Celebrating The Women Behind The Screens At Filmhouse Cinemas
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform”.
Although each woman has the power inside her to be able to achieve all these things, they can also be dependent on her environment.
Filmhouse cinemas creates the environment to allow women to easily create, be able to nurture and to transform into the best we can be, and not see our gender as an impediment…but rather as an advantage.
At Filmhouse cinemas, women are equally positioned for opportunities, growth, all-round progress and each of them plays crucial parts in driving the success of the business. Therefore, celebrating women goes beyond just a day earmarked to celebrate women.
However, International Women’s Day is the day to crown all our women who are visionaries, dogged, ambitious and would not settle for less.
With phenomenal women maintaining the helms of leadership at various levels of the business, to working countless times with female movie executives, it is impossible to overlook how impactful the women are in spearheading groundbreaking movie marketing campaigns, to co-producing box office hits, human resource management and guest services to match international standards, the Filmhouse woman is able to manage personal life and work is able to “Balance for Better”.
In celebration of International Women’s day, the ladies of Filmhouse share their experiences and advice for women looking to dive into the movie marketing industry.
Lolu Desalu – Head of Marketing
The most interesting part of my work is…
Working closely in partnership with some of the biggest and best companies in the world and brainstorming with my amazing team members.
If you’ve seen marketing teams in films/sitcoms during their brainstorm sessions, that is just a tip of an iceberg in comparison to ours. It’s seriously one of the best parts of my week.
Ladun Awobokun – Co-Head, Theatrical Distribution
“We’re shifting a mindset, and that, no matter how you think about it, is revolutionary. However, that is our superpower – the fact that we as women, can actually work ten times harder, twenty times smarter, and multi-task through it all, in sky-high heels.
It doesn’t matter what industry you want to work in or how many caps you want to wear. You can do it all”.
How I promote the brand with my role…
One of the key focus areas in my role is empowerment and mentorship. The Filmhouse Group is known for its people.
Without people, there is no brand. In addition, critical to my role is managing and growing our existing relationship with industry stakeholders; in particular, our licensors Warner Bros & Fox.
The opportunity of partnering with these parties on such a broad scale provides much value exposure to the brand, and in turn, strengthens our offering and ensures a service that is based on trust, reliability, and excellence.
Mimi Bartels – Head of Accounts, Nollywood & Independent Films
“My job is really not about the glam. Do I meet amazing celebrities? Yes. Do I go to premieres? Double Yes! But the amount of work that goes behind the business of film is NOT glamorous at all”.
One interesting fact about me, and my job role…
Most people see me and don’t know I handle a One Billion Naira generating account or handled 70-90% of Nollywood’s most successful films of 2016-2018 and such films like – Wedding Party 1/2, Chief Daddy, Merry Men, King of Boys.
All these films were under my account and my job was to make sure we hit those targets”.
This job has taught me to be humble, to be diplomatic, to be fierce, to be honest, and most importantly to be me. I have the best and most supportive line managers and the best team.
Ozioma Sammie-Okposo – HR Manager
“We cannot talk about strategy at Filmhouse without delving into our values which are – Trust, Passion, Ownership, and Innovation.
These are the guiding principle that has helped my department in shaping the Filmhouse limited and pushing the brand”.
How my work impacts society at large…
My work does have a rippling effect because we help create jobs and reduce unemployment in the society as we have sites in Lagos, Akure, Dugbe, Samonda, Benin, Port-Harcourt and Kano.
Also, our team across the site helps with guests and giving guests good services. We are also driven by the need to continue discovering new and innovative ways of creating inspiring experiences, delivering world-class service and bringing the magic of cinema to life.
Tolu Senbore – Branch Manager at Filmhouse Cinemas, Lekki
“I don’t think the reason I need to work harder in the industry is based on my gender. It’s not even a criteria for me. I only want to work harder because there is relevance that my person and role as a business manager requires and must communicate and it is one of the ways I appraise myself”.
My one advice to females who hope to start a career in the cinema industry…
Behind the lights, cameras, glitz, and glam lies HARD WORK! Be open to all the opportunities and do not be afraid to ask for help.
Tomilola Bukola Ayeni – Legal Officer
“There is pressure coming from all sides to be the best you can be, both at home and in the corporate world, this is why women should celebrate themselves and society should also celebrate them as well.
“Pop that champagne girl, you deserve it”.
The most interesting part of my work…
Every day I am faced with a new set of challenges I think I cannot overcome. But when members of my team push me to act on those things, and I eventually overcome them it gives me an abundant sense of accomplishment which is so fantastic.
The free tickets to shows and movies do not hurt either LOL.
Osho Vivian Olajumoke – Branch Manager
“Build up yourself in every way to prepare for achieving great things and while at this try not to think about being a woman too much but rather try to be the best person you can be and being the best at your job”.
Key strategies my role plays in pushing the Filmhouse brand…
I’m into core operations in one of our biggest sites, and basically the first line of contact with the customers.
The key strategies include upholding our company’s values, delivery high standard of customer service, creating “Filmhouse memorable experiences” In the minds of our customers thereby garnering customer loyalty and influencing repeated visits.
Itohan Izugbokwe – Sales Lead and Accounts Manager
“Some journeys are incredible. You start out in one place, believing you have a complete sense of where you’re headed, then you end up in another place”.
How my background prepared me for my current role…
It’s been 9 years of acceleration and sharp bends. From starting out in customer service in a mid-size establishment in New York to coming back to Nigeria and starting off in Oil & Gas, to ICT, to Digital Media.
And now, to Filmhouse Cinemas. While paths change, the vehicle that has stayed with me in all this time is client relationship skills. Nothing as propelled me throughout my career than the obsessive need to fulfill one purpose. Always providing value.
Odezi Onyeke – Business Manager Filmhouse, Surulere
“One of the most interesting parts of this job is meeting new people daily, it is both exciting and challenging and the movies too. I have now become the encyclopedia of movies to families and friends. Need an update about movies? I’m your girl”.
On how to become successful in this line of work…
The only way you can be successful in this line of work is through dedication and passion. I’m very passionate about what I do and this drives me to want to succeed more.
Also having a very supportive and understanding partner who is tuned with your goals plays a huge role in your success.
Stephanie Dan-Okafor – Guest Services & Branch Manager
“If I could say anything to my younger self, I would tell her to stop tracking the A’s. She should focus on finding ways to improve herself so as to gain a competitive advantage”.
On how my career at Filmhouse began…
I began my career at Filmhouse cinemas as a Guest Services Executive. Over time, I was promoted to the Guest Services Manager position for Filmhouse cinemas Lekki.
Starting off at Filmhouse cinemas, I had the best support system; in all my years of experience, I’d never seen people genuinely go out of their way to make sure you succeed.
Senior management regularly called to ensure I was transitioning into my new role properly, I was asked whether I was satisfied with my job so many times that I almost panicked thinking I was giving the wrong answers.
I am now the Branch Manager at the newly opened Filmhouse cinemas Oniru-Twin Waters, in addition to my role as the Guest Services Manager for Filmhouse Cinemas Lekki.