Bola Ogun: The Magic-Maker Behind Netflix’s The Witcher Season Three
BY Emmanuel Chidera Amoke
In the vast and ever-evolving landscape of Hollywood, Bola Ogun stands out for her groundbreaking works and commitment to the underrepresented voices.
Bola Ogun is a Nigerian-American film Director, who recently finished the second season premiere block of Netflix’s Shadow & Bone from Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer and will be gearing up for the season three finale block of Witcher.
Bola Ogun’s path to success in Hollywood was anything but conventional. Upon arriving in Los Angeles in 2007, she embraced the industry’s challenges head-on. Leaning from her previous experience in Dallas, where she had diligently worked in various roles, from actress to production assistant on prominent projects such as Prison Break and Walking Tall.
Inspired first by the lack of genre entries by women at previous film festivals, and her passion for character-driven genre films and television, Ogun was determined to forge her path as a filmmaker. She took the initiative to tell stories from marginalized perspectives and provide a platform for the underrepresented worlds on screen. Through her work, Ogun seeks to bridge the gap between women of colour and the realms of myth and fantasy.
In 2014, Ogun’s vision started coming to life when she was accepted into AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women. This transformative opportunity led to the creation of her directorial debut, The Water Phoenix.
Then later, her second short film, Are We Good Parents? marked a pivotal moment in her career. This subversive comedy, inspired by her younger sister coming out, tackled themes of parenting and LGBTQ+ acceptance. The film’s success caught the attention of acclaimed filmmaker Ava DuVernay, leading to Ogun’s directorial debut on the TV show Queen Sugar.
Collaborating with Ava DuVernay on Queen Sugar allowed Ogun to further amplify her commitment to authentic and diverse narratives. Her work not only showcases women of colour but also highlights the stories and perspectives of marginalized voices, providing a necessary space for representation and empowerment.
As Ogun’s reputation as a visionary director grew, she began helming episodes of popular TV shows such as Charmed, Siren, Legacies, Walker, Two Sentence Horror Stories, Lucifer, Raising Dion, Big Shot and God Friended Me. Her unique perspective and storytelling prowess brought a fresh wave of representation to the screen, contributing significantly to the push for inclusivity in the industry.
Ogun has achieved several other milestones in her career, including winning Best Short Film and Best Emerging Filmmaker at the AT&T SHAPE Awards. Aside from being an alum of AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, She has also participated in other prestigious programs like the WB Directors’ Workshop, the Ryan Murphy Half Initiative, and the WeForShe DirectHer Program. Moreover, Ogun was among the five filmmakers selected for Robert Rodriguez’s Rebel Without a Crew docuseries. Her independent work was recognized with a grant from the California Institute of Contemporary Art, and she has garnered positive reviews from notable publications like Black Girl Nerds and Shadow & Act. Additionally, her talent has been featured in SYFY Wire and Essence magazine.
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