Julius Onah (born February 10, 1983) is a Nigerian-American filmmaker, who was raised in Arlington County, Virginia and Washington, D.C. after having lived in the Philippines, Nigeria, Togo and the United Kingdom, moving around with his diplomat father, Adoga Onah. He currently resides in New York City. In the summer of 2010, he was selected as one of Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and in 2013 as one of Studio System’s 10 Up and Up Feature Directors.
Onah received his B.A. in theater from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and his M.F.A. from the graduate film program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where he was selected as a Dean’s Fellow and a recipient of a Wayfare Entertainment Ventures Production Award. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship. In 2009, Onah was selected as a directing talent at the Berlin Talent Campus and in 2010 as part of Tribeca All Access.
Onah’s films include Linus which aired on mtvU and received a 1st place prize in the Calvin Klein Student Film Competition, Szmolinsky which screened in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, The Boundary which was designated by Amnesty International as one of its “Movies That Matter” , received the best director award at NBC’s Short Cuts Film Festival and aired on HBO, Nie Patrz Wstecz which won the Grand Jury Prize in the Nokia Mobile Movie Competition at the Camerimage Film Festival in Łódź, Poland and was an official selection of the BFI London Film Festival and Goodbye Chicken, Farewell Goat which was an official selection of the Los Angeles Film Festival. Julius also directed Big Man in Lagos, Nigeria for Focus Features, which screened to a worldwide audience on the New York Times. He most recently completed his debut feature The Girl Is in Trouble (2015) with executive producer Spike Lee, with Alicja Bachleda, Wilmer Valderrama, Columbus Short, Jesse Spencer. He is currently in development on God Particle (2017) with producer J. J. Abrams and Paramount Pictures.
Onah is set to direct thriller film adaptation Brilliance for Legendary Pictures which David Koepp scripted while Will Smith and Noomi Rapace will star as lead. However, Smith left in May 2014, citing personal and professional issues.