Making a movie is hard. Making a movie in Nigeria, home to Nollywood … well, that comes with its own set of special challenges. That’s where we’re filming “Nigerian Prince,” our movie about a Nigerian-American teen who teams with his Nigerian cousin to scam unsuspecting foreigners in order to pay for a ticket home.
First off, power in Nigeria is a premium. The electric current that flows like a rapid river through the U.S. often drips like a leaky faucet in Nigeria. It’s going to go on and off every day. There’s no escaping it. You just have to accept it, make adjustments and stay patient.
Next, there’s the traffic in Lagos, Nigeria, the largest city in Africa. It’s chaotic, yet controlled. Drivers are aggressive and they love to honk. Vehicles sail swiftly through pedestrian-crowded streets. Again, you have to get used to it … and stay on your toes.
Then, there are the people. The people of Nigeria are an engaging and entrepreneurial bunch. You’ll see them selling just about everything on the streets. They’re curious, too. Add a camera to the mix and you’re inviting a crowd. They can slow things down, but we’re their guests. We always take the time to greet and talk with them about what we’re doing.
We couldn’t film “Nigerian Prince” anywhere else. The Lagos landscape – the buildings, the streets, the people – is the backdrop I had in mind when I drafted the script. This is where our protagonist’s story had to unfold. A soundstage or alternative location would never do it justice. We had to do it in Nigeria. And thanks to the AT&T Presents: Untold Stories program, we are.
It’s certainly been an adventure. I truly believe if you can make a film in Nollywood, you can do it anywhere.
Look out for the premiere of “Nigerian Prince” later this year.
Faraday Okoro – Director, Nigerian Prince, the 2017 $1 million winner of AT&T Presents: Untold Stories. An Inclusive Film Program in Collaboration with Tribeca