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Emem Isong - Why I Left Banking for Nollywood

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blackpearl

Well-Known Member
#1
Emem Isong, film maker, producer and script writer honed her skills at the University of Calabar where she studied Theatre Arts. And even when she took a plunge into banking against her first love, film making, it didn't take her long to retrace her steps. She made her debut with a movie titled "Breaking Point" and she has been on the rise since then. She has since earned credits for many award-winning movies. She talks to LANRE ODUKOYA about her career and new movies

It was not a difficult decision to leave banking for film production because I actually studied Theatre Arts in the university. For me, doing a 9am to 5pm job like banking is more of a way of paying the bills till I could go where my real passion lies. I have always had love for drama and theatre ever since I was a little girl. There was no Nollywood. But drama, films making, scripts etc were things I was drawn to naturally. After the home video, Living in Bondage came out in 2003 and was a huge success; I knew it was something I wanted to emulate. So, I can say that it was the moment I decided to resign and join the untested waters of movie making in Nigeria. There was nothing I felt I wanted to accomplish in the banking before quitting.

Leading a pack...

I have no camp. I don't belong to camps, but works with whoever is available and fits the bill. We usually hold auditions before any major project and we run an open house where interested parties can call, book appointment and get auditioned by either me or my trusted staff.

All this talk of camps and caucuses is funny. Using examples from Hollywood, even Martin Scorcese is fond of using Leonardo DiCaprio in all his films and Tim Burton likes to use Johnny Depp. Steven Spielberg likes to use Shia LeBouf. So, why should my use of certain artistes be an issue for anybody? In the end, producers will like to work with people they are comfortable with and who will give results.

Movies and awards...

I am humbled that people deemed it fit to nominate or confer me with awards. It is not something I take lightly. I am always grateful to God for his mercies. But I don't covet any award because that is not the reason why I produce movies.

My love for new talents...

We are a training centre and a production house not a casting agency. However, most of our outstanding students feature in several of our films and we have recently completed work on a soap dedicated to just the students. For those who have followed my works, even before the formation of the academy, I have always been interested in discovering new talents. There is no such thing as an overnight success. How many people have become stars in two years? At Royal Arts, we teach the rudiments of acting, elocution etc and give students the platform to learn, develop their God-given talent. Stardom is up to God. We just provide the springboard.

My new works...

We have just released an indigenous movie, 'Kokomma' into the market. Another indigenous film 'Udeme Mmi' will be premiered on the 20th at the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment centre and will enjoy a cinema run thereafter. We still have our star-studded 'Weekend Getaway' which also featured several rising stars in the industry, set for release early next year.

allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Emem Isong - Why I Left Banking for Nollywood
 

tunmi

Active Member
#2
Kokomma is good, as in really really good. As in the best film made by this woman that I have seen. The subtitles....check, the lighting....check, the acting....check, the story...check. It would have been nice to know what language it was in and could they stop saying indigenous as if no one is speaking the language anymore.
 

kolinzo

Well-Known Member
#3
Kokomma is good, as in really really good. As in the best film made by this woman that I have seen. The subtitles....check, the lighting....check, the acting....check, the story...check. It would have been nice to know what language it was in and could they stop saying indigenous as if no one is speaking the language anymore.
Is this on Youtube?
 
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