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Exclusive: “I faced The Unspeakable Doing A Real Christian Movie While I Was A Muslim” Director Saint Joseph Tells Diamond Celebrities

BY AKPABIO ANIEMA

Saint Joseph is a young talented author, director and producer. As a Muslim he produced and directed a Christian movie but today he is a converted Christian and has many movies to his credit. In this interview with Diamond Celebrities he bares it all. Enjoy the excerpts with Akpabio Aniema.

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DC: Tell us briefly about yourself.

Response: I am saint Joseph Ovensehi, born Feb. 14th in the heartbeat of Benin, had an early education at a private school from the age of one because my mom was a school worker. I started my career at a very tender age of 13, when I wrote my first story and fortunate enough a publisher catapulted my ambition by paying to publish the story. That was how it all started.

DC: How many movies have you produced/directed so far?

Response: So far I have done just five movies, including a TV drama and a reality TV show.

DC: Tell us your journey into Nollywood.

Response: Nollywood! Nollywood, for me the journey to Nollywood is a continuous one.  It keeps on going until you beat the best and stand on top. So if you ask me, I would tell you that my journey is still on, but at least I have started the journey (laughs) and it is not over until the world recognizes my jobs and when I get a Grammy you can come back and ask me how the journey was (laughs).

DC: Tell us briefly about Talent Arena.

Response: Talent arena Nigeria is a reality TV show, channeled at franchising and encouraging young talents, it is a growing TV show that we hope to breed the next generation of entertainers in Nigeria, the show features music and acting competition,

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DC: Who is the brain behind it?

Response: Presently ceramic capital Limited is the official sponsor of the show and I am fortunate enough to be the concept developer as well as the director and producer

DC: Tell us the highest amount you have ever invested in a single movie so far and which movie was that?

Response: That will be 7 million naira only, and that was in a Christian movie I produced and directed titled, “Altar vs Altars”, featuring Oge Okoye, Jibola Dabo, WalterAanga, Titi Edo and a host of others. We spent that much not because it was our initial budget, but because it was my first Christian movie and I was a Muslim as at the time of production. So I was exposed to a lot of challenges that I won’t discuss here, so as such the budget for the production accumulated, as we had to shoot for so long.

DC: Do you concentrate on the new faces in your movie or do you combine the known faces as well?

Response: I combine! You know the up comers need the faces of the ones on top to grow as well.

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DC: What project are you working on presently?

Response: I am presently working on a unique and novel project titled “A terrorist”. The story is channeled against terrorism and discrimination in the present day and it’s expected to star the likes of Yemi Blaq, Artus Frank and host of other Nollywood personalities. The movie is looking forward to correcting the level of terrorism and discrimination between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria. At least we hope it will send moral messages across to 40 percent of those who care.

DC: How many aspiring actresses do you have in your camp for now and why only actresses?

Response: Hahhaha, funny I don’t keep only actresses. I have both male and female actors. We are presently running an aggressive rehearsal, as we hope to interpret the story we are working on in a pretty unique way.

DC: What are the qualities that you look out for from the wannabe actresses?

Response: Basically I look out for good diction, and diplomatic ones, and those that can easily switch between characters.

DC: Which has been the most challenging movies produced so far and why so?

Response: That will still be Altar vs Altars, because I was doing a real spiritual Christian movie while I was a Muslim and I had to face lot of angry church members who felt the job should have been given to them and not a Muslim boy from nowhere. So I faced the unspeakable. I completed the film twice and had to start all over again due to controversies from actors we used from the sponsoring church.

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DC: If you were not into Nollywood, what would you be doing?

Response: (Hahahahah) I would be a soldier, or better still an assassin (hahhahaha). Don’t mind me jor, can’t even kill an ant— but I think I would have rather been a humanitarian or an advocate. 

DC: What would you never be caught doing?

Response: Hmmmm, a lot of things though but I think drinking & smoking would top the list. I will and can never be caught doing any of these.

DC: How do you relax?

Response: I read books, both Christian, Islam, science, hahahaha. I just read books or watch Indian films; I am a biggest fan of love stories. Because I love, love.

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DC: Why do you choose to work behind the cameras and not in front of it?

Response: Mmmmmm, straight answer, because I love being the leader. Hahahahah,

DC: Tell us what you most cherished.
Response: Mmmmmm dat question is big, because I cherish everything. I have mostly my mom, my wife to be and of course my books.

DC: Advice to the youths out there and aspiring actresses.

 Response: Keep fit, play your games right, start from somewhere no matter how small, never despise your little beginning! Pray for those at the top, appreciate them so you will be appreciated even for the little you have done.

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