Sion Ribeiro Joseph, 22, son of a welsh father and Portuguese mother, was raised as an expatriate, travelling extensively around the world, experiencing different cultures. He says he knew from a very young age that his passion was “the telling of stories that universally captivate our attention”.
Sion, who has family in Lisbon and Porto, knew that film and filmmaking were the tools he needed to achieve this. He decided to embark on his dream career in 2013 by attending the New York Film Academy’s filmmaking programme. After his studies in New York, Sion, who spent much of his youth regularly visiting Portugal for holidays, made the big move to Los Angeles to further his career as a producer and director in the Mecca of filmmaking.
He has since worked on numerous professional scale projects including producing music videos for Grammy Nominated Singer Shanice Wilson and directing and producing commercial short films in the Middle East.
The promising young filmmaker’s short film for Qatar Airways was aired throughout the most prestigious air fleet in the world.
He tells The Portugal News: “A lot of people seem to be slightly confused about what an actual producer does in the film industry. It can be quite confusing, seeing that producers have so many and diverse roles within a project. Some days you may be dealing with budgets, the next with preparing sets, and the next with staffing or transportation logistics. Of his chosen career, Sion elaborates: “The job specification of a producer is endless! Each day brings new challenges and opportunities. For me, producing can be described as: finding a director or writer who is whole heartily passionate about a concept or an idea, working alongside them creatively in all the roles that make up ‘production’ and striving incessantly to create a sublime story with few and humble tools.
“Having worked on large scale productions and working with notable people in the industry I truly feel blessed and honoured to have this experience so early in my career. I hope that with time and new and diverse work opportunities I can grow and develop as a film producer and director so that the ideas and concepts I have in my mind are ready to be paired with my ever improving skills.”
His most recent and highly acclaimed project, ‘Crude’, is an experimental film shot in the middle east based on the themes of women and the damaging impact on the land due to human exploitation of natural resources.
It has had an outstanding reception at film festivals, collecting ten official selections along with Best Experimental Film at the São Paulo Times Film Festival and Best Producer at the TMC London Film Festival.
Sion’s next project is entitled ‘Prime’. It will revolve around a protagonist set on saving the innocent people caught in a war between nations, in a dystopian not too distant future. It will star the lead antagonist Themo Melikidze from Peter Berg’s and Mark Walberg’s ‘Patriots Day’ film.
“Prime is a project I have had in mind since before I started film school and really is the story of a broken character who wishes to be the change in the world he sees around him. I felt that rather than jumping straight in and shooting the film as soon as I finished my studies, it would be far better and far more rewarding for myself to let my skills and experiences build up to the point where I could honestly say I was ready to take on this large scale concept”, he explains.
In between producing his large-scale projects, Sion has been filming a series of short films for his travel series, entitled ‘A Day on Planet Earth’.
“Filming everywhere I go across the globe is a truly peaceful and inspiring activity. Seeing the world through a camera lens and turning the travels and experiences into a film has quickly become a passion for me. It allows me to show the lives of people and the locales where they live around the world as they truly are, without selectively choosing what is portrayed, as so often occurs in travel films. It is truly humbling and uplifting in equal measures, to show the world in its raw form. Plus nothing will make you feel more alive than getting within inches of a fully grown Bengal tiger and having the privilege of capturing the beauty right in front of you.”
His goal, as a filmmaker, he says “is quite simply to inspire people and transport them from their everyday lives into a fantasy world where they are entirely involved with the characters or the emotion of the films I make. But most importantly to me is to hopefully make a film that makes a younger audience want to pick up a camera and begin a long and terrifyingly enjoyable career in the film industry as to me that is far more rewarding than all the festivals and the awards.”
Follow Sion on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and on his official website