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Film Production Alum Olayinka Jinmi-Ahisu Wins 2024 The Verdict Marketing Case Competition


Class of 2021 Toronto Film School grad Olayinka Jinmi-Ahisu was recently part of a team that took home the first-place finish from The Verdict 2024 – including a cash prize of $10,000!

“Winning the competition felt unreal to me,” Ahisu said of The Verdict, an annual marketing case competition presented by IMDOINGIT, which offers Black youth in Canada the collaborative opportunity to tackle real-life business challenges for a chance to a cash prize.

“I’m naturally not a competitive person, and I had never actively participated in a competition before due to the fear of losing. So, when we emerged as the winners, it was an incredibly fulfilling and surprising moment for me and my teammates.”

Over the course of six-week competition, Ahisu and his fellow Verdict participants were tasked with working in teams to address business challenges and develop solutions with the guidance of mentors from IMDOINGIT’s mentorMatch program.

For Ahisu and his TOA teammates Toni Agbaje-Ojo and Ayanfe Ayeni, that meant presenting a show-stopping Movember case solution that would blow away the judges – and they succeeded.

“Our solution for the Movember case can be described in one word: Audacious! We focused on reaching our target audience, men aged 18-35, by engaging with them on the ground, in the sky, and across cities and campuses. Our approach involved meeting these men where they were, ensuring maximum reach and impact,” said Ahisu, who enjoyed every minute of the experience.

“If I’m being honest, the six-week competition didn’t feel like six weeks at all! It felt much shorter. The experience was intense, exhilarating, and challenging. We worked tirelessly, burning the midnight oil, juggling our jobs and the competition. But all our hard work paid off in the end.”

The Verdict judges agreed – awarding Ahisu and his teammates with the $10,000 prize – a portion of which the Film Production graduate intends to earmark towards a short film project he’s working on.

His biggest takeaway from the Verdict experience, Ahisu said, was the knowledge that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

“Throughout the competition, I held onto a powerful quote that resonated with me: ‘As a man thinketh in heart, so he is,’” he said.

“From the beginning, I shared with my teammates that I wanted to win, and I was ready to put in the work. It was tough, but we remained focused on the thought of winning, even when it seemed unlikely. The power of that mindset and determination cannot be underestimated.”

In addition to his Verdict victory, Ahisu also recently celebrated the completion of the first feature film he worked on as a Director of Photography – a dual-country production, with the first leg shot in Nigeria and the second leg shot in Canada. He’s also currently studying towards his Bachelor of Creative Arts at TFS affiliate, Yorkville University, has been collaborating with friends and colleagues on short film and spec commercial ideas, and is finalizing the script for his latest short film, which will mark his post-TFS directorial debut.

Follow him on Instagram at @theahudacity and/or learn more about his work at theahudacity.myportfolio.com.

Cynthia Reason

Cynthia Reason (she/her) is a former newspaper journalist turned communications professional who currently works as Toronto Film School’s Manager of Communications. Prior to joining TFS, she spent 13 years working as a reporter for Torstar/Metroland Media Toronto, writing for publications including Toronto.com, the Etobicoke Guardian, and the Toronto Star, among others. Her byline has also appeared in the National Post. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Humber College.


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