IWD2023: Meet the Young Female Nollywood Producer, Emy Josephs Breaking Barriers Through Storytelling

By Duchess Magazine

Emy Josephs is a name to watch out for in the Nigerian film industry. A passionate and dedicated producer, storyteller, and screenwriter who has carved a niche for herself in an industry dominated by men, Emy’s journey to becoming a successful filmmaker is an inspiration and a testament to the power of resilience, hard work, and the sheer willingness to break boundaries.

Growing up, Emy was surrounded by stories and she loved telling them, listening to them, and living through them. Her fascination with the end credit “Screenplay” led her to delve into playwriting. Later on, she learned about screenwriting and found her true passion.

Emy’s background in stage performance also made her interested in film production, where she could feel alive and make a difference, whether she was in front of an audience or working behind the scenes.

However, the Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood, is not without its challenges. Speaking with Emy, she revealed how working with some misogynistic men in the industry who believe they should call the shots and undermine her opinion because she is a woman, has further strengthened her resolve and pushed her to break more boundaries. “Some would question how I made it this far or asked if I used bottom power. To some, it’s a scrub-my-back situation. Despite all these obstacles, I keep pushing, refusing to be quiet, and taking up all the room when I walk into a place. You walk into a place. It’s not always easy, but don’t give up. And always remember, you don’t have to know everything, just surround yourself with people who know what you don’t know,” the talented filmmaker said.

On her approach to the development and production of her stories, Emy stated that it takes a collaborative effort. When contracted to take on a producer role, she digests the story, has long talks with the EP, and tries to understand their vision. She then pulls together a team of experts, including a director, cinematographer, lighting, sound, art, makeup, costume, and other departments, to ensure the story is brought to life authentically.

The fast-growing Nollywood filmmaker believes that film and storytelling play a crucial role in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. She advocates for the need to keep telling these stories and preaching this message until it is crystal clear. According to her, there are already more successful women in the industry than men, but we must keep pushing and promoting these voices.

Emy has worked on several memorable projects throughout her career, but her last project for Metanoia Productions stands out. According to her, the project taught her the importance of double-checking people’s words and dedicating efforts to more research. Retelling the story, she said she paid for a short-let apartment and was promised 24-hour uninterrupted power, only to arrive on set and find out that there was no power for several hours.

While Emy Josephs acknowledges the need to balance creativity with commercial viability, she prioritizes serving the story above all else. She aims to create stories that cut across globally and that everyone can relate to, whether it’s a comedy, a crime drama, or a feel-good story.

Regarding the biggest trends and changes in the Nigerian film industry, the Bayelsa-born storyteller focuses on accommodating younger creatives and promoting inclusivity. She recognizes that more young people are daring and reaching for success while being tutored and mentored.

Authenticity and cultural sensitivity are crucial to Emy when developing her stories, especially when representing women and marginalized communities. She ensures that every story is authentic and well-researched to match the output.

Emy’s passion for promoting women’s empowerment through storytelling is evident in her involvement with Digital Amazons class of 2022. She currently serves as the President of the all-girls initiative created by the Street Project Foundation, which aims to equip women with the skills and tools they need to make a change in tech, film, and entertainment.

Emy Josephs is a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian film industry. Her passion for storytelling and film production is evident in the way she speaks about her craft. Her journey to becoming a successful producer and screenwriter is an inspiring one. Fueled and fascinated by storytelling and filmmaking, right from childhood, Emy’s dream is to tell more inclusive African stories, that sets up women as strong and powerful, reminding the world about the power and strength of a grandmother, mother, wife, single mother, girl-child who are not afraid and marginalized.


Joseph Omoniyi



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