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Abbesi Akhamie was born in Heidelberg, Germany and is a Nigerian-American Writer, Director and Producer currently based in Northern Virginia. Her career in independent cinema includes producing award-winning films domestically and internationally with a focus on the African continent. She produced Samedi Cinema in Senegal which premiered at Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. She produced Facing North in Uganda which premiered at TIFF in 2018. Her Associate Producer credits include Forever (Martha's Vineyard African-American Film Festival) which is currently available on the streaming platform Omeleto, with plans to be developed into a written publication. In the past, she has produced films for non-profit and young adult programs such as GlobalGirl Media, with an emphasis on engaging marginalized communities in the filmmaking process. Her experience include Production Management, Line Producing, and Marketing/Distribution and she consults on feature films in this role. Currently, she is an Associate Producer for a Spike Lee backed short film project with a tentative release date for September 2020.
As a Writer/Director, her debut short film Still Water Runs Deep premiered at TIFF in 2017 and won ‘Best Student Film’ at the prestigious Aspen ShortsFest. The film is distributed by Salaud Morisset and continues to broadcast internationally. She attended the TIFF Filmmaker Lab with her debut in-development feature film In My Father’s House which will be filmed in Nigeria. She is a Creative Culture Fellow at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she is concluding a short documentary film following her 80-year-old grandmother who is an ordained minister. Abbesi has received numerous accolades for her film work through the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts fellowship, NYSCA/NYFA fellowship in Film, and the Berlinale Talents fellowship in Producing.
Abbesi holds an MFA in Film from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and also holds a BA in Communication from George Mason University. In her role as Production Manager in Film and Video Studies at George Mason University, she supports the Mason Film Labs and student productions across the curriculum.
MFA, Film, Tisch School of the Arts at New York University
BA, Communication, George Mason University