How Did Josh Ovalle’s Medical Condition Influence His Career Path as a Filmmaker?

Josh Ovalle might be a public personality still in his early twenties, but he has been around for several years enough for his name to evoke memories at a mention. Since he was 13, he has been a prominent name on social media, particularly on Vine and YouTube. Josh has found enough success to relegate the challenges of his medical condition to the background.

As a man diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Josh Ovalle has turned the downsides of his condition into one of America’s social media success stories. He has moved from Vine exploits to YouTube and filmmaking, where his works have been screened at more than 50 film festivals.

Josh Ovalle was Diagnosed with ADHD As A Child

A native of Seattle Washington, in the United States of America, popularly called Josh, Joseph Ovalle came to be on April 21, 1998. Other than the fact his parents are Wernher and Rose Ovalle, we have limited information on his parental background. It is, however, common knowledge that he has two younger brothers named Lucas and Elijah.

Even though there is a lack of information about the young filmmaker’s formative years, records have it that he had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as a child. ADHD is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.

Josh Ovalle
Josh and his brother, Lucas: image source

He Learned Focusing with Baking before Filmmaking

To learn control, Josh Ovalle initially took up baking. He explored the art for a while to maintain his focus before switching to filmmaking. He fell in love with the art, and he proceeded to pour his heart and soul into learning it, resulting in his first and one of his most popular works at the age of 15. In August 2014, Josh Ovalle released Two and a Quarter Minutes, a seven-minute short film which he wrote, directed, and starred in. The short film featured contributory work from his brother, Elijah, and his parents, Wernher and Rose.

The short film received plenty of praise, following its release online. It was well-received by critics and the audience, enough to be selected at 57 film festivals. One of them was the Toronto International Film Festival and All American High School Film Festival, where it also won the Audience Award. The success of the short film put Josh Ovalle on the digital map, with attention from thousands of people who waited in anticipation of his skills. What started as a means of getting his condition in check, became his anchor to fame.

He Has Acted in Four Films and Directed Three

Two significant things happened following the release of Two and a Quarter Minutes. The fame that came with it spurred Josh to change his last name to Kennedy, and he released his second film. Considered to be his most popular work so far, Josh Ovalle released his second film, Minimum Max, in 2015. His first, Two and a Quarter Minutes was based on a tale of the last minute before the death of a young man who had the opportunity to recount several memories before his death.

Minimum Max, on the other hand, focused on something a little more personal, his condition. Like his first, he did most of the heavy lifting production-wise, on his own. He wrote, directed, edited, produced, and starred in the story about a student who despite suffering from ADHD, decided to make it with good grades. The short film went viral on YouTube, with over 915,000 views.

The four minutes short film was accepted in the festival circuit, winning two awards at the Seattle International Film Festival. It was screened at an additional 19 film festivals and earned an article from the Huffington Post. Since he published the film, he has worked on others. He starred in Spree, his first feature-length film in 2020. The comedy thriller, which featured Stranger Things’ Joe Keery, received mixed responses, and Josh played a supporting role as Bobby.

Two years after Minimum Max, he directed his third project, Spendtime Palace: Sonora, which he also wrote. He also worked as a production assistant on Unfastened and as a producer on The Norwegian Vampire Film. But while Josh Ovalle does have a rising success as a filmmaker, it is his work outside of it that has consistently put him in the spotlight, particularly on YouTube and MTV.

Josh Ovalle is Also An MTV Promoter and YouTube Star

Following the rapid rise of his digital popularity, MTV recruited him as a promoter. He began event promotions and was one at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards. On YouTube, he has built a community of fans and fellow film enthusiasts, whom he regales with vlogs about his life and other short films. Since he created the channel, Josh Ovalle, in 2012, he has released 38 videos and amassed more than 304k subscribers and over 15 million views.

Not only has his channel made him famous, but it has also made him friends with famed YouTuber, Cody Ko, and Stranger Things star, Finn Wolfhard. His two brothers, Lucas and Elijah Ovalle, have also leveraged on his popularity to forge their path. Elijah is a rising film director while Lucas has become a social media star, primarily on Instagram.

He Has A Huge Social Media Following & A Rising Net Worth

You are doing something right when more than 60 film festivals have screened your work. And even though Josh is not the most active YouTuber (his last video was posted in September 2019), he has maintained a significant online following, on the platform and others.

On Twitter, he has more than 154,300 followers, and boasts of a bigger following on Instagram, with more than 472.3k followers. While he is not the most regular user on either platform, his large following and talents as a filmmaker, has ensured he remains a relevant figure in the digital sphere.

Josh Ovalle
Josh Ovalle (left) with other participants at the Newport Beach Film Festival: image source

Relevance also means money, and YouTube alone contributed an estimated $648 and $10.4k per year, earned from his 304k subscribers and 15+ million views. Also, as a filmmaker, his short films and appearances in others have contributed to his growing wealth. At the moment, the exact figure remains out of reach. Still, several online outlets report the filmmaker is worth between $100,000 and $500,000. Not bad for a young man who overcame ADHD to become an online star.


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