Anthony Onah is an award-winning filmmaker who was recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” for 2015. He is currently in production on his debut feature, Dara Ju, which has received support from the Sundance Institute, IFP, Film Independent, and the Ford Foundation.

Born in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria, he was raised in the Philippines, England, Nigeria, Togo, and the United States. Anthony trained as a biochemist and neuroscientist, graduating from Harvard University where he was the recipient of a number of awards including the Pechet Foundation grant to biochemistry concentrators and the Hoopes Prize, given for outstanding scholarly work.

Admitted to Cambridge University to pursue graduate work, he declined the offer, ultimately attending UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television, where he was accepted with fellowship award. He graduated with an MFA in film directing in 2013.

His first-year film, “The Father,” went on to screen at festivals domestically and abroad, winning the Reely Award for Best Student Film at the 2008 Tupelo Film Festival. His health-care themed second-year film received a 2008 Directors Guild of America Student Film Award, the Four Sisters Fellowship in Film Directing, the Hollywood Foreign Press Award, and the UCLA/AARP ‘Stolen Dreams’ Competition Grand Prize, selected by an industry panel including Steven Bochco, Curtis Hanson, and Reginald Hudlin. The film was also designated Film of the Week in the mtvU Best Filmmaker on Campus Competition. Subsequently, Anthony produced the short film “Fran’s Daughter,” which played SXSW, Dallas, and Palm Springs, and he directed the short “True Colors,” which premiered at the 2011 Woodstock Film Festival.

Anthony is the two-time recipient of the DGA Student Film Award, the Edie & Lew Wasserman Fellowship, the Panavision New Filmmaker grant, the Technicolor DI Award, and a nomination for the 2010 Princess Grace Award. He was selected as one of Indiewire’s “10 Exciting New Voices” and is a 2011 Project: Involve Directing Fellow at Film Independent. Most recently with his short film “Dara Ju,” he attended the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival as a Directing Talent at the 2012 Berlinale Talent Campus. “Dara Ju” also won a 2012 DGA Student Film Award and the $25,000 Grand Prize at the MTN-Google Afrinolly Short Film Competition.

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