OGBONNA AMADI By Entertainment Editor
Most men would want to break the vault to impress women on a first date, but that wasn’t the lot of Isang Ubong Awa, producer of the box office smash hit, The Bent Arrow.
On her first date with the man whom she calls husband today, she watched with shock and disbelief as her date enjoyed his lunch and later asked the proprietor of the Buka to book him down on the debtors’ list.
The mother of four went down the memory lane when she shared the success story of her first ever produced movie, The Bent Arrow.
And I hear you have been married for 16 years…
How many kids do you have?
I have four kids
Really and you are still this beautiful?
I need to get something straight, are you a producer, a director or both?
I’m a producer but I would love to direct in future.
So as a producer what are your roles on set?
Well, sometimes it is to get funding. I wrote the story, got the locations and some of the casts I sorted out
Where was Bent Arrows shot?
Abuja. All of the location were in Abuja
I think Abuja is beautiful and it is perfect for shooting movies
So you don’t think where you come from (Akwa Ibom State) is perfect for shooting movies?
Laughs… It is, but it will be a lot more expensive to shoot a movie there. More so, I’m based in Abuja and the company that funded the movie is also based in Abuja. So it was a little easier to get the locations and other things.
I do not rule out the possibility that sometimes in future, we could shoot a movie in my State but that is not my decision to take. It has to be approved by the board of Alpha Bridges Entertainment, which is the company behind the movie. Shooting a movie in Akwa Ibom in future will surely delight me.
You wrote the script?
Yes I did
Is it your first written script?
It is not the first script I have written but it is the first one that has been made into a movie.
Foreigners complain about the quality of our movies, so how good is your movie?
When I decided I wanted to go into movies, my husband and I sat down and we realised we did not have the kind of funding to do a good and quality movie. Not the type that you have to keep a remote beside you when you are watching because the volume keeps going up and down.
We wanted the kind of movie that is comparable to what we have abroad. So what we did next, was share the vision with a couple of friends who bought into it and then we started the company Alpha Bridges
The company funded the movie Bent Arrows, the sound track album and all that. The company is owned by Isang Ubong Awah, Patrick Ubong Awah and a board of directors.
How did you manage to get your husband involved in a project like this, do you share the same passion?
Well, I wouldn’t say we share the same passion but I have a husband who is unusually supportive. He is completely sold out to me fulfilling my God given destiny and he is 100% behind everything I want to do to fulfil my dreams in life.
Once he knows that this is what I want to do and God supports it, he will do anything to support me in that direction. He is not into entertainment at all, he is a lawyer but because he knows I am passionate about this he will do anything to support me.
Let’s talk about your passion for writing scripts, is it something you have always wanted to do from childhood?
Right. My earliest memory was sitting in the garden and reading a story book when I was seeven years old.
Something in me just got touched and at that moment I decided that when I grow up I would like to become a writer.
I used to write plays when I was in primary school but I was too shy to show it to anyone. In secondary school I went into writing poems, later I went into writing songs and through the years I developed a passion for writing.
I started writing articles later and for about five years I maintained a column in my Church Magazine. Some years back I went for a workshop on writing play and all that I knew before came back to me.
What is special about Bent Arrow?
So many things, first of all what made Bent Arrow special, is the story line. I think the whole thing is that the inspiration came from God, aside from that, it has more peoples’ story line, which deals with so many issues like the sexual abuse.
It is really a great story and Bent Arrow deals with different issues at the same time and each shows the bad side and how to come out of it. Bent Arrow is not just entertaining, it is also educating and shows some of the societal ills the society have on the people and young girls as a whole.
So it is not a true life story?
Is it good enough to go for international film festivals?
Yes, it is very good, by the time we finished the post production here, it could have gone by Nigerian standard but we said this not what we want or what we set out to achieve, so we decided to take it abroad to South Africa. We got the post production work down all over again, so when you watch it, you don’t need to worry about the volume going up or down.
You’ve premiered the movie ?
In Abuja but we are going to do the premiere in Lagos on 14th April and it is going to be at the cinema on 16th April.
And how did you meet your husband?
The first time I saw him was at a prayer meeting but I didn’t notice him but he did and came to where I was.
What did he say the first time?
He asked me out on a date and as at that time, marriage was the last thing on my mind. What was on my mind at that time was how to make money and move ahead in life with my career and maybe five to six years later, I could think of marriage So I had two options- either I tell him a flat no or say yes and allow him to say what he wants and I now tell him no but it did not turn out that way.
He did not show up on the day and I was furious; because nobody had ever done that to me. I tore his card and promised not to talk to him again but when he called and apologise, I decided to give him another chance.
What was interesting is that on our first date he took me to a buka and normally I’m not used to such places.
I thought guys normally try to impress one on a first date but here we are at a buka, a joint. .He was so at home there and I was just staring at him.
He ordered for food and I only took a drink. Now this is the interesting part, when we were done they ask for money and he said they should put it down for him because he didn’t have money to pay. Honestly it was surprising to me but somehow I was impress that he was not even trying to impress me.
What is the most interesting thing he said to you?
He did not even declare any of his intention to me. We just got talking and for me I had made up my mind that I’m marrying a Christian brother and someone I could talk to intellectually.
When I really got talking to him I saw we could relate and we flowed together and talk about everything. We became good friends.
How did he propose?
It was not long after we became friends that he said he wanted to marry me and I said no.The first time I said no, the second time I said no again and the third time I said yes
Why did you change your mind?
The first time he said it, I was already in love with him but for me marriage was not in my mind at that point in time so I did not think about it on thw two occasions he proposed.
After that I prayed about it and I knew it was time because God said so to me.
And the story ended?
No, the beautiful part is, it’s just started and it has been a wonderful marriage to the glory of God. And you know we used to disagree more when we are engaged than we are married now. He is a wonderful man.