Mobolaji Olambiwonnu is a filmmaker, speaker, and educator whose superpower is using cinema as a tool to share diverse cultural and political experiences, critique the superficial conditions that divide us, and accentuate the merits of shedding our prejudices.
His Academy qualifying documentary, Ferguson Rises, executive produced by Academy and Emmy Award winner TJ Martin, acclaimed producer Gigi Pritzker, Grammy Award winners RZA and Aloe Blacc, and acclaimed actor David Oyelowo, is honored with the coveted Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award (2021) and the Pan African Film Festival Audience Award (2022) among others, and is the only documentary to represent PBS/Independent Lens’ 2021 fall slate at the Television Critics Association (TCA). Variety, Salon, Screen Daily and Ebony have featured articles on the film, to name a few.
A Pasadena native, son of a Nigerian Muslim father and Jamaican Christian mother, Mobolaji spent his early childhood in his father’s native Nigeria and at the age of 9, he returned to Southern California.
A filmmaker at home in both commercial and documentary worlds, Mobolaji’s career spans 20 years directing branded content, commercials, corporate videos and documentaries for clients such as HBO, Lion’s Gate, Discovery Channel, PBS, Gehry Partners, Sony and LA Metro in a series of 28 mini documentaries that highlight community voices and artists giving context to the significance of the K Line unfolding over the course of 10 years, with honors including 3 Hermes Creative Gold awards, AVA Digital Gold Award, an international Videographer Award, and a Director’s Guild of America (DGA) award for his work.
A current Gotham/HBO Documentary Fellow, he is also in development and slated to direct a new documentary with Wayfarer Studios. As a JHS/High School teacher, university professor, campaign organizer, community organizer, and conflict resolution specialist, Mobolaji sees his community work as the conscience behind his filmmaking.