"Editi" is an Ibibio/Nigerian word meaning “in remembrance," honoring IQUO'S late mother ELIZABETH, who lived a life of service through the arts.


The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Iquo B. Essien grew up on stage performing in her family's African dance troupe and singing in the choir. An avid dancer and musician, she played competitive piano and violin for a decade until she left for Stanford University, where she directed Kuumba Dance Ensemble and served as business manager of Talisman a cappella--in which she recorded 2 full-length albums and arranged half a dozen songs. With an aptitude for science, she received her Bachelor's degree in biology and went on to pursue a career as a creative professional.

Receiving her MFA in Film from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Ms. Essien has written and directed several award-winning shorts that have screened in 14 countries around the globe. Her short film Aissa's Story, was a regional semifinalist in the 2013 Student Academy Awards and was an official selection of the 2015 Pan African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) and the 2015 African Movie Academy Awards.

Ms. Essien adapted the short into a feature screenplay while writing a memoir, Elizabeth’s Daughterabout losing her mother to cancer and finding herself through writing. She is currently in development on her debut feature, Back Home, inspired by her experiences researching the memoir in Akwa Ibom State and Calabar, Nigeria. 

Iquo received a 2009 Hedgebrook Writers' Residency and has contributed to Gawker, Essence.comGuernicaShadow & ActOkayafricaThe African Magazine, PopMatters, and the Stanford Black Arts Quarterly. Her work has received international press coverage, including The Guardian, Vice, The Root, OkayAfrica, and NBC.

Editi Films, is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a charitable organization that helps artists and art organizations create engaging, publicly beneficial work.

For more info, visit Iquo B. Essien's personal website.