Novelist, Playwright, Film maker
Arts & Entertainment
New York, USA
Biyi Bandele is a Nigerian novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. He was born in Kafanchan, Kaduna State. He grew up in a middles class home and has always aspired to be a writer. Even as a child, he spent a lot of time in the library reading and is well read on the history of Nigeria.
Bandele’s talent was recognized early when he won the International Student Play script competition in 1989 with an unpublished play. He writes fiction, theatre, journalism, television, film, and radio. He was a writer-in-residence with Talawa Theatre Company, resident dramatist with the Royal National Theatre Studio, the Judith E. Wilson Fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. He also acted as Royal Literary Fund Resident Playwright at the Bush Theatre. Mr. Bandele also worked with Britain’s Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He enjoys projects that people can identify with and gives a voice. He loves making films because of the “nature of collaboration”. This became an excellent networking ground for him to meet all types of people and work together to birth world-class productions. Although the projects were posed with many challenges, he tackled them head on.
Bandele’s directorial debut film “Half of a Yellow Sun” took six years to develop and was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. From the moment he read the novel, he was drawn to the storyline reflecting on the Biafran War, surviving relationships and the power of love.
His 2015 film, entitled Fifty, was included in the London Film Festival and is currently available on Netflix. He also directed the third season of the popular MTV drama series, Shuga and WAS AN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER ON the 2018 thriller, Nigerian Prince. His plays include the following, Rain; Marching for Fausa; Resurrections in the Season of the Longest Drought; Two Horsemen; Death Catches the Hunter and Me and the Boys; and Oroonoko, an adaptation of Aphra Behn’s 17th-century novel of the same name. His novels include, The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond, The Sympathetic Undertaker and Other Dreams, The Street, and Burma Boy which has been translated into French, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Dutch, Hebrew, Polish and Swedish.
Bandele has always been in love with cinema. Through his artistic work, he captures moments that tell a story beyond the screen. In his photography shared across his social media platforms, he tends to capture moments in the most beautiful way even if they were taken in the slums of Lagos. His talents continue to make storytelling a gift to the world.
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