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Why I Shot ‘Busted’ – Lisa Onu (Photos)




Producer of much awaited advocacy movie, ‘Busted’ has sensationally revealed what prompted her to shoot the controversial flick that was premiered not too long ago.

Pretty Lisa Onu, the brain behind the blockbuster film is not a neophyte in the industry. She speaks with samurahh.com about what informed the thrilling star studded movie, ‘Busted’among other issues.

What is the movie all about?
‘Busted’ is about the vices of same sex marriage, the bill passed on same sex marriage in Nigeria and non-challant attitude of parents.

What informed this movie?
We were actually sitting down with my investor (my Executive Producer) my sister and the topic came up because it is actually the trending subject now in every home and in fact, in the world right now. We started arguing about this because I went to a boarding school. I lived in a home and I have friends and we all talk. I looked at it and some people were just arguing blindly about this thing and my sister too said you really don’t even know where this thing started from and you people think it is just something that you just say, ‘I’m not doing again’ and I said you are correct. We realized that some people actually do not know that a law exists against this people and some know and they don’t understand and being a thespian, we use this entertainment part of information to educate, so we decided to put it into writing and let it flow.


Can you give us a synopsis of the story?
It is about a girl in her childhood that had a strict father and a mother who is concerned only about working. Her own is just to provide for her daughter. She thinks that is what the world is all about. And the father on the other side feels that his job is only to protect his daughter against the boys not knowing that certain things happen and you need to be close to your children.
 In our time, fathers are known to be daughters’ best friend. They actually get to know their daughters more than the sons. So the father regularly humiliates, disciplines her unnecessarily and the mother whom she tries to talk to never has the time for that. To her, she has been kicked out. Meanwhile, she has a brother who lives his own lifestyle and as an elder brother, he never had time for her.
She attends a mixed school but her father saw her with a gang of boys and decided to change her school to an all-girls school. That is where the violation started which eventually led to an end that wasn’t pleasant. The rest is in the flick.


What is the moral of the Busted?
Everything in life has a beginning and an end. As a Christian, the bible tells us that lesbianism, homosexuality and the rest are abominable.
The world started with Adam and Eve. He gave him Eve. God did not create and Adam and Steve as companion. I want parents to be on the alert. In my family, we had a lot of maids while growing up but despite the fact that my mother was busy, she also had her eyes on her children. She made sure she watched us spoke to us and gets to know those maids who are trying to molest the children or those maids that are loose. These days, everybody is busy, everybody wants to be wealthy, everybody wants to give the best to their children and forgetting the personality of those children. Inasmuch as we are all there busy, we should always remember that God has given us the responsibility to bring up those children because every child out there. Parents should not be ignorant about their children’s well-being.


Are you part of the cast also?
Yes, I played ‘Sherifa,’ the woman who initiated Blessing, the other girl into lesbianism.

Tell us about your professional history
I have always wanted to be an actress. While in school, I was very lively. I was in the acting club and everything. In my first year in school, an audition came up. I went for this audition that a lot of people didn’t want to do but I did it. We were told to be in our swim suit, some others said that they cannot and I told them that I will and the director asked me to help get others who can. I eventually brought my friends and we featured in the movie, ‘Stubborn Grasshopper.’ It is about the life and times of a late head of state. That was my very first movie. It was shot in 2001. Then movies scripts started coming but I was in school and I had so much respect for my dad and respect comes with fear. I was thinking if I travel to Aba, Port Harcourt, Enugu etc, I may not be able to meet up and the lecturers were on my case. I decided to finish what I came for.

Between 2001 and 2008, I didn’t shoot anything. When I returned from my NYSC, I did a couple of corporate jobs. Then, when I watch movies I will say ‘oh I brought this person in, I know this person and everyone is doing well, this is my talent, this is what God gave to me.’ I gave up my job in Abuja and came back to Lagos. And the first job I got was a TV series called, ‘A Love Like Ours’ by Ralph Nwadike, after then I called my uncle, Frank Dallas who is a veteran in the industry that I am ready for the industry.
In those days, when I was in school, he will always tell me to finish my studies first.  Also, I met aunty Liz Benson at a function and she gave him Chico Ejiro’s contact and told me that is the man she knows that can help me. I decided to call my uncle first, he said I should come, I came and behold I met Chico Ejiro with him. From there, Ejiro’s fist job I did was ‘Treasures,’ then, ‘True Legends.’ I was mostly doing TV series and commercials. I did soup seasoning, Honeywell, Ariel, Carat Soap, Glo TV adverts before I went into movies. The ones I can remember are City Life, Heart of a Woman, Beyond the Eyes, Passion of Life. I then thought of starting a family. I left the industry in 2011 and had my baby and started working in the corporate world. I worked in two oil and gas firms. I was doing very well but that thing that keeps yearning within you, the passion did not let me be. Each time anybody puts on Africa Magic, I get angry. One day, I had to talk to myself. I have realized that the real thespians are people who have the passion to do what they want to do. They don’t seem to care about the money. They seem to be better with what they do and before they realise it, they will discover that this thing they are doing has given them much money and that is what I have been passing through. I thought of how to start afresh but I decided against it because Lisa of 2011 is no longer the Lisa of today, she has added four more inches and so on.
I resigned and shot my first movie, ‘Different Women’ in 2015.  I was still working. I realised that producing is not a child’s play. In fact, I was ill after my first job.  But I decided to take it headlong. I produced another one, ‘Anambra Na Imo’ it’s a movie that was shot in Asaba directed by Iyke Odife, a very nice man. Before shooting ‘Busted,’ I have done a couple of movies with Frank Dallas. I was an associate producer.


Could you share some of the challenges in the production of this movie?
When we were talking about this movie, a lot of people were against it. They didn’t want to be seen as wanting to be against the law. I was like entertainment is not like you are fighting the law. You are bringing out this information through entertainment. There is always a lesson to learn. Eventually we got a script writer, Blessing Effiong. I consulted Chico and he said ‘this is against the law’ but I was headstrong and said advocacy movie has nothing to do with anybody’s pleasure, its sending the information out there. There are people who do not know it, they want to know it. I tried to convince him and eventually he agreed.
I was still running around the marketing of the Igbo movie and the executive producer said she cannot wait that she wants the story to come out. The issue of known faces came up. My co-producers were telling me to use the faces I have. That has always been a challenge for me. I don’t believe that known faces will always do it for me but the thing is we are still growing, some faces actually sells movie but sometimes you need to take the bull by the horn and do something that is different and see how it goes. It was a long process of pre-production. I had to take Chika Kalu, the lead character on for almost a month before we actually went to location.

What next after Busted?
After ‘Busted’ we hope to do our premiere in May after that, the movie goes out there. I have a script in progress and that is what I intend to do next.

Who are the cast?
Kate Henshaw, Liz Benson, Paul Obazele, Chika Kalu, Janile,( lives in London), Biola Obioma among others. We have two directors on this job. The first is Pat ogre Imobhio, Damijo Efe Young. The crew is fantastic.

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