Israel Eziedo is a young Nigerian filmaker sharing the gospel as a screenwriter, actor, and director on a number of projects. In addition to his own films, and helpful screenwriting advice, he helps promote other faith-based films on his Gospel Movies website. He’s also written guest articles here on Faith Flix.
When did you first develop an interest in films?
In high school, I think 2009 or 2010. My heart was still very much tender but I had a heart for God. I had played the lead role in a docu-drama (Eyes On Hope) about the life and philanthropic work of Governor Rochas Okorocha in 2009. After that, God gave me a story which I wrote: Amaka (Beautiful). It follows the life of a suffering teenager that found comfort in God.
From there I kept on receiving one story after another from the Lord and I just kept on writing them (with no training in scriptwriting). With time, God made it clear that this was my line of calling, so I had to really learn scriptwriting and other things in this field, and I’m still learning.
The media ministry He put in my hands is called Love Media Ministry.
What films have you been a part of?
Eyes On Hope (2009, Lead)
Cords of Deceit (2013, writer/director)
Showers in the Desert (2014, Lead/writer/director/co-producer)
In.discretion (2016, writer/director/producer)
Easyworld Internet Summit Commercial (2016, Director)
Tell us about Gospel Movies.
Gospel Movies is the movie branch of Love Media Ministry. My desire is to make Godly movies that meet Heaven’s standards in message and quality. One other thing we do is to FREELY promote and help other Christian films and filmmakers. We do this through interviews, tutorials, reviews and adverts. The Lord asked me to create a blog for promoting Christian films and I did and even though I haven’t done much work in this regard, I rejoice to give a little helping hand to my brethren when I can.
Why do you feel faith-based films are so important?
Just yesterday, I was sharing with a brother how much Christian films are important. I explained to him that a sermon TELLS you what to do but a faith-based movie SHOWS you how to do it. A preacher could say “flee from sexual sin!”, but I believe the hearer will have a clearer picture of that word if he sees a youth in a film literally run out a window to escape a sexual temptation. So while preaching directly is a mighty weapon in God’s hands, preaching through filmmaking gives the message a whole new edge.
Another thing is the dynamics of storytelling. Jesus’ teachings were replete with stories. The whole Bible is filled with stories. I think the world should be filled with Christian films telling Godly stories!
What are the big differences between American and Nigerian movies?
First, I’d like to note the difference in the marketing and distribution systems in both countries. There are thousands of cinemas in the US; I stay in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, and I only know of two cinemas here. DVD piracy is also a thorn in the flesh in Nigeria. The result is that an American can easily sacrifice a lot of money to make a good film knowing he will get returns at the box office. The average filmmaker in Nigeria does not have such hopes and must resort to DVD sales (which may yet be unfruitful due to pirates).
Another big area is with unprofessionalism. This is especially with Christian movie makers in Nigeria. Because of the poor distribution system, most filmmakers are greatly reluctant to work full time in the industry or even dedicate much resources to acquiring and building skills. I thank God for people like Sola Adeaga, Mike Bamiloye, Victor Olukoju and some other wonderful brethren who run film schools and workshops to train Christian filmmakers.But nonetheless, I see God doing a great work in raising up filmmakers in Nigeria who are passionate for truth and excellence.
What are your goals for the future?
Love Media Ministry is vast. Some of the plans God has laid down for me to accomplish include:
1. A Christian Satellite TV Network
2. Movie, Drama and Music Productions
3. An International Film School
4. A World class Movie Studio
5. Cinemas for Faith Based Films (globally)
6. A Global Film Distribution Network
While I wait on God to bring His Word to pass, my heart is occupied with writing scripts, networking with likeminded people everywhere and helping others where I can. It’s like the old man in Fireproof said “prepare for rain”. 🙂
1. My Pastor (Kelvin Stewart) will always say that the devil doesn’t care the exploits you do for God as long as your relationship with Him is suffering. Filmmaking takes time and resources. We must humbly ask the Lord to help us maintain fellowship with Him even while we go on with our work.
2. Our God is excellent. We must stop misrepresenting Him with poor quality works. Budget may be a restraint but it shouldn’t become an excuse. Do the best you can and keep growing.
3. Success in the world comes by pulling others down and stepping on them to ascend; success in the Church comes by helping each other. If you’re blessed with money, give; if you’re blessed with wisdom, share. If you’re led, you can freely lend some equipments or services to folks who don’t have the cash. Pray for film projects. Publicize other people’s films. By whatever means you can, support others in this work!
“Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped.” Proverbs 11:25