Home Entertainment Pastor Emmanuel Iren opens up about his journey into filmmaking

Pastor Emmanuel Iren opens up about his journey into filmmaking

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Nigerian preacher and founder of Celebration Church International, Emmanuel Iren, has explained his journey into filmmaking, citing a desire to use diverse platforms for spreading God’s message and nurturing disciples.

Inspired by his wife, Laju Iren, Iren is set to debut in cinema with ‘What About Us?’, premiering on July 12.

Speaking on TVC Breakfast, Iren shared that his move into filmmaking represents a new phase in his mission to influence culture through storytelling.

He addressed the cultural expectations placed on pastors, noting the irony of criticism towards them pursuing non-ministerial roles.

He stressed his conviction in utilizing all his talents for God’s purpose, driven by a belief in the value of creative expression.

He said, “There is a cultural expectation from pastors. It’s an ironic and contradictory expectation. You even hear some banter out there when people tell men of God, ‘Go and get a real job.’ And when we actually do, they are now asking, ‘Why?’

“Besides that, I just really believe in deploying all my gifts and being the best I can. If God gave me gifts, there must be a reason for it. The short answer is that I’m doing it because I can.

“So many things informed the movie. I just want creative ways to tell true stories. It is obvious that this is a faith-based movie at best, but this is a proper real-life movie.”

Motivated by his children’s exposure to external influences, Iren highlighted the importance of producing content that aligns with his family’s values, aiming to contribute positively to cultural narratives rather than merely consuming them.

“There are other ulterior motives, and this is one: my children have a bit of an accent, and it’s not from us. So the reality is that in every home, there are three parents: the father, the mother, and the television.

“So instead of crying and whining about it, be a part of the culture-shaping process. Be a part of the production, not just the consumption.”

When asked about balancing his roles in family, ministry, and his new career, Pastor Iren shared his guiding principle, which he credits for effectively organizing his life and pursuing diverse passions.

He also mentioned that although he conceived the story for the film, his presence on set was minimal, having been there only a few times.

He revealed that the project is one of three movies he filmed last year.

He explained, “I run with a mantra that ‘create a space for everything and put everything in a space’ and you’ll be amazed at how much your life can be organised.

“For instance, for this shoot, the story is my idea, but for the execution, I think I was on set only twice or three times. I’m even more effective than people know.

“We’re just releasing this one, but this is one of three movies I shot last year alone, and that’s side by side with the album and other things that I do.”

Reflecting on the importance of Christian cinema, Pastor Iren emphasized,

“There is an aspect to this (Christian movies) that is prophetic, and I’ll just say that any church that is concerned with culture formation has to go to the place where that culture formation happens.

“Don’t be stereotypical, because when God said, ‘Go ye into all the world,’ he was specific about the message, not necessarily the method. As long as disciples are being raised by that platform, you should be interested in it.”

Source: https://pmnewsnigeria.com/2024/07/06/pastor-emmanuel-iren-opens-up-about-his-journey-into-filmmaking/

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