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‘Guilty Pleasures’ producer Emem Isong prepares for premiere of the year



Emem Isong - Guilty Pleasures It seems Nollywood is not quite done with premieres. Just when we thought we had seen ‘em all, we received feelers from the camp of Emem Isong that she is about to hit the town with the world premiere of ‘Guilty Pleasures’. I decided to investigate and managed to track down the busy Producer and this is what went down.

BA: Hello Emem.
Emem: How are you Bola?
BA: I hear you are hitting town with another premiere.

Emem: What do you mean another premiere? I haven’t done one this year?
BA: Really? Well, it wasn’t so long ago that you did one for the film, “Reloaded”.

Emem: That was last year. This is another year.

BA: So are you premiering ‘Guilty Pleasures’ in Nigeria?

Emem: Yes I am. Im premiering ‘Guilty Pleasures’ and ‘Nollywood Hustler’; two films I co-produced with people. One, Guilty Pleasures I co produced with Desmond Elliot and the other Nollywood Hustler with Uche Jombo.

BA: Why do you like co-producing with others?

Emem: Because, we each have our strengths and weakness. We bring out the best in each other. Truly great productions have to do with teamwork. We are a greater team when we work together.

BA: So why do you want to premiere these films?

Emem: Because I know I have winners in them.

BA: Please explain.
Emem: Sometimes when you do films you know there are some that stand out. These two do. Mind you, Im not saying my other films are not good.
BA: Tell us more about the films.

Emem: Well one ‘Nollywood Hustler’ is a hilarious comedy about the behind-the scenes look at how films are made in Nollywood. It is star-studded with some of the actors acting as themselves. Others did cameo appearances. It’s a must see! The other ‘Guilty Pleasures’ is a love story…intense and passionate… a pampered, bored, house wife feels emotionally neglected by her husband, a controlling busy business executive. On the other hand they are visited by his happy-go-lucky, attractive brother-in-law.
BA: Then what happens?
Emem: (smiling) Find out at the Premiere!!

BA: Who are the actors in it?

Emem: Ramsey Noauh, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Majid Michel, Mercy Johnson and Omoni Oboli
B.A: Hmm.. I see you featured the usual suspects… Ramsey and Nse. Why pair them again after ‘Reloaded?’

Emem: Because they have good chemistry together. Ramsey is a very deep actor…capable of so much. It takes a great actress to meet him head to head. I think he found his match with Nse. But that doesn’t mean other actresses I work with are not good. Certain actresses are good in certain roles. It’s a matter of the right casting. Putting the right peg in the right hole.

BA: What about Majid? What is he like to work with?

Emem(smiles) Majid is great! Such a joy to work with! No airs, no tantrums… he does his work and goes to his hotel room.

BA: I cant help asking… do other actors give you tantrums?

Emem: Bola! You have come o!

BA: Im waiting…
Emem: Ofcourse some do…people are people… actors are no different.

BA: Care to name names?
Emem: (laughing) No I do not! Next question!

BA: I understand Guilty Pleasures has already been released in America.

Emem: That doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect sales in Nigeria. Remember we are over 120 million…some say 150 million. At least a fraction of that will buy or watch the film.

BA: why did you decide to release it in America first?

Emem: Because when you release it here, people carry it over there and pirate it. So we decided to go one step over the pirates and release it there first, before doing it here.

BA: So will the film be released straight to dvd like the others?

Emem: No, this one will be shown in the cinemas, precisely in SilverBird Cinemas in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Accra then it will be released on dvd.
BA: Any plans to premiere it abroad?

Emem: Not at this moment but if we get invited to do that why not?

BA: Please clarify an issue… is there a Part 2?

Emem: As in, how? Please explain.

BA: Is the film yet to be continued from what you have now?

Emem: No it is not going to be continued.

BA: There was some confusion about the different posters/dvd jackets…
Emem: The film released in America has its own jacket made for that market. We have a different jacket for that being released in Nigeria, Ghana etc.
BA: But it’s the same film?

Emem: Ofcourse!
BA: No extra, hidden stories?

Emem: No.
BA: We heard in the news that certain producers are working on films with themes very, very similar to your recent films?

Emem: really? Which films?
BA: Specifically, ‘Edikan’ your language film on child witchcraft and ‘Guilty Pleasures’
Emem: Well, that’s news to me.

BA: What do you have to say about that?

Emem: What can I say? They say ‘copying is a form of flattery’ but if its not the original it can never be like the original. It is sad that some colleagues have to resort to waiting for you to do all the thinking and brainwork only for them to bring out cheap knock-offs! My advice to them is to desist from this unsavory act and use their talents to do something more productive. There are so many topics one can explore…why copy what another person has already done? (shakes head)

BA: So, what next should we expect from you?

Emem: For now I want to concentrate on the premiere. Later, I will talk about my other projects.
BA: What other projects?

Emem: I wont say much now but it does involve a school…a media training centre I am starting.
BA: Tell me more.

Emem: okay, It is a training centre for actors, actresses, cameramen, cinematographers, editors and the like. We are partnering with a media school in the U.K to do this. A proper press conference will soon hold to publicize this. Im just giving you the scoop!

BA: Wow! Very interesting! Why a media school?

Emem: Why not a media school? For all the years Nollywood has been in existence, we hardly have any schools for training apart from TV College, Jos! There are a smattering of private ones here and there but I decided to delve into it because I would like to develop that area of talent in the country. If you notice that is what I like to do…discover and develop new actresses. Besides, lets face it, we are not getting any younger! (laughter) I might not be able jump from set to set forever. I will like to hand the baton to the next generation.
BA: I hope you are not implying that you are retiring?

Emem: Ofcourse not. As long as God gives me the creativity, the strength (and finances!) I will continue to do films but I will like to invest in training to bring out other great actresses, actors, producers etc. You should see the way my phones ring off the hook with requests from people to act! And I say this with great humility. Some calls even come in from as far off as Kenya and Uganda in East Africa. A Kenyan lady, an actress even sent me her showreel with requesting to come and act in Nigeria! She was ready to pay her airfare and hotel bills herself! I was very impressed and touched! Some are even ready to come all the way from there for the course. We are working on our website which will soon be up so interested people can log in and apply online.

BA: Well, its been interesting talking to you. I wish you the best in all your endeavours.
Emem: The pleasure is all mine!


  1. Tess

    October 22, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I’ve never really seen any of her movies but one thing I love about her is her choice of stars and names for her movies. I cant wait to see Guilty Pleasure’ premier

  2. sade

    October 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I have watched this movie on……please we need another stroy line. its d same as game men play, reloaded, and the likes……………nothing fantastic about it at all…….i was disappointed!

  3. Gee

    October 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    i like this lady…not to beautiful but extremely creative…..keep doing wat you do… you good at it…………………….

  4. Miss Tell it Like it is

    October 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    your post needs to be deleted. BN does not advertise sites where ppl can go watch movie for FREE. If everyone watched movies on line for free, how will the movie team and crew make money and recoup the capital they put into making the movie. Dohhh

  5. jennietobbie

    October 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Oh please spare us. How can we get all Nigerian movies here? Your comment should be deleted…twice!

  6. MiaJadore

    October 22, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I agree! how can you complain when you don’t patronize the film makers. You were supposed to buy the movie not watch it at your bunibuni, I am glad you were disappointed!

  7. Truth

    October 22, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    This interview does not even sound like Emem Isong. We need real interviews jo not spinners.

  8. Bola Aduwo

    October 22, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Stop watching Naija movies for free! Thats nasty!

  9. ladi

    October 23, 2009 at 12:48 am

    I agree. We need to support nollywood by buying rather than watching for free. We can pay for hollywood movies at cinemas with all the cash Brad Pitt makes but roll eyes at hour own. How will they ever make money to improve and be world standard?

    Thats is plain stealing. No difference between armed robbers and us free watchers. Hehe.

    Im guilty too because i watched guilty pleasures two weeks ago online.

  10. Ibo Omoge

    October 23, 2009 at 4:01 am

    LOL!!!..Ok I confess too. I don watch am. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t support it ooo, but it’s hard not to watch when it’s there staring at you in the face…especially after you’ve heard that it was an amazing movie….and you are bored and have nothing to do!!! It’s those “free” websites they have to do something about. I feel bad but I couldn’t help myself.

  11. FirstIWantToDanceWithYouPere

    October 23, 2009 at 5:49 am

    @ Miss Tell it Like it is dont fool yourself o…BN has posted links of where to watch 9ja movies hints hint “suliat turn Jenifa” .BN actually posted two sites where you can watch it…even after people complained the BN team did not remove the links.

    I am guilty of watching 9ja movies online sometimes, but its just that i will never buy them unlike CD’s which i buy,so i justify my ILLEGAL act by convincing myself that since i will never physically buy the movies they are not loosing any money by me watching it…

  12. Miss Tell it Like it is

    October 23, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Emem – you must have a lot of pressure on you, but God will Bless you, because potential actresses across the continent must believe in you to be yearning to work with you and sending u their showreel – We all wish we had majority great producers like yourself unlike the handful we have (you included) – There seems to be a lot of diamond in the rough actors out there and with a great eye like yours, hopefully we see more good talent like you did Nse. You did well. You make us so proud, especially being a woman in this industry dominated by men producers/directors.

  13. umm

    October 23, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    actually.. people watch hollywood movies online too. So, why would i pay for Nollywood movie. This was the first Nollywood movie I bought because Bella said it was good. Disappointed. Can we get a new story line please. Acting was good. story line sucked.

  14. Bola #1

    November 1, 2009 at 5:28 am

    Fantastic movie, i watched a bit of it already- truly entertaining

  15. odunayo hussaini

    March 11, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    emem…i love you so much….reli feelin ur job and i hope some day to be like dream job is to be a producer

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