Santa Clara University

Temi Ojo, film producer

Temi Ojo

MBA 2009: Founder, Temi Ojo & Co. Film Production Dublin, California

It’s not unusual for a successful Silicon Valley engineer to choose Santa Clara’s MBA program to advance his career, but former engineer Temi Ojo got his MBA  at Santa Clara to change his career to moviemaking.

In 2009, he received both his MBA from Santa Clara and a master’s of fine arts from the Academy of Art University School of Motion Pictures and Television in San Francisco.

“Most Santa Clara students are working in local businesses while they’re in the MBA program,” recalled Ojo. “Film school was my day job.”

His master's thesis project at film school -- an award-winning 20-minute movie titled "Renouncing Angelica" -- also served as an MBA project.

"SCU focuses on careers in Silicon Valley but I let my professors know what I was interested in and they were supportive," said Ojo. During a Global Business Perspectives class trip to France, he and his team studied introducing independent movies into Parisian theaters.

Ojo’s group didn’t win the class business plan presentation competition, but the judge, a banker from BNP Paribas, offered to sponsor some production costs and hosted the premiere of “Renouncing Angelica” in San Francisco.

Since then, the film has been selected for a number of film festivals and won awards at the Silicon Valley Film Festival, the Ion International Film Festival and the Gold Lion Film Festival (southern Africa).

“Renouncing Angelica” is an example of how Ojo, who with partner Vanessa Mariveles operates Temi Ojo & Co., a film production company in Dublin, CA, uses film entertainment to get across social awareness messages. Although the main story deals with a love affair, the film also examines the need for organ donors.

Ojo uses this concept to produce entertainment projects that promote business/client messages that go beyond simple product placement. His first feature-length film, titled “Seedless” and currently in development, profiles the issue of modern human trafficking and sex slavery.

The change from engineering to film-making was inspired by the birth of his first nephew. Ojo decided life was too short to continue as an engineer when his passion lay with films. He feels it’s his legacy to the next generation to encourage them to pursue their dreams.

Ojo, who emigrated from his native Nigeria to the U.S. as a 15-year-old college freshman, has a degree in electrical engineering from San Jose State University. During his 7-year engineering career, he was a product engineer at Xilinx.