Early Life and Education
Babatope hails from Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria, but he is also a naturalised citizen of Great Britain. Prior to the naturalisation, the movie entrepreneur attended Iyaniwura Nursery and Primary School Ilupeju, Lagos between 1988 and 1993. He then went on to have his secondary school education at Home Science Association Secondary School in Lagos between 1993 and 1999.
In the same year he graduated from secondary school, Babatope enrolled in Babcock University, to study Economics before transferring to Middlesex University Business School, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Money Banking and Finance in 2003.
He continued his education at Middlesex University Business School, with a Master’s degree in International Finance and graduated with a Merit in 2005.
His Career Milestones
Babatope has cognate experience of over 20 years in cinema operations management, film production, and film distribution. His experience cuts across several locations in the world, including Nigeria and the UK.
Babatope started his professional career from Odeon Cinemas Group, where he worked for almost a decade. He started in November 2003 as a team leader in the company. In August 2005, he became a Cinema Manager in the same company. Thereafter, in 2009, he became a Special Project Manager in the company and finally left in June 2013.
Prior to his resignation from Odeon Cinemas Group, Babatope co-founded Talking Drum Entertainment Limited, a UK-based film distribution company that specialises in black film and TV content.
After co-founding a film distribution firm abroad, Babatope felt the need to tap into the numerous opportunities in Nigeria’s film industry. That’s how he co-founded Filmhouse Distribution and Production Company and Filmhouse Cinemas.
Having produced Taxi Driver, The Wedding Party, amongst other box office smash hits, Babatope has a proven track record of promoting black films on the global stage.
Being one of the very few major players in Nigeria’s filmmaking industry, Babatope has toured beyond the shores of Nigeria, and Africa at large, delivering speeches and lectures on theatrical distribution at prestigious events like the African International Film Festival and Film Africa Festival.
In November 2018, Babatope was recognised as the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria.
Moses Babatope is married to Margaret Babatope whom he once described as a supportive wife. Their marriage is blessed with two sons.
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