A Conversation With Nigerian Filmmaker and NYFA Filmmaking Alum Michael Obiazi Abadi


NYFA One -Year Filmmaking alum Michael Obiazi Abadi first fell in love with filmmaking because of  “the ability to tell stories and tell them how you wish.” 

Abadi told NYFA that he is inspired by his “surroundings, and the things I see affecting the people around me.” For Flaky, he drew inspiration from his own experiences as an immigrant and conversations with people in his community. The film, which was shot in both New York and Nigeria, centers on the experiences of Ibinabo, a Nigerian immigrant living in the United States, working at a fast-food restaurant despite her formal education. During this difficult period of transition Ibinabo finds solace in the arms of Reggie, which might be her biggest mistake.

Abadi hopes that Flaky imparts “a sense of understanding and [awareness] of what’s going on in these underrepresented communities.” 

When Abadi came to NYFA, he wanted to learn the fundamentals of filmmaking but upon completing the One-Year Filmmaking program he realized he was leaving with much more. “90% of the crew were NYFA Alumni and most of them immigrants: the [director of photography], production designer, sound recorder, [assistant cinematographer], [assistant director], script supervisor, colorist, key grip, swing, and even some of the actors, are people who I either met while studying at NYFA or after… I made [this film] with my friends.”

Writing and directing Flaky, though fulfilling, did not come without its share of challenges but Abadi shares that the hardest part was “putting all the pieces together, and seeing the end result from the start.” The final product, however, shows little sign of difficulty.

Michael Obiazi Abadi is also a talented comic book writer. “[it] kinda gives an edge, you know, because I get to storyboard most of my shots and it gives me the opportunity to also blend genres, which is so fun to do!”

Abadi is not done just yet. “I’m currently shooting a four part docu-series in Nigeria and across America called I Can Yes I Can. It focuses on the first female surfers from Nigeria, social media, Lagos city and the growth of Basketball in the country and Nigerian players in the NBA. We’ve interviewed past and present NBA players to share their journey and I am also in pre-production for a feature set in the 80’s, which is slated to be shot this summer.”

Flaky is available for streaming on Amazon, Apple TV, Youtube TV and other platforms.

NYFA congratulates alum Michael Obiazi Abadi on his work on Flaky. We look forward to his next projects!



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Published on: July 14, 2022

Filled Under: Filmmaking

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