Foley Ellis Ibidapo


1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it? 

My first professionally directed work was this year with my film Lucy.

2) How did you get into directing? 

I’ve been in the advertising and marketing industry for several years on the producing side of things, and I’ve always wanted to get into the creative side. After observing other experienced professionals, I got a sense of what to do and what not to do. I finally made the leap this year.

3) What is your most recent project? 

I’m a writer and director, and due to COVID-19, my focus has been on writing. I’m currently pitching a television series version of my short film, Lucy.

4) What is the best part of being a director? 

As a director, the content you are creating is your vision, but I think the best part of the directing is collaboration. Everyone has something valuable to add.

6) What is your current career focus: commercials and branded content, television, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre--comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.? 

Right now, my career focus is on the television landscape; however, I’m keenly interested in creating branded content.

10) Tell us about your background (i.e., where did you grow up? Past jobs?) 

I'm a first-generation Nigerian Jamaican American who grew up in the southeast and northeast corners of the U.S.  Since I moved a lot, I gravitated towards the kids who felt the same way I did - as an inbetweener, never feeling at home in any particular social circle - always looking in from the outside.  Film and television was a way of escape for me, and somehow I convinced my mother to buy me a video camera for my 12th birthday. I'd shoot comedies and action shorts with my buddies up-until college. 

As a first-gen American, it was frowned upon to do anything that was "creative" as a job, so I ended up taking a long detour. Somehow, I tangentially got into the creative world, cutting my teeth as a producer producing branded videos for companies like TIAA, Lenovo, Puma, Saucony, and Bank of America.  One day, I had an epiphany and realized that being slightly connected to creativity wasn't good enough for me. The best way to direct was to direct. So I did that. Now, here I am.

Ultimately, my formative years helped shape how I look at storytelling: to look at overlooked or unheard perspectives and tell stories with characters with unique viewpoints.


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