Ever since her debut hit, The Visit, Biodun Stephen has consistently shown she is one of the most charming screenwriters operating in the romance genre in Nollywood. She writes relatable, engaging stories with themes of love, abuse, grief and faith.
The London Film Academy graduate started as an actor, appearing in popular TV projects such as Emerald and Spider. She took a break from the industry and worked as a Radio Presenter at Star FM, and a Copywriter for an advertising agency before returning with The Visit. The film earned two nominations at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) for Best Actress in a Drama and Best Movie – West Africa. Its success confirmed to Stephen that she was destined to be behind the camera.
Since her debut, Stephen has been scarce in the Nollywood cinema scene, she operates more on IrokoTV. The bulk of her films were released on the streaming platform through her production company, Shutterspeed Projects Limited, in association with Mary Remmy-Njoku’s ROK Studios. Free from the burden of Box Office success, she has been able to stay true to herself—writing terrific romance stories and picking actors irrespective of their Instagram followership.
Her stories often have moral lessons which sometimes come off too preachy as embodied by the clumsy Glimpse and she has a thing for the titular lead characters as in Sobi’s Mystic, Tiwa’s Baggage and Ehis Bitters. Also, she is known for her signature plot twist; when watching Biodun Stephen’s films, be ready for the unexpected: it will shock you.
So we want to take you through the best films penned by this Nollywood romance maestro since her debut, here are the five best Biodun Stephen’s films you can watch on IrokoTV.
A young lady desires a better future so she leaves the village only to find herself in a terrible situation.
All Shades of Wrong is one of the many Biodun Stephen films that explore domestic and sexual abuse. It stars two of Stephen’s favorite actors: Femi Jacobs and Bimbo Ademoye. Their sweet love is viewed as an abomination, a reoccurring cycle of abuse, and is all shades of wrong, but you won’t know until the end.
Cast: Femi Jacobs, Bimbo Ademoye, Funmi Eko, and Bolaji Ogunmola.
A womanizer who is used to getting his way with any woman he so desires is taken aback when after a night of passion with an enigmatic woman from a nightclub, he is kicked out of her hotel room, without even a phone number. After tracking her down he begins to slowly unravel the mystery behind her character.
This here is classic Biodun Stephen: suspense, plot twists and an intriguing titular character. Although Sobi’s Mystic is not the most unique of her stories, it is just as delightful and unpredictable like most of them.
Cast: Kunle Remi, Bolaji Ogunmola, Emem Ufot, and Mofe Duncan.
A melancholic heavily pregnant woman who has been abandoned by the father of her soon to be child moves into a new apartment and finds comfort in the company of her friendly neighbor, however, a dilemma presents itself shortly after the baby is born.
Tiwa carries way too much baggage for new neighbor Lolu, who is the quintessential Mr. Nice Guy. Their friendship blossoms into a beautiful romance until a ghost from Tiwa’s past walks back in.
The film is a somber romantic drama that explores the story of a girl choosing between the nice guy and the trashy one. It doesn’t have Stephen’s signature plot twist but it is one of her most engaging stories.
Cast: Kunle Remi, Bayray McNwizu, Kunle Remi, Bolanle Ninalowo, and Biodun Stephen.
A mute make-up artiste falls in love with the son of one of her top clients, but something keeps holding her back.
Stephen wants to remind you of the devastating effects of sexual abuse and Bisola Aiyeola, in a powerfully vulnerable performance as the mute Ovy, helps convey this message. Aiyeola’s chemistry with Mofe Duncan is enjoyable to watch and there is a Biodun Stephen’s plot twist moment that hits home.
Cast: Bisola Aiyeola, Mofe Duncan, Shaffy Bello-Akunrimisi, and Uche Ogbodo.
A fashion designer meets a notorious area boy when her car breaks down in his hood. What seems to be a distressing situation, turns out to be a blessing, only to go completely sideways when he sets up home beside her shop.
Easily the best Biodun Stephen film on this list since we are not considering The Visit. It has all the qualities of her stories: a unique lead character—Jobe; an unusual, charming love story; and an important moral lesson—do not judge a book by its cover.
The meatiest role here is Jobe and Bolanale Ninalowo bit deeply into the character, delivering his most electrifying performance yet. The role allows us to see his range for the first time; he is loud and aggressive; tender and loving; and then vulnerable.
The film is an unusual rom-com that hits home about the realities of an area boy, it shows there is more to them than their usual bravado.