I’m the Nigerian Prince

March 01, 2018
By Antonio J. Bell

Faraday Okoro’s "Nigerian Prince" is a film about a Nigerian-American teen, Eze, who is sent to Nigeria against his will and decides to team up with his cousin, Pius, who teaches him how to scam unsuspecting tourists, in order to pay for a plane ticket home. Throughout his journey, Eze faces many moral and ethical dilemmas as he connects with his Nigerian heritage.

I am thrilled to be a part of this special production. This is such a unique story that I have yet to see on screen. Before this opportunity, I’d never had a chance to travel outside of the U.S. In fact, I didn't even own a passport. So, the idea that I would be filming my first feature in another country was exhilarating.

Much like Eze, I was born in America – specifically Inglewood, Calif. I too grew up under the label African-American but as a kid, growing up in southern California, I didn't quite understand what that meant. I struggled identifying with a country that I had never been to, a story familiar to most African-Americans, washed of their culture/history. I felt my character, Eze, didn’t understand his culture until he was forced to go to Nigeria and experience it first-hand. I had always been curious about my history so when I accepted this role, I decided to take a DNA test. It produced the result that I am of Nigerian descent.

This is my first lead role and it was a challenge, at times even overwhelming. But I was fortunate to work with Faraday as my director and alongside our incredible cast and crew. We all built a great foundation of trust and respect that made me feel safe. Faraday always was so present and his vision so clear. He guided all of us to bring his story to life and I’m proud of the work we all created on this film. I’m grateful for being able to go on this journey. When people see this film, they will feel the authenticity of it, because that same truth was on set throughout the entire production.

I believe that "Nigerian Prince" will spark conversations. I hope it will inspire people to ask the same questions that Eze is forced to ask himself. I hope this film encourages audiences to learn more about the culture and I hope it inspires audiences the same way it inspired me.

"Nigerian Prince," the winning film of the inaugural AT&T Presents Untold Stories program, will premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. And, in April, AT&T and Tribeca will once again collaborate to give the world access to stories from underrepresented filmmakers that deserve to be seen. AT&T Presents Untold Stories. An Inclusive Film Program in Collaboration with Tribeca, is a multi-year, multi-tier alliance between AT&T and Tribeca along with the year-round nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute.

Antonio Bell is one of the lead actors in the upcoming feature film, “Nigerian Prince.”


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